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What are you baking these days? October 2012, part deux [old]

Hi everybody, I have family coming for a few days this week, and so today I made:
- The dough for Alice Medrich's coffee walnut shortbread from Chewy Gooey etc, now residing in waxed paper jammed into an aluminum foil box, because I thought they'd be good as square cookies (I'll top them with a walnut half, not the coffee beans called for, because I think Major Dickason's beans would be a bit overwhelming). To be baked by Wednesday night.
- NM's supernatural brownies, chewy variation with half oil and half butter, and 1/4 c cocoa with flour making up the flour called for. I only ever bake these for 25 mins, and my oven thermostat is pretty accurate -- if you make the recipe, do you bake them for 45 mins as instructed?
- potato bread dough is rising, to be made into pan loaves...
Had guests over for dinner last night, and made Alice Medrich's baked chocolate mousses from "Bittersweet" for dessert, flavored with Grand Marnier and served with whipped cream. I was half in the bag by the time I got around to making them, and even under those circs they were dead easy and superb. New last-minute fancy dessert staple...

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  1. The idea of making the coffee-walnut shortbread came from our own Caitlin McGrath's recommendation. Thanks for pointing them out!

    1 Reply
    1. Mousse -- "Warm Bittersweet Mousse", "Bittersweet", p. 168 Oven at 325 deg F

      6 oz bittersweet or semisweet choc (I used min 52% cacao French Nestlé cooking choc, I have a friend there who swaps me for an equal weight of chocolate chips) chopped and melted in
      1/2 c heavy cream (you can use 1/4 c coffee, milk, or water instead, but I wanted to attenuate the chocolate a bit because a friend is not crazy about really bittersweet choc desserts).

      I did this over direct heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, but you are supposed to melt it over hot water in a heatproof bowl. Heated the cream, banged in the choc, stirred until melted over low heat.

      3 large eggs (supposed to be room temp but mine were straight from the fridge) beaten with 3 tb sugar for about 5 mins with the balloon whisk on my KA mixer, until the consistency of creme Chantilly.
      Added 1/2 tsp salt and about 1 1/2 tb of Grand Marnier to this.

      Fold 1/4 of the eggs into the choc, then 1/2 of the remaining eggs, then the rest (keeping it as aereated as possible).
      Pour into 6-8 6-oz ramequins (I used my 6 Evesham ones that were a wedding gift years ago, and had to use an ovenproof coffee cup for the overflow). You can fill them pretty much to the rim.

      Put them in larger baking pan, put it on the oven shelf, and pour boiling water into it to about halfway up the sides of the ramequins.
      Bake for about 16 minutes, until the interior temp is 155 deg F (for egg safety) or until they are nicely risen and domed (if you're half in the bag while doing them and throwing caution to the winds).

      Let cool 10 mins or more in the water in the roasting pan -- the ones I made cooled for about an hour, and were brilliant with lightly-sweetened creme Chantilly flavored with another tb or so of GM.
      Super duper, super easy.

      11 Replies
      1. re: buttertart

        Just had to try apple pie in a paper bag. Found some norther spy, pippin and russet which I mixed into my usual macs.

        1. re: geminigirl

          Isn't it neat, how it browns so well in the bag?

          1. re: blue room

            I didn't like not being able to peek, but it came out perfectly!

          2. re: buttertart

            Make this mousse recipe, you will love it.

            1. re: buttertart

              Yummmm. That would be great with coffee as the liquid..

              1. re: rstuart

                Here they are, straight out of the oven. On messy kitchen counter.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      Thank you. These look great! I always forget about mousse--and it's a great company dessert.

                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                        Dead easy too. Nicest at room temp or warm.

                1. please let us know how the shortbread turns out..

