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What are you baking these days? August 2012 [old]

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It's 8/1 in most of the world by now so what the hey, here we go. This is August, that most wonderful of months in my opinion, since it features the Birthday of Me (the 20th). I'm casting about for a cake, toying with the pistachio one in Rose's Heavenly Cakes...are Sicilian pistachios that good, that they cost almost $50 a lb??? Other than that, will be doing the usual larder-stocking with bread, and madeleines and whatnot for Monsieur. How bout choo? What are you baking these days?

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  1. gir'frien', I just happened by and here you were asking about dessert just now.
    After pitting and freezing 4 pounds of sweet cherries today, I made a few ramekins of cherry crisp for DH and me.
    I had about a cup and a half of the simple syrup left over that I canned my maraschino cherries in last week, so I mixed that up in a pan with a couple cups of fresh cherries and a couple tablespoons of Minute Tapioca. Let that cook for awhile til the tapioca was soft, topped with the last cup of Kashi Mountain Medley granola mixed with the last 1/4 cup of AP flour left in the bag and a few tablespoons of butter. There was enough to take care of 3 ramekins. I baked them at 350' for about 15 minutes. Hubster and I had them for a pre-dinner snack at 4:00, before watching "Pay it Forward" and crying our eyes out (it was a day off work to can tomatoes today, so we had some movie watching time left over after the kitchen was cleaned up)
    We'll be keeping an eye out to see what your birthday cake will be. I know it will be something wonderful.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jmcarthur8

      Sounds like a perfect snack. Or dessert, or whatever!

      1. re: jmcarthur8

        I've been buying up cherries on sale and pitting/freezing the ones that I don't manage to polish off. Nothing better than finding a freezer bag full in the dead of winter!

        1. re: rstuart

          These were sweet, flavorful ones, too! Some of the cherries were the size of crabapples - huge!

      2. buttertart buttertart

        Now itt is Augustt

        So hott is the climatte

        My sttove is on sttrike.

        I waitt for Septtember

        The heatt will abate--

        From Torontto to Houstton

        Fresh tartts on a plate.

        Here is a wonderful and easy recipe for a pistachio cake that makes almost blond-brownie-like bars.

        http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archi...

        1 Reply
        1. re: blue room

          Thank you! :)

        2. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

          The one I'm thinking about...

          42 Replies
          1. re: buttertart

            GAWD, that's GAWGEOUS!

            1. re: kattyeyes

              You should see the photo in the book. More gorgeouser.

              1. re: kattyeyes

                Inspired by this gorgeous cake, you see, we started contemplating where to get (or make) pistachio paste...and in the meantime, was tempted by a pistachio paste brownie recipe BabsW shared. I couldn't help but wonder how they'd taste with ALMOND PASTE, which I have in the cupboard.

                My rule is if you want sweets in the house, bake them yourself, so late last night, I did: almond swirl brownies--the Ghirardelli brownie recipe with 1/4 cup less sugar, then the swirl: almond paste, Neufchatel, 1 large egg and just a bit (maybe 1/8 teaspoon) of bitter almond. What can I say but NOM and thank you for the inspiration. I will report back if/when I make that lovely Sicilian cake!

                 
                1. re: kattyeyes

                  That look wonderful. Don't want it in my house. Uh-uh! No way!

                  1. re: roxlet

                    Me neither! I'd be powerless before them.
                    The same people who make your almond paste make pistachio paste, I'm the proud owner of a tin.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      I have one of those too.

                    2. re: roxlet

                      Thank you both--trust me--they have already made their way to two other houses and one more tomorrow. :) Ah, the Love 'n Bake people make pistachio paste, too, do they? If my bakery connection doesn't come through, I will keep that in mind. Good to know!

                      See, now don't you wish we lived near each other so we could split a 3-pack? :)
                      http://www.amazon.com/Love-Bake-Bakin...

                      1. re: kattyeyes

                        There ya go! Good idea. By the way, the grocery stores in the Quad Cities area (Iowa/Illinois border) have tons of baking stuff you have to order here. AND FROZEN SOUR CHERRIES!!!

                        1. re: buttertart

                          Arrrrgh! Frozen sour cherries!!! What's wrong with us? Why don't we rate?

                          1. re: roxlet

                            I have no freaking clue. They come from Washington state, so it's not as if they're just distributed locally.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              I can sometimes buy fresh sour cherries from Washington here in Northern California, but I certainly never see them frozen. Just the canned in water, or imported jarred.

                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                I'm tellin' ya, these are the best thing since sliced bread. I wish someone would carry them here!!!
                                I don't think I ever saw fresh ones in Berkeley (we left in 1987, unbelievable it's so long ago now), just the canned.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  Frozen sour cherries are THE BOMB. My parents live in Michigan and they can get 5lb bags for around $12 from their local Gordon Food Service, YEAR ROUND. I'd be making a pie every week if I still lived there!

                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                    Yes, we can get the Michigan sour cherries year-round here in Minnesota. They are great.

                                    1. re: karykat

                                      Jealous! A good cherry pie is my favorite food ever. I have to move back to a greener part of this country.

                                2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  If you are in (or passing through) San Francisco I have seen them (frozen) in our local Russian market.

                                  1. re: klynne

                                    Has anyone seen them in the greater NY Metro area?

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      No, never. I vaguely remember asking once at Fairway or something and them saying they could order them for me, but it was cheaper to order directly from a Michigan retailer.

                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                        Frozen?

                  2. re: buttertart

                    I can't answer for actual Sicilian pistachios, but Sicilian pistachio paste is amazing, well worth the splurge.

                    1. re: zitronenmadchen

                      Where do you get it? I saw a 5 lb. container for about $450!

                      1. re: roxlet

                        Holy cow!

                        1. re: roxlet

                          There's an Italian bakery near me that has a small rack of assorted foods imported from Italy. I don't have the jar in front of me here, but it's probably a little smaller than a nutella jar, and that costs $11 dollars. If I'm in New York city, I some times pick up a jar at Eataly, but that's $18 for the same sized jar.

                          1. re: zitronenmadchen

                            I'll hafta look at my local Italian sources because that cake is VERY tempting; however, when I checked Amazon, I found this--at $320, I will NOT be adding it to my cart:
                            http://www.amazon.com/Sicilian-Pistac...

                            Zitron, for fun, what town near you as I know we're not far from one another? I'll be checking Public Market in Middletown and Lino's in Durham.

                            1. re: kattyeyes

                              Holy cow.

                              I guess it's time to make your own instead: http://lemonsandanchovies.com/2012/06...

                              or this one:

                              http://www.tasteofbeirut.com/2011/08/...

                              1. re: BabsW

                                Too funny--I was just googling the same before I popped back on here!

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  :) I may have to make some very soon. These recipes look amazing:

                                  http://www.tasteofbeirut.com/2011/08/...

                                  http://www.tasteofbeirut.com/2012/03/...

                                  1. re: BabsW

                                    Indeed, they do look fab! Glad you're back in carb country!

                                    And, as a great example of "we eat first with our eyes," I will be going GREEN if I do decide to go this route. Those brownies are soooooooo pretty...and, of course, I'm already thinking about almond paste as I have that here already. Mmmmm. :) Thank you for the ideas!

                                2. re: BabsW

                                  i don't use Sicilian pistachios because... well, the dog has to eat. but i always make my own pistachio and almond pastes. always have it on hand, as you never know... but i love making it...