                  Been out of town for quite a while, so when I return, I have some things that are on the short, must-do list...
                  1. Birthday cake for good friend - is going to be an engineered cake; pretty sure a chocolate cake for most of it. somewhere will include a layer of brownies... even though she loves my (dairy-free) cheesecake, it won't make it in, as it can't sit out over night.
                  2. a bunch of breads as a thank you for a friend - still deciding which ones, but pretty sure a crusty boule, ciabatta, brioche, maybe a sourdough loaf/baguette... i'll take suggestions for other forms.

                  other sweets on the list:
                  cheese kuchen
                  cantonese egg tarts
                  roasted cherry frangipane tarts
                  white chocolate gooey smores bars
                  salted sugar oreo truffle surprise cookies
                  ...can't wait to be back in my kitchen!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Emme

                    Your mentioning brioche made me think that you should post your brioche recipe for Buttertart. She's been meaning to make a "Brioche aux fruits" for a long time :)

                    1. re: souschef

                      yes, Emme, please do post your brioche recipe for us. TIA

                      1. re: Cynsa

                        will do. just got home from being away...

                      2. re: souschef

                        The pan gives me a look every time I open the cupboard where it lives.
                        What's a dairy-free cheesecake?

                        1. re: buttertart

                          i use dairy free cream cheese and dairy free sour cream... and earth balance in the crust. it's stellar :)

                    2. While looking up something else in the 1997 ed. Joy of Cooking, I happened on a recipe for coffee snaps, buttery icebox cookies flavored with instant espresso powder dissolved in Kahlua, plus a smidge of cinnamon. Instead of Kahlua, I used my homemade spiced coffee liqueur, figuring that would work well with the cinnamon. The coffee flavor (as well as the hint of spice from the liqueur) was more apparent in the dough than in the baked cookies, which are more buttery than coffee-y. Not that there's anything wrong with buttery! I just wanted more coffee flavor. Ah well, I know they'll be snapped up by my fellow meeting-goers tomorrow.

                      P.S. buttertart, I made the coffee walnut cookies square, too, and also skipped the coffee bean on top (though I didn't sub anything). I hope you and your mister enjoy them.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                        Thanks, I'm sure we shall, and others of his coffee-crazed family will too!

                      2. Still testing those vegan recipes over here! Had one nice success and one massive fail today! Chocolate Chip Muffins were very good - honestly, aside from a chewier texture, they don't taste overly healthy and ridiculous. The blueberry drop biscuits weren't horrible tasting, but I certainly wouldn't make them again. I had to adjust and note the liquid amount, I ended up having to double the liquid. Her recipe called for 1/3c of almond milk and I ended up needing about 2/3c.

                        I will definitely keep the chocolate chip muffin recipe around for future use if I ever find myself in a situation of having to bring an egg, nut, dairy free treat somewhere.

                        1. Back from vacation and baking again.. I brought back some "manjar" (what Chileans call dulce de leche), so I'm going to have to try to bake with that.. I bet that it would be nice in banana bread..
                          Just tried Melissa Clarke's Fudgy coconut brownies for a meeting on Wednesday. It's supposed to be really fudgy and damp, and I'm worried that I overbaked it. Hope that it isn't too dry..

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: rstuart

                            OK, I "sampled" a piece and can confirm that it is rich and fudgy.. very moist. Somehow half a row is gone.. how did that happen??

                            1. re: rstuart

                              Fudgy?Coconut? YUM, sounds incredible.

                              1. re: tiffeecanoe

                                It was! It got very high reviews in the COTM thread. I'd never baked with coconut oil before, but I do like the taste..

                              2. re: rstuart

                                My dad could never figure out why everything my mom baked had a corner out of it, seemingly straight out of the oven :)

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      I find that the chocolate smeared on my face tends to be a dead giveaway...

                            2. Not a lot of time to bake right now as I am job hunting/apartment hunting/packing to move and working full time, but I taught my sister how to make biscuits tonight. We had them with oven-fried chicken and gravy.

                              My last day at work is Friday, and I leave for my new home town next week (tuesday?) for interviews/apartment stuff, but once settled I'm sure I'll be baking lots and have more to share!

                              1. having just got home from being away for quite a while, i decided to give myself a break and do a very straightforward Pain de Campagne for my first bread back. the pate fermentee is currently... fermenting. i am trying to decide what shape i want to make it, but can't wait to bake it off tomorrow and hand it off to my friend, as the first of my 'thank you' breads.