                                  1. re: Emme

                                    You feed your dog pistachios (the ordinary ones)?

                                    1. re: souschef

                                      i was teasing that if i spent the money on the Sicilian pistachios, it might create financial hardship ;) joke. no pistachios for the boy though.

                                      1. re: Emme

                                        Unless, of course, you drop one!

                                        1. re: sandylc

                                          I had a former boyfriend with a very sweet airedale. The boyfriend didn't like me feeding him treats. I think he didn't want his dog going into begging mode. But when I was cooking I would sometimes "accidentally" drop things onto the floor. And then he would casually offhandedly amble over and pick up whatever hit the floor. It was kind of a bargain. I pretended I wasn't dropping things. He pretended he was just accidentally finding things.

                                          Not sure if the boyfriend ever figured it out.

                                          Happy memories. (Your post reminded me.)

                                          1. re: karykat

                                            Human-dog collusion, the best kind.

                                3. re: kattyeyes

                                  It's Mozzicato's in Plainville, I've never been to their original bakery in Hartford.
                                  Holy cow! Well, I suppose that's a lot bigger than my 212ml jar, but still that price nearly gave me a heart attack!

                                  1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                    Ah, cool. I thought you were east of the river, don't ask me why. The nice guy in our little Italian store, downtown Middletown, has a connection to Mozzicato's Hartford store and is working on getting some for me as I type! :) Right there with you on the sticker shock factor!

                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                      I used to be, and I'm planning on moving back later this year :-)

                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                        Ah, OK--well, you know, as is written on the wall, "COME ON OVER!" :)

                                4. re: zitronenmadchen

                                  Where is the Italian bakery? I will be having dinner at Manzo later this month, so I definitely have to check it out when I'm in Eataly!

                                  From what I understand, the Italian pistachio trees, of which there is a declining number, only produce every other year, hence the nosebleed prices.

                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    No, the Italian bakery (Mozzicato's, both locations) is here in CT--not NY. ;)

                            2. re: buttertart

                              Wow -- what an excellent use of beautiful green pistachios! Have you ever used that pistachio essence listed as optional for the frosting?
                              This is a find, not even close to ordinary, thanks for this.

                              1. re: buttertart

                                That cake is a work of art!

                              2. Where are you finding Italian pistachios, may I ask???

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: roxlet

                                  The Italian store in Chelsea Market allegedly has them. I may have a look.

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    Really? Wow, do report back!

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      If you do a search on amazon for Sicilian pistachios, you come up with a bunch of things - raw pistachios ($45.10 /lb), flour, paste, cream. I once bought a small jar of pistachio cream from a store, and found it to be nothing special; I don't know if it was Sicilian.

                                  2. I made an apple & dulce de leche cake with dulce de leche frosting and sprinkled chopped walnuts on it. It's incredibly moist and delicious. My two unbiased taste-testers (older daughter and niece) both said that it scored high marks with them.

                                    Got to keep everyone happy. :)

                                     
                                     
                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: BabsW

                                      I'd like a piece right now!

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        You're in luck - there's still a little left. :)

                                      2. re: BabsW

                                        Doesn't that look FABULOUS! Recipe, please?

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          Sure thing! Here you go:

                                          Apple and Dulce de Leche Cake with Dulce de Leche Icing

                                          1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                                          3/4 teaspoon baking powder
                                          3/4 teaspoon baking soda
                                          1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                                          ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
                                          ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
                                          1/2 teaspoon salt
                                          1/2 cup butter, softened
                                          1 cup dark brown sugar
                                          2 eggs
                                          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                          2 cups chopped, peeled tart apples, chopped very fine
                                          1/2 cup dulce de leche - I just used Nestle's La Lechera canned dulce de leche
                                          Dulce de leche icing – recipe below
                                          ¼ cup chopped walnuts

                                          1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.

                                          2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

                                          3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture into sugar mixture, stirring until everything is combined, then fold in the chopped apples.

                                          4. Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula. Dot the dulce de leche over the batter and then spoon in the remaning batter and snooth the top with a spatula. .Take a butter knife and drag it through the batter to swirl the dulce de leche, and make sure to smooth the top of the batter when you’re finished.

                                          5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing.

                                          Dulce de leche Icing

                                          2 tablespoons butter
                                          2 tablespoons dulce de leche
                                          Approximately 4 tablespoons heavy cream
                                          3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

                                          1. In a small saucepan, heat butter and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream over medium until the butter starts to melt Add the dulce de leche and stir for about 30 seconds, then remove from heat and scrape into a small bowl. Continue to whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.

                                          2. Add the vanilla and another tablespoon of heavy cream, mix until smooth, then add the confectioner’s sugar. Beat vigorously with a whisk or a hand mixer until smooth, adding more cream until you have the consistency you like. Drizzle and spread over bars, top with chopped walnuts and serve.

                                          Obviously, you can add more confectioner's sugar and really beat the hell out of it with a stand mixer if you want a fluffier frosting. I liked the drizzling looser icing for this cake.

                                          1. re: BabsW

                                            Thanks, Babs!

                                            1. re: BabsW

                                              I am bookmarking this for sometime in September. Sounds wonderful!

                                              1. re: BabsW

                                                Yumm.. this looks great! THanks for sharing!

                                          2. i readily admit that bran muffins aren't for everyone but i adored the "addictive bran muffins" from the flour bakery cookbook. chock full of healthy ingredients like sunflower seeds, flax seeds, millet (which provides a delightful crunchy texture), dried cranberries (my add) and raisins and very moist despite all that bran. the creme fraiche helped of course. :) i've been slowly making my way through her cookbook, having had great success with the banana bread and chocolate hazelnut cookies. now i have to mull over what to bake next...

                                            1. I drooled over that cake too, but doubt I can get Sicilian pistachios here. I should look for them here or in Montreal.

                                              The link gives the recipe only in cups, so I went to the book. You need 5 oz of pistachios; that's $15 at $48 a lb. Not cheap

                                              1. I've been tossing around an idea for mini ginger-peach cobblers. I'll report back as soon as I get myself going today. :)

                                                There's such a variety of cobblers though - some are fruit topped with biscuit/shortcake, others with a pie crust topping cut in strips, and still others with a looser batter. I've also seen recipes where the fruit is nestled on top of a batter and then finished with sugar or streusel.

                                                Do you have a favorite?

                                                For a peach/ berry cobbler, I like a batter, and I usually put the fruit over the batter and sprinkle sugar on top. I never make an apple cobbler though, that's always going to be an apple crisp.

                                                1. I made La Reine de Saba cake from the new Alice Medrich book that buttertart made last month, it's cooling in the springform pan as I type.

                                                   
                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                    I think buttertart said there were some issues with it, so I would be anxious to hear your feelings about it!

                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                      No, it's great and super-easy, my problem was that I was baking for my chocolate but not too pal and had to use 50% milk choc. With proper chocolate, it would be stunning. Even with the milk choc it was purty good.

                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                        It came out really good, dense and chocolate-y with a really nice almond flavor. My arms got a work out though since I was feeling lazy and decided not to drag out the stand mixer. Good thing I've been doing all that half marathon training, and my dough whisk came to the rescue.

                                                      2. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                        That cake looks pretty damn good. Mine (from Cocolat) always rises like a soufflé (which it really is) and then collapses. For glazing I trim off the top (even though AM tells you to just squish it down) and then flip it.