                                1. Gearing up for a 9 day vacation to Myrtle Beach to visit family and enjoy the last little bit of warmth before winter kicks in here in Southwest PA. So not baking anything till we get to Myrtle Beach, I do plan to make the dry mix of my favorite CC cookies and bring that along with the tri mix of CC to bring on the airplane then all me and my niece needs to do is get butter, sugar and eggs and whip up the cookies to sell at a MB Humane Society event, as my niece wants to do something to help out her local shelter like I do up here. And I need to make if its possible there to make my mom a birthday cake while I'm down there in MB with her. Then after we come home on November first Its planning for Thanksgiving and maybe some side baking and more cookies for humane society events to sell for them, I have a party I need to make something for and want to make some kind of bar dessert or cheesecake bars as everyone loves cheesecake, right? But anyone have ideas, want to do something just not plain cheesecake.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: LEsherick2007

                                    re the cheesecake - maybe a pumpkin cheesecake for fall? maybe with some salted candied pecans for garnish?

                                    1. re: LEsherick2007

                                      Try a crust of half graham cracker crumbs, half ground pistachios, and some ground cardamom. If you like a hit of salt, add some. This crust really adds an interesting dimension--and it would be great with the pumpkin cheesecake Emme suggests (or a sweet potato cheesecake).

                                    2. I lurk on this thread alot, but admit I don't post very much, as only have been baking rarely this summer... things are ramping up with the cool weather coming on. First couple loaves of bread behind us, pate fermenting for a new batch right now.

                                      But, what I really wanted to share was this wonderful Pumpkin spice cake I made last night! I used the following recipe as a guideline, but made a number of changes/adaptations to what I had on hand, and what I wanted the flavor profile to turn out like.

                                      I was seeking a moist, deeply flavored cake - not too sweet, and healthy enough we wouldn't feel guilty eating it for breakfast or a snack. I like a fairly strong spice profile, and the depth of molasses - but don't want it to taste treacle-y, or for those elements to hide the pumpkin flavor. Also, for a bright note, I decided to add some unsweetened dried cranberries, and because I love it so, some minced crystalized ginger.

                                      I have to say, this cake is EXACTLY what I was hoping for! A total keeper. Crumb is dense without being heavy, flavor warm and spicy, but you can taste and smell the pumpkin, and the cranberries and ginger add just the right finish.


                                      My changes:
                                      No wheat bran in the house, so ground a cup of oatmeal for 'oat bran' instead - worked great.

                                      shy on Canola oil, so added a 1/3 C of 'lighter bake' to make up the difference -which is basically pureed prunes - thought it to be in keeping with this type of recipe anyway.

                                      Added 3 tbsp. molasses when I added oil/lighter bake.

                                      Doubled the cloves and ginger

                                      added 3/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries, soaked in boiling water for 10 min. to soften and 3 Tbsp. crystallized ginger, minced fine - these folded in at the end.

                                      I think the magic stroke was simply the very small amount of molasses, and the 'Lighter bake' I found in the cupboard to use (gift from a friend that has been sitting there for over a year) - simply because I didn't want to run to the store for more oil.... I think the pureed prune mixture added a depth and more moisture than simply oil ever could have, and it blended right into the flavor profile here perfectly. Will have to experiment with simply cooking and pureeing prunes, and see if I can get the same effect.

                                      I posted about this cake on WFD thread, before we had tasted it. Had intended to put a maple glaze on it, but after trying, didn't think it needed it. Certainly, with the amped up spices, I wouldn't put on the original chocolate glaze in the recipe at least.

                                      Curious if someone else makes this and what you think - all you talented bakers out there!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                        Yum! Looks great!! I've never heard of "lighter bake" though.. what is it?
                                        So you didn't make the chocolate glaze, and skipped the nuts/chocolate?