                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                          This rose quite level and didn't collapse very much at all.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            Here it is...

                                                             
                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              So how does it differ from the Cocolat version?

                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                Essentially the same, perhaps a tiny bit firmer.

                                                      3. Last night I made the blueberry crumb cake by the Barefoot Contessa. I was looking for something different than the cobblers and upside down cakes I have been making lately with peaches and plums.

                                                        1. After watching the Olympics, the bread dough is nestled in flour-dusted tea towel in a plastic colander for its final 3-hour rise before baking if I'm still awake at 3:30 am.
                                                          Yesterday's dough embedded itself in the cloth napkin in a wicker basket and was totally deflated by the time it was scraped and rolled to the oven's hot pizza stone - nevertheless, those yeastie babies woke up and managed a decent rise during the 40 minute bake. My first attempt at slashing was dismal - any tips would be very appreciated - I couldn't find a razor blade in the shaving stuff in the medicine cabinet, so I resorted to an exacto knife from the art toolbox. Feeling timid but undaunted.

                                                          14 Replies
                                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                                            I've found that spritzing the blade with water or spray oil works really well for slashing high hydration dough.

                                                            1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                              OMG, I think you've got it. If only I could attach the pix of my slashed bread and its lovely ears, then you could see why I am singing praises for your wisdom, dear zitronenmadchen! I sprayed the knife blade with oil and slashed madly. Crusty loaf with pretty ears out of the oven. Beaming Happiness; thank you.

                                                              I'm starting another pre-ferment batch, just to have bread dough to slash. I'm mad for slashing.

                                                              1. re: Cynsa

                                                                I'm trying it next! See my dismay with my lame below.

                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                  your post saved me from thinking that my slashing failed because I didn't have the right equipment - the lame. thank you, sandylc, for the benefits of your experience.
                                                                  now my bread boule rises in a plastic colander or whatever basket I have at hand, and instead of lining it with cloth (I've given up on scraping dough embedded cloth) I am using Reynolds Wrap Release Non-Stick foil).
                                                                  Let us know when you try zitronenmadchen's tip, please!

                                                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                                                    Like the nonstick foil idea a whole lot. The worst mess I ever got into with breead was making these incredible buns from Beard on Bread -- the dough was to be raised in a tea towel in a sink full of warmish water. They were superb but the tea towel never recovered. I keep meaning to try them in a v big ziplock bag...

                                                                2. re: Cynsa

                                                                  Yay! I'm glad it worked for you. I was probably about as happy as you are when someone told me that trick. I think I was dancing around my kitchen with glee as I watched the ears form while my bread was baking.

                                                              2. re: Cynsa

                                                                Your bread dough watches the Olympics???? Just kidding, but it made a great visual in my mind!!

                                                                As far as slashing, I usually used the thinnest, sharpest knife I have. I used to have a lamé, but I find my knife works just as well.

                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  right. this is a high hydration dough. my second failure: I tried a serrated tomato knife and dipped it water but 'no ears' when baked.
                                                                  - thanks for the spray oil tip, zitronenmadchen - I'll try it next.
                                                                  (roxlet, rising to medal with Gold Medal better for bread flour, hehehe)

                                                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                                                    Hehehe. Good one!

                                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                                    I hate my lame. It doesn't work. Probably the operator.

                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                      You have a lame lame? ;-)

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        hee. That must be it.

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          She needs something to blame :) !

                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                            At least it's not likely to maim! Better stop now.

                                                                  3. English Matrimonials and Toll House Chocolate Chip with pecans were what I baked today. Then I canned about 15 jars of Pear Vanilla Jam and Pear Jam. I ate 3 of the Toll House and dipped at the jam now and then, and now my sweet tooth is SO gone.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                      That jam sounds lovely, where's the recipe from?
                                                                      Are matrimonials date bars?

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        buttertart, the jam recipe is loosely based on this one;

                                                                        http://southernfood.about.com/od/jams...

                                                                        except I used liquid pectin during the last minute. It tasted wonderful. I started out cooking down the pears, unpeeled, and then ran them through the food mill. They seem to have more flavor than last year's jam, where I had peeled and cored the pears before cooking.

                                                                        The English Matrimonials are an oatmeal and jam bar, which had my homemade strawberry jam on one side of the pan and my Georgia Peach jam on the other side. I've been using that recipe since, oh, 40 some years ago? Still love it. I did a post on that one once.
                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/854013

                                                                    2. So Monsieur le Gâté got his madeleines and his almost-there replicas of the cookie remembered so fondly this morning, and stashed them away before I could take a pic!

                                                                      1. Did some baking yesterday and today...

                                                                        Made some batards winging a dough i normally use to make lavash crackers. Added a little milk powder to the dry ingredients to add a bit of tenderness. i went a little too heavy on the yeast, but they were otherwise fine. they baked up nicely, only i didn't score them or cut a design at all, so they sort of (owing also to their size) baked up to look like russet potatoes... sigh.

                                                                        been playing around with some gluten-free stuff, and made some biscuitos de maisena, a brazilian cornstarch based cookie. i was non-plussed. i did one batch all granuated sugar, one batch with half white half dark brown. the latter was superior.
                                                                        also did some GF peanut butter bars, which were something like a cakey, every so slightly fudge peanut butter brownie (sans chocolate). and another cakey bar that ended up tasting like a much moister honey bran muffin. no bran involved, and truth be told, i'd rather have the bars than a muffin.

                                                                        did some stove-top rice pudding that came out quite nicely. ever so lightly scented with cardamom and a dash of cinnamon. nothing overpowering, just a warmth of flavor that made you say, hmmm.

                                                                        lastly, inspired by another thread asking about possible side dishes, i ended up making the Finnish Pannukakku. Very well received. and always fun to serve something with a great name. Like French toast... except you don't start with the bread. i served it with some preserves and some maple syrup, because that's how i roll.

                                                                        buttertart... you've got me itching to make madeleines now... though i just randomly discovered a container of beeswax in my cupboard (that I know I didn't buy...) and really wishing i'd bought molds for cannelés...

                                                                        1. I wanted to give savory biscotti a try and tweaked a recipe I found for cantucci (a.k.a. cantuccini). Made mine with cornmeal, a bit of corn flour subbed for the regular flour, cracked black pepper, salt, some sugar, then a mix of cheddar and pepper jack.

                                                                          I had to ad lib on the fly because the dough (more like batter) was too loose, but for something I never even ate, they're pretty tasty, not to mention kinda cute. They'd be a fun cocktail nibble. I took notes so next round should be even betta. I ended up throwing them back in the oven a third time to crisp them up, so I guess they're "triscotti" rather than biscotti at this point. HA, is THAT where Triscuits come from? KIDDING.

                                                                           
                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                            They're VERY cute.

                                                                            1. re: THewat

                                                                              Yes they are!

                                                                          2. It's been so bloody hot, that I haven't had a lot of energy for baking lately. It's much more pleasant to sit in front of the fan, doing needlepoint and watching the Olympics. However, my husband and son are retuning tonight after a 4 day jaunt away from home, so I decided to bite the bullet and make a blueberry pie. The crust is chilling in the refrigerator. If I get really ambitious, I will make some peach ice cream from Jeni's book to go with it.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                              That would have been my mother's absolute dream dessert, those together.