                                        1. re: rstuart

                                          Here is a link to 'lighter bake' http://www.google.com/search?q=lighte....
                                          A baker friend gave me some that the company had given her samples of to try, so she passed some on to me, and it just sat there for a year. Worked great. Ingredients say it is a puree of apples and prunes, with pectin and a stabilizer added.
                                          I did skip the nuts, though will add pecans next time - they would be welcome. I just didn't want to go to the store in the rain, I just wanted to bake this time!
                                          And yes, no chocolate glaze - SO not needed with the extra spices, etc. I added. If you did the original recipe and put in the chips, then choc. glaze would echo that, of course. For my version, not so much:)

                                        2. re: gingershelley

                                          looks yummy! i wonder how wheat germ would be in there. i know it's not connected to wheat bran at all, but i love the taste that toasted wheat germ imparts...

                                          1. re: Emme

                                            If my ground up oatmeal worked as well as it did, I bet wheat germ would be equal or better here for that deep taste.....

                                        3. Maple poached apple cheesecake with brown butter walnut oatmeal cookie crust.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: hannah

                                            any way you'd be willing to post a recipe or link? sounds interesting!

                                            1. re: Emme

                                              Hannah's apple maple Cheesecake recipe

                                              Preheat oven to 325

                                              1 cup walnuts toasted
                                              1.5 to 2 cups of graham/oatmeal cookie crumbs
                                              1 stick of melted brown butter (maybe a little more...depends on how much oil the almonds release)
                                              1/2 tsp maple extract
                                              1tsp maple syrup
                                              small pinch of salt

                                              3 8oz contains of reduced fat cream cheese (neufatchel sp) room temperature
                                              1 pint 2 % greek yogurt
                                              4 large eggs room temperature
                                              1 cup fine sugar
                                              ¼ cup maple syrup (real)
                                              1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
                                              1/2 tsp maple extract
                                              1/2 tsp vanilla extract

                                              Apple topping
                                              1-2 pounds granny smith apples
                                              3 cups apple cider
                                              2-3 thyme sprigs
                                              1/2 cup brown sugar
                                              ½ cup maple syrup
                                              1 tsp vanilla
                                              1 star anise
                                              2 cinnamon sticks
                                              1 lemon peal strip
                                              1 tsp maple extract
                                              ½ cup brandy
                                              pinch of salt

                                              For Crust
                                              place nuts in the food processor and blend until finely ground. Add graham cracker crumbs and blend until combined. Place graham mixture in a bowl. Add almond extract and salt. Pour melted butter in graham mixture and combine. Place mixture into 9" spring form pan. Using a cup evenly spread mixture getting crust a 1/2 to 1 inch up the sides pan. Bake crust in oven for 5 minutes. Remove and place in freezer until cream cheese mixture is ready.

                                              Cream together the sugar and cream cheese and until smooth. Add the eggs one at time making sure each is incorporated. Add the yogurt, vanilla, almond extract and lemon until combined and smooth. Make sure the filling is mixed well but do not over mix. Pour cream cheese mixture into spring form. Wrap the bottom of the pan in tin foil tightly. Place pan in roasting pan and fill half way up the pan with warm water. Bake for 1 hours to 1 hour and 15 minutes (mixture should be set on top and still jiggly towards the center. Turn the oven off and leaving the door ajar keep the cheesecake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. Remove cheesecake from the water bath and allow to cool completely before chilling in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

                                              Apple topping
                                              Combine all the ingredients except the apples. Peal and half the apples coring the middle. Place the apples in the poaching liquid and bring to a boil (should be in the hot liquid for about 25-30 minutes). Turn the heat off and let the apples cool in the liquid. Refridgerate overnight.

                                              To assemble the cheesecake slice apples thinly and decorate cake. Reduce some of the liquid into a syrup and cool drizzling over the cake.

                                          2. Irish muffin bread -- KAF's English muffin toasting bread made with Guinness instead of water.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                              Ooh! A whole wheat like that would be nice too.