                                                                            2. Baked for Birthday Potluck Picnic yesterday at Tilden Park in Berkeley: Ina Garten's Red Velvet cupcakes, Strawberry shortcakes, and lattice-topped Apple Pie. Came home too tired to cook for dinner; so we had a leftover cupcake and a glass of ice-cold milk — for dinner. Did I actually eat a cupcake for dinner?!

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                Isn't it great being a grown-up (sometimes)? :)

                                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                  Cynsa, speaking of Berkeley, don't forget...

                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    reminder needed please... my brain is a sieve.

                                                                                2. Hey gang, did you see the apple cake in the new issue of Cooks Illustrated? Quite interesting, I thought, but the cup of veg oil sort of grosses me out. Do they use veg oil in cakes in France?

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    Actually, I made a French yogurt cake a while back from a bakery in France that had oil in it. I would only make it again if I used butter instead. I just don't care for oil in baked goods very much. It does make things especially moist for a long time, but the taste is off to me.

                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                      Stop, no, really--the oil skeeves you? It's traditional in (whether it is PC or not to call it so these days, no offense intended) "Jewish Apple Cake."

                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                        I know, the main reason I haven't made it in ages. I'm with sandylc.

                                                                                      2. re: buttertart

                                                                                        oops - I forgot to renew the CI subscription - buried in mail pile. I have an old 1970's banana bread recipe that has one cup of vegetable oil... or, is it carrot cake?
                                                                                        I've baked this with 1/2 cup of oil: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...
                                                                                        Do you like Olive Oil cakes?

                                                                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                          I've never made an olive oil cake, actually, for much the same reason. Made a million carrot cakes back when, of course.

                                                                                      3. I plan to try and make the cake that is on the cover of Dorie's Baking from My Home To Yours. WHo else has made this and what tips/adjustments do you have?

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                          There was a COTM thread on the book in 2006 or so. That cake was definitely discussed. Isn't there a sticky at the top of the Home Cooking board with links to the previous cookbooks of the month.

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                            This is the thread in which that cake is discussed: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/347471

                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                              Thank you!!!

                                                                                            2. re: buttertart

                                                                                              Thanks! I just have not had success with any of her layered cakes. They just don't rise for me.

                                                                                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                That's so funny! I made the cake on the cover of the book, and it came out really well!

                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                  I'll have to make sure that my two leaveners are fresh then as I don't think I overmixed and I believe you can sift dry ingredients, from what I was told, by using a whisk.

                                                                                          2. I made Hudson Bay Bread Bars for my little brother to take on his Scout hike tomorrow. My recipe calls for Karo, maple syrup and maple extract, but I didn't have any maple extract so I used all maple syrup. and they turned out a little dry.

                                                                                            1. The apricot refrigerator cheesecake was such a hit at last month's potluck, I made it again for tonight's potluck. One of the ladies heard about it, but it was gone before she got to the dessert table, so she requested a re-do.Though technically the only thing that is baked is the graham cracker crust.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                I've never heard of refrigerator cheesecake. Will you share the recipe?

                                                                                                1. re: THewat

                                                                                                  Rather than sending you to another thread where I'd posted this a while back, I'll just cut and paste it here:

                                                                                                  Apricot Cheesecake makes one 8" square pan or a 10" quiche pan

                                                                                                  Crust:
                                                                                                  1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
                                                                                                  1/4 cup sugar
                                                                                                  1/3 cup soft butter
                                                                                                  Combine, press well into pan, bake at 350' for 10 minutes. Chill.

                                                                                                  Filling:
                                                                                                  2) 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
                                                                                                  1) 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
                                                                                                  1/3 cup lemon juice
                                                                                                  1/2 tsp. orange or lemon extract
                                                                                                  Beat cream cheese and condensed milk till smooth ( I'm careful not to beat too long, as I don't want it to get fluffy). Add lemon juice and orange extract, beat again till combined well. Spread into crust and chill till set, an hour or two.

                                                                                                  Glazed topping:
                                                                                                  1) 14.5 to 16 oz. can unpeeled apricot halves, drained, saving liquid. (I use light syrup pack)
                                                                                                  1/4 cup sugar
                                                                                                  1 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
                                                                                                  1/3 cup orange juice
                                                                                                  1/3 cup liquid from apricots
                                                                                                  Combine all in saucepan, cook on medium, stirring constantly with a whisk, till thickened to a gel. Cool slightly. Place apricot halves, cut side down on top of filling and spoon glaze over. Chill till serving time.
                                                                                                  (I doubled the glaze, since there was more than 2/3 cup syrup in the apricot can, and I couldn't see wasting it!)

                                                                                                  This looks like sunny side up eggs, if you don't know what you're looking at, but it is the perfect thing for a summer afternoon. I grew up on this dessert. In the winter, my mother would make JOY's regular baked cheesecake, but summertime, this was the one I loved.

                                                                                              2. Well, I was *trying* to make pralines. First batch tasted great, had the right texture to bite, but the crystallization on top wasn't pretty. Tried again, this time with emeril's recipe. Took it to the same temp, using the same candy thermometer, but ended up with praline shaped caramels. NOT right at all.

                                                                                                I didn't want to just pitch them, So I improvised a Pralines and Cream Blondie recipe based on my favorite snickerdoodle blondie recipe. The experiment turned out so well! The praline layer in the middle is distinct, but also kind of combines with the soft, delectable cookie, and changed to a more appropriate praline texture with the baking process. It's hard to describe, so I'll just stick with "amazingly delicious!" My 8 year old tasted these and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh mom, these are SO GOOD. They're so good, I think the President needs to hear about them."

                                                                                                 
                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: modthyrth

                                                                                                  Those would be good! And that's so cute.

                                                                                                  1. re: modthyrth

                                                                                                    Talking about making the best of a mistake! That's a pretty high compliment from your 8-year-old...

                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                      It balances out my stoic Swede of a husband, from whom "not bad" is seriously high praise. ;-)

                                                                                                  2. Potato bread with poppyseed, roughly based on George Lang's Hungarian potato bread in "Beard on Bread", but with the tail end of a quart of milk added (about 1/4 c) and a couple of tbsp of olive oil. And no caraway, just the poppyseeds on top. The preferment sat for about 6 hours and the bread rose at room temp and then got stuck in the fridge overnight, let rise in the pans and baked the next. A friend pronounced it fantastic.

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                      Looks wonderful, bt!

                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                        It was adjudged to be "not bad for white bread" by you-know-who, looking aggrieved as I sliced more to take to work.

                                                                                                    2. Visiting a friend of mine on Saturday who is a very exhausted mother of a 6-month old and a 3-year old. I made chocolate cookies with chopped up Hershey's "Cookies and Cream bits" and white chocolate; turned out pretty well. I'm also going to make some peach browned butter scones with the gorgeous Red Havens I bought yesterday from the farmer's market for her...

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                        I'm on the next plane up there, set a place for me!
                                                                                                        (Just kidding.)

                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                          Ha! Yes, I thought of you when I bought them...they are really good.

                                                                                                      2. My best friend is coming from out-of-state, so I hope to try this recipe.
                                                                                                        Peanut-butter cup Brownie Cake
                                                                                                        http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2012/08/...
                                                                                                        (NOT my website)

                                                                                                        24 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                          That cake is beautiful.

                                                                                                          And the ale and pretzel caramels on that site look fun too.

                                                                                                          1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                            That's some cake! I love how she says to cut the richness by serving with whipped cream, lol!

                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                              It really is gorgeous... and it must be rich if a 9 inch cake serves 25-30! Sigh....

                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                I'll say! That 9-inch cake has almost 2 pounds of butter, plus 2 cups of peanut butter, 6 ounces of chocolate, peanut butter cups, and a mere 1/4 cup of cream...

                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                  Ouch!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                    Well it would need to have all of that goodness, if I am going to compare it to the Smitten Kitchen peanut butter chocolate cake.. which is ssososoo good for company.

                                                                                                                    1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                      There's a recipe for a chocolate nut thingy in the Canadian Living Baking Book (ca. 2003, really quite a good book) that the spoilsport writers saw fit to note was essentially a giant candy bar (chocolate bar in Canadianspeak) and should be served in very small portions. Shut UP already!

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        This is probably crude to say, but I feel like an "American" Living Baking Book would not make that note... instead they would say "tastes just like a giant Snickers!"--as a selling-point (and MAYBE even suggest maybe you crush some mini-Snickers on top). (I am American.)

                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                          I agree with you. There's a little tendency to the nannying side of thing in Canada.

                                                                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                          I tend to cut very small portions of that sort of thing.. and then have seconds.
                                                                                                                          And thirds...

                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                            There you go. And it does you no harm whatsoever.

                                                                                                                  2. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                    She's got a cookbook out that I'd like to try.. they did a good feature on it in the Globe and Mail (national newspaper here in Canada).
                                                                                                                    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                      "My sugary sculptures turned out more “bum” than “plum,” but they were still cute." That would be me. Fun article.

                                                                                                                      Looked at her blog. This woman makes RLB look completely non-obsessive.

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        Rose is not obsessive. She's only a perfectionist.

                                                                                                                        This book I gotta see.

                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                          Check out her website to see if you'd like it. Search for sprinklebakes.

                                                                                                                          1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                            Interesting stuff, but she's inconsistent - specifies volumetric measurements for some recipes, and weights plus volume for others (I prefer RLB, who specifies both for everything).

                                                                                                                            In the wedding cake recipe she tells you to use commercial cake flour, not home-made. How do you make it at home?

                                                                                                                            Why would anyone use cinnamon in a simple syrup!

                                                                                                                            Great pictures, but not a book I would buy. I'm waiting for Buttertart to publish her book; THAT I will buy!

                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                              "In the wedding cake recipe she tells you to use commercial cake flour, not home-made. How do you make it at home?"

                                                                                                                              Many sources specify a sub by volume: 1 cup AP flour, less 2 T, plus 2 T cornstarch for every cup cake flour. The cornstarch lowers the protein, but the results won't be as fine in texture as commercial cake flour.

                                                                                                                              "Why would anyone use cinnamon in a simple syrup!"

                                                                                                                              Because some of us like - nay, even love - cinnamon. You (and buttertart) are in the minority of North Americans in your dislike of it.

                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                Title: "How to bake by feel and only occasionally follow a recipe to the letter if forced".

                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                  I envy you. I can only bake with a recipe and a scale. Call me a "bake by numbers" baker.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                    I always have a recipe in my head, and I do follow them, just usually not to the letter. Unless it's a Rose. Bread I usually make by feel.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                      Me too.. I always follow the recipe to the T.. at least the first time!

                                                                                                                              2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                Waaaaay over the top.

                                                                                                                            2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                              I loved this article! Loved it. The author makes three of the sprinklebake recipes and reported how it went. Really funny.

                                                                                                                              There's a great gallery of photos comparing the sprinklebakes result and how it turned out for the home baker. Here's that: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                                                                                                                              She ends up concluding that even tho her end product doesn't look the same, it did turn out pretty good.

                                                                                                                              And I still want to make those ale and pretzel caramels. They don't look hard at all and a little different.

                                                                                                                              1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                                Yes... very fun article, and i loved her description of making meringue (or trying too). She had a good point too about using the recipes as a springboard to express her creativity, rather than following them to the tee.
                                                                                                                                I suspect that I will just admire the cookbook, since presentation has never been a strong point for me!!!

                                                                                                                          2. Working on constructing a carved cake for a special family member's birthday... Underneath the fondant and flash, it's yellow cake filled with chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, and covered with chocolate ganache. also made chocolate fondant, as I need it black, and it's much easier to accomplish that when you start at brown... i fear i may have slightly underbaked the cake (which I've since cut cylinders out of), but it's been frozen since baked, so i really have no idea. the humidity here right now is *killing* me in the kitchen...

                                                                                                                            1. Made a cake for coffee hour that Pioneer Woman would be proud of as I was. It was a Key Lime cake made with a mix but it was a poke cake and the filling was divine. Key Lime juice, heavy cream, lime zest and a can of condensed milk. Made a Key lime Butter Cream frosting to gild the lily. People were scraping the pan.

                                                                                                                              While it baked we had G&T's with nude limes as they had sacrificed their zest for the cake..

                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                Not even any little grass skirts for those poor naked limes? ;-)

                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                  It's HAWT out...those limes were probably quite happy in their nekked nudity! ;P Berheenia, you DESERVE G&Ts (nude or not) for baking in this heat!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                    For true!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                      The heat has abated here, we have had rain, and expect more this week, so time to put on my baking hat again.

                                                                                                                                      I'm considering making this cake:
                                                                                                                                      http://www.hildastouchofspice.com/201...

                                                                                                                                      The texture of the cake in the picture looks too dense, and some of the instructions need modification (boil purée and gelatin), but it sounds like a nice cake. I was thinking of making it using a génoise as a base. Comments?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                        It sounds very nice, but mangoes (which I love) are one of if not the only thing I'm allergic to (poison ivy relative and I had lots of poison ivy when I was a kid). Which doesn't matter because it's not for me, of courde, but there it is. :)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                          I thought you were okay with mangoes so long as you didn't do the peeling. Or maybe it was someone else...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                            No, it was me, but I tried eating mango juice bars and got itchy lips recently :(

                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                              I had a major problem with them too. Drank some mango juice on a hot summer day once and woke up the next morning with swollen numb lips and a broken out face. A day I was supposed to have a work photo taken. Cancel that! The numbness lasted a long time. Weeks. Turns out there's something in the peels especially. And peel ends up in the bottled juices because of how they make it. I didn't know it was a poison ivy relative. I've been afraid to try the juice since. Love the flavor.

                                                                                                                                              Enough about that.

                                                                                                                                              I burned the rhubarb bread loaves I made a couple days ago. I have more left tho, so a rhubarb cobbler is on the agenda. .

                                                                                                                                              1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                                                Me again. I was looking for something else and came across this post from a while ago. I had a half cup of mango sorbet a couple days ago. Major allergic reaction! I didn't think of it. But it's made from the juice and the juice likely has a lot of stuff from the peel in it.

                                                                                                                                                Swollen and numb lips, swollen inside mouth, broken out face near lips. Never again!

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                    This sounds divine! And I have a best friend whose birthday is coming up, and who adores key lime anything. This would be perfect!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                      A very good use for those nude limes. I know exactly what you mean as I've had a large supply of nude lemons after making the Ina Garten lemon cake.

                                                                                                                                    2. Very good book alert, discussed on the cookbook thread: "Vintage Cakes" by Julie Richardson. The coffee crunch roll could be used as a weapon of mass seduction.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                        I looked this up (Amazon) and could not resist. When I need to add $ to my total for the free shipping I buy socks, one can always use socks, haha I've got lots of socks.