                                            2. Recipe tested vegan pumpkin cupcakes with super sugary cinnamon frosting! They were.... GOOD! Wow, so far, the best vegan item I've made from the testing project so far. I couldn't even tell they were fat free. Loaded with sugar, but pretty delicious. I didn't love the cinnamon frosting, a bit too sweet for me, but finally, a solid success - I was waiting for a recipe that I would truly make again. The chocolate chip muffins I made earlier this week were pretty good like I posted, but their texture was clearly the result of a lack of good oily stuff ;) The texture of these cupcakes didn't seem to be much different than than of a full fat pumpkin cupcake/muffin.

                                              1. I won't be around as much as usual until Sunday, family visitors are here! Carry on amongst yourselves. I'll be thinking aboutcha!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. need to bake for another meeting. I was considering either a pumpkin struesel cake or "pumpkin pie bars". THe bars do look easier and quicker... and it's been one of those days/weeks!

                                                  1. I have egyptian house guests arriving tomorrow, and I have found that, without exception, Egyptians adore chocolate chip cookies, so I made a big batch. I was also out of white bread, so I made a preferment yesterday and baked a couple of loaves today.

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                      Hmmm... is there a nationality that does not adore chocolate chip cookies? Isn't it some sort of universal thing?

                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                        Yes, but strangely, chocolate chip cookies are not my son's favorites. He prefers various kinds of sablé, particularly punitons. He had the ones from Poilane when we were in Paris when he was younger, and became instantly addicted. I'm not a big fan of making cookie cutter cookies, so I don't bake them a lot.

                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                          Hmm.. yes. Sablés wouldn't be my first choice over chocolate chip cookies (although I do like them too...)

                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                            You know, I always just make various kinds of sables as icebox cookies, so they only need to be sliced and baked. Easy-peasy, and it works perfectly for that kind of dough. I would make them a lot less frequently if I were rolling and cutting them out, too!

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                              THat's the only way that I've ever made them either..

                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                My problem with ice box cookies is that they always seem to get somewhat misshapen. They don't stay completely round, and when I slice them, I find it's hard to slice them evenly. I'll take anyone's tips on improving this. I actually saved a paper towel cardboard roll since I saw something that buttertart wrote about putting ice box cookies in there after rolling them.

                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  That cardboard tube trick really works well (as illustrated here: http://www.chow.com/videos/show/chow-...). I always put the dough in the freezer, even if I'm going to bake it the same day, and then let thaw just enough to slice well, so it's firmer than if it were in the fridge. Another tip is to roll the log each time or two you slice, so the knife's pressure doesn't flatten it too much.

                                                                  I'm going to share my secret with you, though: I like to make square icebox cookies because if you square off the sides of the log, then they're supposed to be flat and you don't have to worry about it. I don't do that all the time, but I find it's the easiest way.

                                                      2. At the moment I have pumpkin muffins in the oven. I found I had forgotten to add the vanilla as I was tidying up. The recipe wanted pumpkin seeds on top. I know I have some somewhere but could not find them. I used large crystal of Billington's raw sugar for a bit of crunch. They also have toasted pecans and raisins in them. They just came out of the oven and look and smell good. Have to see how they taste.

                                                        1. Great idea on the aluminum foil box. Might have to steal it.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                            Use the smallest one you can find, the cookies expand a bit. I like a small cookie, however.

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              But you do eat lots of them, right? :)

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                I love small cookies. Then people can choose many different ones. Course, PITA to make!

                                                            2. Anyone here ever make sbrisolona? I had one as a special at a favorite bakery once and it was great. I have found some recipes but haven't made them yet.....

                                                              1. I made a chocolate birthday cake this week. It needed to be dairy-free, so I made the German chocolate cake from Rose's Heavenly Cakes as the base. I cooked up a coconut cream / brown sugar dulce de leche-ish concoction which became the filling. I made an almond milk based chocolate ganache for the frosting. I added some extra fat in the form of earth balance shortening. It took a long time to firm up, but ended up good.

                                                                The cake was well received. Quite good for no butter or cream. The birthday girl was pleased.