                                                                                                                                        Oh if the book is half as good as it looks--!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                          You won't be disappointed, I guarantee it.

                                                                                                                                      2. The congo bars from CI..again..for the millionth time. They are soo good.

                                                                                                                                        1. Not much of a summer baker, but this droughty hot August has had me preheating that fickle oven more than usual. Maybe I've got the a.c. cranked too low... For some reason, the rhubarb has made it back into my local grocery store (which has never happened here in August), so I made another not-too-sweet rhubarb pie. Probably my favorite pie. I swear rhubarb does something wonderful to my insides. I'm sure I've read it has medicinal properties. Can't sing its praises enough.

                                                                                                                                          And I finally found some Lyle's Golden Syrup in rural So. MD, so I'll finally be making an almost-100 year old recipe for ANZAC biscuits that I've been eyeing for years. Once it dips below 85 again, of course...

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: staughton

                                                                                                                                            We have local rhubarb in our farmers markets all summer and well into the fall. I'm not sure if it's not true that you shouldn't harvest it past a certain point in the season or whether those growing it in quantity don't need to worry about it. And it's the bright red rhubarb called Strawberry Rhubarb. Don't think it tastes different but it is more red.

                                                                                                                                            I bought a couple big bunches yesterday. For a light cobbler. And maybe a rhubarb bread for my exercise class.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                                              My local farmers are Mennonites/Amish, and they don't share their rhubarb!! The stuff at the store now is quite large and very red, and it doesn't say where it's grown. I'm not arguing. I love rhubarb. If they grow it in Peru and stock my store with it in December, I'll buy it!

                                                                                                                                          2. Have been meaning to pass along this recipe for some time and this seems perfect-these Peanut Butter Cookies are simply the BEST ever (she said modestly) and they are Gluten Free!!!

                                                                                                                                            No, this is NOT the recipe that is quoted everywhere on-line...similar but with my very own variation-the use of ground almonds rather than peanuts, makes a world of (positive) difference to texture and taste.

                                                                                                                                            The BEST Peanut Butter Cookies!!!
                                                                                                                                            1 cup peanut butter
                                                                                                                                            ¾ cup granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                            1 large egg, lightly beaten
                                                                                                                                            ½ tsp baking soda
                                                                                                                                            ¼ tsp kosher or table salt
                                                                                                                                            1 cup ground almonds
                                                                                                                                            (up to 2TBsp. butter-optional-only if needed after blending to ensure ability to roll dough into balls)
                                                                                                                                            (½ cup good chocolate chips or dark chocolate, roughly chopped-optional)
                                                                                                                                            Good finishing salt-I use kosher, but Fleur de Sel would be brilliant

                                                                                                                                            1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
                                                                                                                                            2. In a large bowl (preferably electric stand mixer), blend peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda and ¼ tsp salt
                                                                                                                                            3. Blend in ground almonds and chocolate if using. Test to see whether the dough can be made into balls…if too crumbly, add butter and mix well.
                                                                                                                                            4. Roll into balls and place on prepared pans, about 1-2 inches apart-flatten slightly with tines of fork.
                                                                                                                                            5. Bake on middle rack(s) of oven, turning 180 degrees, midway through 12-14 minute baking time.
                                                                                                                                            6. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle very lightly with finishing salt.
                                                                                                                                            7. Remove cookies carefully to cooling rack and allow to cool thoroughly.
                                                                                                                                            8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week (if you can!!!)

                                                                                                                                            1. Pizzas ... mostly pizza Margherita. Jane Grigson's walnut onion bread. Recipe for the latter is all over the web ... google it. Delicious and not like anything you can buy in most places.

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: emu48

                                                                                                                                                Here's one link: http://oneperfectbite.blogspot.com/20... I look forward to trying it.

                                                                                                                                              2. I made ciabatta this afternoon with the intention of letting some of it go stale for panzanella salad with tomatoes from my "garden"

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                  "Garden" in quotes 'cause you have one of those crazy topsy-turvy contraptions? :)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                    Ha, no it's just a tiny shady patio off my apartment with a potted tomato plant and a pot of basil.

                                                                                                                                                2. A half batch of magic cookie bars--they taste as good to me today as they did when I was a kiddo.

                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                    Ready for a special delivery! YOWZAH, is there such a thing as too much chocolate? :) I think I'll use 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 next time...but aren't they tempting?

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                      Oooh, those look good!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                        Hmmm.. are those like Hello Dollies? Or what we called 7-layer cookies?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                          Yes, I know 'em as Hello Dollies, too--straight up, classic, yummy. 7-layer adds butterscotch bits. I used pecans today. NICE.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                            They're a Christmas classic in my family.. my brother's favourite! Whenever I make them I end up licking the condensed milk can lid! Not very classy, I just love that stuff...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                              So funny how you remember "your first time"--my memory is of being a little girl on vacation in Maine in the summertime and enjoying these treats; yours is a Christmas memory. Class be damned, I lick the lid, too! :) But there are no witnesses.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                        Condensed milk, baybee! A noble foodstuff.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                          It is, but shhh, don't tell everyone. ;) HA HA HA! Some people just need to know there's magic in them and that's the end of the story!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                          The friend who introduced me to those in high school called them orgasm cookies (due to the average reaction to them, I guess).

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                            LOLOL, I must share that with my #1 taster who THINKS he hates SCM, yet LOVES my gelati and Mounds brownies. HA HA HA!

                                                                                                                                                        3. I was going to make the Ina Garten lemon cake (but using oranges) that Roxlet had mentioned in the May thread, but I then started reading the comments at the end of the recipe, and one comment mentioned that they had made it using sour cream instead of buttermilk. As I like sour cream cakes I thought I should do the same, but then the recipe looks a lot like RLB's Golden Grand Marnier Cake, so I was wondering if Roxlet has made the RLB cake, and if so, how it compares with Ina's.

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                            No, souschef, I never have made the Golden Grand Marnier Cake. I liked the Ina one a whole lot, and my son really loved it. He has a particular fondness for lemon cakes, and this one (as I might have mentioned before) are the lemony-est!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                              I can confirm that -- very lemony.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                              The Ina one was a staple at our house for quite awhile.

                                                                                                                                                            3. My blueberry corn muffins with a new twist--switched out 1/4 cup of the flour for corn flour and added 1/4 cup coconut this time.

                                                                                                                                                              AND because I was awake, but my brain was apparently not, I forgot the 1/4 cup of cornmeal; however, they are still lovely to look at, delightful to NOM. :)

                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                Yummm. I do love coconut in muffins. One of my favorite muffins recipes has mango and coconut.. blueberry and coconut is also a nice combination!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                  Look really good! What recipe did you begin with?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you. :) Mine--"Katty's Blueberry Corn Muffins!"

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                      Well, they look dee-licious!

                                                                                                                                                                2. Joy the Baker's latest cookie post. Dark chocolate, pistachio and smoked salt cookies. Just had one warm out of the oven. Buttery good!!!

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                                                                                    I noticed that recipe as well. I personally loathe pistachios, but they are my mother's favourite and we are both big Joy the Baker fans (she is still raving about the peach cobbler scones). Will have to point those out to her..

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Buttertart, the Birthday is fast approaching.. what cake are you thinking of? Have you bitten the bullet and shelled out (hee hee) for the Sicilian pistachios?

                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                      HA HA, shelled out, I was wondering the same! *<:)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                        A little bird (named buttertart) is "busy on a bit of an adventure :)" but the cake is next weekend's plan, so I hear.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                          Ooh.. sounds like fun!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Gringa empanadas--gringa because I am not queen of dough, so I cracked a can of biscuits, cut them in half per a recipe on the Pillsbury site, then stuffed them (raw) with picadillo I threw together, adding a few extra spices I include in my tacos.

                                                                                                                                                                        No one in my family was swayed when I explained what I was making, but my mom said she'd try them. Her reaction? "I'm surprised I like it! This is good! This is very good!" And she ate two whole biscuits' worth! So, we liked them! We really liked them! And I'll make them again for sure. I thought they were kind of funny-looking, but my mom said they looked like whatever I had tried in L.A. and said they were better than anything we could buy. That is always my favorite compliment. :)

                                                                                                                                                                        ETA: My homegrown jalapeno, with corking, which I learned this year is a good thing.

                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                          What did you have in your filling?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                                                                            ½ small onion, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                            1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
                                                                                                                                                                            2 cloves garlic, pressed

                                                                                                                                                                            Saute in olive oil till soft. Then add:

                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 pound ground chuck
                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 teaspoon Adobo seasoning (I like Penzey's)

                                                                                                                                                                            Cook, drain, then add:

                                                                                                                                                                            2 tablespoons golden raisins (soak in hot water for an hour if you can)
                                                                                                                                                                            1/3 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
                                                                                                                                                                            ¼ teaspoon cumin
                                                                                                                                                                            ½ teaspoon cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                                            ½ teaspoon cocoa powder
                                                                                                                                                                            ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
                                                                                                                                                                            ½ teaspoon oregano
                                                                                                                                                                            ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
                                                                                                                                                                            ½ teaspoon sugar
                                                                                                                                                                            ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                                                                                                                                            8 oz. can tomato sauce

                                                                                                                                                                            Simmer till most of the liquid has cooked down.

                                                                                                                                                                            You're supposed to cut the Pillsbury Grands in half with a serrated knife. I have a brandy-new, super-sharp one, yet it was still a PITA to cut, so just be patient and go carefully (if you're planning on trying this the gringa way). Rather than make 16 small ones, I made 8 large: 2 measuring tablespoons of meat in the center of each, then crimp with a fork. They're about the size of a Jamaican beef patty.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                              When cutting biscotti for the second baking, I find that it's much easier to do so with a ham slicer than with a serrated knife.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                No, no--this is cutting raw biscuit dough. Not sure what makes cutting that easier. I had to look up ham slicer. Like so?
                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.webstaurantstore.com/12-ha...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes'm.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. We had a friend to dinner on Friday, and I made this pound cake:
                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2...
                                                                                                                                                                          I had some of my Jeni"s peach swirl ice cream, so I sliced the pound cake, toasted it, topped with a scoop of the ice cream, and poured caramel sauce on one side, and hot fudge on the other. It was a pretty decadent dessert. I did have two problems, however. I followed the KAF suggestion to used their black cocoa for the hot fudge, and I really wasn't happy with it -- it was too dark and had a slightly burned taste. My other problem seems to be one that I consistently have with pound cakes: the outsides of the cake seem to get very dark before the cake is done. In this case, I wound up cutting off the edges of the cake before I toasted it. The texture and taste of this cake were excellent, but I think I may have to replace my loaf pans...

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                            Before you toss those pans try using them on a cookie sheet.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                              But it's the sides as well as the bottoms that get over done and burned. And they do this weird thing -- they batter forms a ridge on the side. I always use Magic Cake Strips for my regular cakes, and this would probably solve this problem too, except the strips are too narrow. I never need that much of an excuse to go pan shopping!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Some friends are coming to dinner tonight, and for dessert I made Malgieri's blueberry crumble pie, but with a lattice, and using my own crust recipe. It's cooling on the counter and it looks delightful! I'll offer the last of my Jeni's peach ice cream, or perhaps store bought vanilla since there is not enough peach for everyone.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                              What time? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Been super busy as of late, and haven't had much time for play-baking. For some reason, the birthday cake of choice has been carrot cake this week. I've baked carrot cake in some form or another like 3 times... So in honor of that, and the fact that I had leftover ingredients (carrots and pineapple), i decided to begin on a carrot cake cookie. reviews are positive, but i want them to be crispy throughout. it's gonna be damn near impossible to cut out moisture, unless i nix the egg, so i fear it's just gonna be a super long bake time, but i think i'm gonna give it one more shot this week to see what happens if i reduce or kill the egg.

                                                                                                                                                                              friday, i made a variation on the Recchiuti caramel custards featured on Chow. i tweaked a little myself, and skipped the milk chocolate, but mixed in white chocolate to a few of them.

                                                                                                                                                                              had friends over last night, and made popovers with dinner. and every time i make popovers, i think, 'why don't i make popovers more often? i like making them!' served a white chocolate cake with key lime custard for dessert. was good, but the weather had me wishing i'd made key lime gelato or served grilled peaches with a vanilla bean creme fraiche... stupid heat.

                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm not much of a fan of white chocolate, but man, that key lime custard sounds awesome. Can you share a recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                  would be my pleasure... but do you mean caramel custard or key lime gelato? ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                    " served a white chocolate cake with key lime custard for dessert."

                                                                                                                                                                                    Above is the quote from your post. I meant the key lime custard, but was that a typo?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                      no... it wasn't... i was very tired last night. i will post the key lime custard tomorrow. i have to transcribe what i did from my kitchen scratch :) sorry... long week.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                  I wonder if you could roast/dry the carrots and pineapple in the oven before making the cookies?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                    thanks... in that case, i could just use freeze-dried pineapple for flavor, but that sucks up moisture. i'm gonna try them tomorrow with no egg... will report back :) the carrots don't create moisture themselves, but we'll see...

                                                                                                                                                                                3. Happy Birthday Buttertart. Hope you have a wonderful day.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Please let us know how that Sicilian Pistachio Cake turns out. We need pictures too.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I found some rather dubious cherries in the fridge, so i made a cherry crumb cake. I was a bit worried because of the fairly low fat content. But it actually turned out pretty well, although the crumb part was too dry (which just mean that it didn't stay on, and I had to eat the bits that fell off).

                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                      That was the right thing to do :)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                        Well it would have been a waste, really ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                          Absolutely. Waste not, want not.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Peach cobbler for cinnamon lovers. In a recent peach cobbler thread, there was a link to a recipe that I thought had an inspired concept: the biscuit topping was a pinwheel filled with brown sugar and cinnamon, along with some candied ginger - like a cinnamon roll. I didn't exactly use that recipe (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...), but riffed on/adapted it, making not pinwheels but biscuits folded around the sugar and plenty of cinnamon and candied ginger, and adding the scraped insides of a vanilla bean and a good slosh of crème de pêche liqueur to the peach filling. I was quite pleased with the results.

                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                        That looks very tasty Caitlin! I love peach cobbler. I had no idea there even was creme de peche liqueur... only peach schnappes ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                          It's sweet, like crème de cassis. I love a bit of it in a cold glass of dry rosé in the summertime - a twist on the kir. But it's also good for baking with peaches or nectarines.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ooh.. I love a kir. Thanks for the tip Caitlin!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                              well that is just the best thing I've read on CH all day! Will keep an eye out before summer slips away...

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Just finished my last bit of baking for a friend's engagement party tomorrow. I wanted to make a variety of small squares, so I made:
                                                                                                                                                                                          -Raspberry breakfast bars (really raspberry crumb bars)
                                                                                                                                                                                          -Browned butter cherry bars
                                                                                                                                                                                          -White chocolate coconut "brownies"
                                                                                                                                                                                          -Nigella's brownies.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Phew! I made half batches of most, and cut them into tiny pieces...
                                                                                                                                                                                          But I am now out of eggs, and low on butter and flour!

                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                            You're a good friend. Those all sound wonderful, and I hope you can now enjoy the party!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks.. I'm glad all that's done... and also that I will be out tonight, so no chance of me thinking "ooh, i should make one more thing..."!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                              ooh, browned butter cherry bars? That sounds amazing! I'd love the recipe, if you have a chance.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: modthyrth

                                                                                                                                                                                                It is! It's an adaptation of a Bon Appetit tart which is also truly amazing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Here are both the adaptation and the original... very easy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/0...
                                                                                                                                                                                                and
                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                                                                                                                                                                                                Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. I made a half batch of Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies last night, but I have to say they didn't do it for me the way they used to. I used shortening, which is the way my mom always made them, but I have a feeling the new trans-fat-free formulation of Crisco is why they're different than they used to be. So, now I'm on the hunt for a new "house" chocolate chip cookie recipe. Suggestions welcome - I like soft and chewy. Flat and crisp have no place in my kitchen! Not a huge fan of cakey, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                My favorite is still Toll House made with unsalted butter. It's just the right flavor and texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                We stopped at a little discount grocer somewhere on Hwy 78 in SC yesterday coming home from Charleston. The grocer was giving away bunches of overripe bananas, so I took a half dozen, and made my Kona Inn banana bread last night, with the addition of the last of a bag of mini chocolate chips. After spending three days eating at restaurants, the banana bread made a perfect dinner (with a little PB smeared on).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                                                                                                                  yep, I've always made them with unsalted butter. They do end up crispy once they are cool though. If you wanted to use the shortening method, I'd use lard instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I have bread dough in the fridge from yday have to rassle out and bake tonight, and I made my cake (with CA pistachios). Pics of it to follow (haven't cut into it yet, want a pic of the inside.) It was very nice to be puttering around my kitcen, even after my Adventure (a week of food and frolic in the Bay Area and hinterlands with dear friends.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds like a fab week Buttertart! Looking forward to the pictures...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I really want to see what it looks like -- inside and out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here it is, and there's only half left now, with the rest having us around it with the exception of 1 pc which I gave to my pal at work (eliciting a one-word email, in 24-point caps, highlighted: YUM!!!). It is absolutely terrific.

                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Looks great buttertart! Did you go with Rose's pistachio cake?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes I did, but with California pistachios. I don't see how it could be better, it's utterly wonderful.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, gembellina!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That is beautiful - and happy birthday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Baking for the first time in my new (rented) kitchen with my ridiculously old-fashioned oven, and my shiny new silicome bakeware. What's Canadian for "disaster"? Hummingbird bakery chocolate cupcakes came out with a wonderfully delicate crumb but stuck like buggery to the sodding cake cups. So I repurposed the chunks as cake pops, I'm sure someone at work will eat them even if they're far too sweet for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then I made southern strawberry cake and the heavy metal tin cooked them a bit too dark. It's a fabulous cake though, and I'm sure it will be even better when I make the strawberry-cream cheese frosting. Recipe here if anyone has collapsing strawberries to use up: http://lookimadethat.com/2011/09/26/s...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not a huge fan of siilicone pans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Me neither. I had a couple, and I wound up pitching them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I always had problems getting cake out of them, which I suspect defeats the purpose...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                              You still have to grease them, and they're all floppy, so what's the point? (RLB suggests a silicone cake pan just a bit bigger than your springform to waterproof it -- since the foil wrap never cuts it, in my experience -- that struck me as an excellent suggestion.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hm.. yes, that is the only good use of silicone pans I have heard of!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now that is a good idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Clever! I only use mine for bar cookies and candies like caramels. They're absolutely brilliant for those purposes! Cakes and general cooking, not so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have great luck with my silicone heart-shaped baking cups. They're from Wilton (not sure if that's the difference). I butter them and my muffins pop right out. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. OK so I'm fairly new to posting in homecooking.. but I think I am allowed to post a link directly to a recipe... I am very into baking/cooking with seasonal ingredients so I am loving this recipe since it can really be adapted to whatever is in season, blueberries, plums, peaches, pears, apples etc... with any nut combo (almond, walnut, macadamia) http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I made the plum/almond one twice in August, with the following changes: replaced 1/2 cup of the flour with 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and reduced the sugar in the cake recipe to 3/4 cup (it was plenty sweet enough, especially with the topping). I didn't have any almond extract so I threw in a splash of kirschwasser as per one of the reviews. I also baked it in a 10 inch springform pan (what I had) for 40 minutes. It's a really nicely presented, slightly healthy 'cake'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rakeypakey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Looks very pretty, and great for summer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rakeypakey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That looks beautiful, and it's great to hear from a new baker here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ii second that emotion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Trying a new recipe- fig tart with lemon mascarpone and cornmeal rosemary crust. I made it but haven't eaten yet as I am too full from dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I got my new Verona ( Electrolux assistent/DLX) mixer this week so I've been trying it out. Love love love this mixer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yesterday I baked Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls and today I baked some hamburger buns, both came out great. First time I'd made this burger bun recipe from Gourmet magazine. They are wonderful and I'm sure I'll make them again. I had a pulled pork sandwich on one for lunch yumm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm jealous. Homemade buns is/are on my self-assigned list of development opportunities. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm jealous because I want an Assistent. Dang 87 KA refuses to give up the ghost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Older KAs live forever, I think. I didn't know what an Assistent was, but now I have something new to covet. GEEZ, this is a gorgeous looking piece of equipment! SIGH!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/The-Verona%C2%A...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That is one "Magic Mill" indeed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This site ( I bought mine from them) has even better pics and info on the mixer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/elec...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Evil temptress! I even like the heart-shaped ladle-like thingy they show. Serious biz, that is impressive. Thank you for making the introduction. Many happy baking adventures await you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ETA: Maybe I hafta work harder on selling my KA to my work husband. HA HA!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have had the assistent for about 8 years. I love it too, and I particularly love the way you can easily add ingredients. When I first got it, I sent the old KitchenAid down to the basement, and then I realized that the Assistent is not as good for cakes and cookies since it doesn't have a paddle for mixing. I have the bowl that fits inside with the two beater blades, but I tend not to use that bowl. I agree that it can't be beat for bread, and it will make an absolutely huge recipe, and I am even able to double some recipes that I used to have to make twice when we have big parties. My husband bought the grinding attachment and he is in love with it. For years, he would use the KA attachment to make sausages and grind meat, but after buying the attachment for the Assistent, he said that the KA was like a toy. I would really love to hear your experience with the Assistent when it comes to making cakes and cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I use the whisk of my KA for pretty much everything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. i've been on a baking spree lately! I made banana cake with pina colada mix to help flavor it, and a vanilla, coconut frosting. Then grandmas brand molasses crinkle cookies, banana oatmeal cookies, and today I made oatmeal, sunflower, coconut cookies! Super yummy!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh that cake sounds incredible!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Thank you!:))

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8662...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            New month, new thread! Come on over...