                                                                1. Made a big dinner on Saturday night, and the junior member of our party wanted the Japanese cheesecake that I've made several times at the family manse, so I went with that for dessert.
                                                                  Instead of using any milk, I used 1/4 c + 2 tb lemon juice and the grated rind of 2 small lemons. Also added about a tsp of vanilla. It was still a bit warm when we ate it and was one of the most lemony desserts I ever ate. Had the little bit that was left over late last night, cold from the fridge, with some of the frozen sour cherries. The lemon was less apparent but it was still excellent.
                                                                  The last of the brownies and a loaf of the potato bread went back to the old homestead with our guests.
                                                                  Since I was plumb out, I also made some white whole wheat bread yesterday based on the potato bread, which was slow to rise and I baked it before it was fully proofed, because if I had to be up one second after the end of Treme I was gonna croak. Dense but good, more peasanty.

                                                                  1. Wanting to bake something for a meeting, I ended up making these Blueberry Bonanza Bars, except with raspberry jam, because I had an unopened jar of it and everything else on hand, or close enough equivalents. Basically a crumb bar with an almond/coconut granola topping and some almonds in the crust. They're somewhat crumbly, but also quite tasty.

                                                                    Recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/336664/b...

                                                                    1. I miss baking, but all my stuff is packed up just waiting to move to the new house.

                                                                      1. OK so I usually make the cake every month for our work birthday celebration. I made a yellow layer cake(from Cake Ladies and also from Cooking in the South - same recipe by Johnnie Gabriel) It made 3 layers and they were not very tall. I brushed them with a simple syrup and iced the layers with a whipped chocolate frosting from Food.com - it involves making a chocolate pudding mixture and beating that into butter with melted chocolate and vanilla - very rich and creamy. I made rosettes on the top and will decorate with mini pumpkin candies.
                                                                        I am a little concerned that the cake layers are heavy since they are only about an inch tall. We are having the cake today so we wil see how it turned out. That is the problem with making a layer cake. You cannot test it ahead of time since you have to serve the whole thing.

                                                                        This past weekend I made the Lemon Loaf cake from Junior's Dessert cookbook. It was good but a bit heavy and dense. I have made a couple of other lemon pound cakes that I prefer over this one but I wanted to try a recipe from that book before returning it to the library.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: nadiam1000

                                                                          I make a lot of cakes from Nick Malgeri's books, and I find that the 9" layers are very thin. I now bake the layers in 8" pans when his recipes call for 9". I once asked him about this on Facebook, and his reply was that he preferred a more European style cake with a flatter profile. Maybe your cakes are in this style too.

                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                            Roxlet, that is an interesting comment about the layers from Nick. I have most of his books and years ago i went to a baking demo with him which was very good. I will have to look at his cake book and see what his yellow cake recipe is like. I have a recipe from a bakery I used to work at and it is my standard usually. Also, instead of dividing the batter into 3 layers I could make 2 and then just cut them in half.
                                                                            The cake turned out very good - the layers were a bit heavy, leaning towards a moist pound cake texture and there was nary a crumb left so it was well received.

                                                                            Fuuny thing is that I will be moving in a couple of months(or once we sell our house) and the VP asked me when I was moving to California. I told him, thinking he would say, we will be sorry to lose you or something to that effect. He said, oh good, we still have a few birthday months left and the holidays coming up. Nice to know my baking will be missed, at least : )

                                                                        2. Had an order for a vanilla cookie dough cake... so i'm doing a vanilla bean chiffon cake with a brown sugar "cookie dough" buttercream studded with cookie dough bits... hope the kid likes it! it's going to be a lot of work and sculpting, as it's a league of legends theme, and the main cake is one of the characters... lots of work ahead...

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Emme

                                                                            Emme, what is a cookie dough buttercream and how do you make it? It sounds interesting. I have not done any sculpted cakes, it looks like a lot of work. I usually stick with layer cakes but maybe I should branch out and try something new.

                                                                            1. re: Emme

                                                                              Yes, that would be great if you could share your recipe.. or a similar one, if it is a secret. I have always wanted to try to make a cookie cake.

                                                                            2. I made mille-feuille, with homemade puff pastry and pastry cream. Glad I've still got a pound of the puff pastry in the freezer to do something else with.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: pavlova


                                                                                Check these out. Unless you are a diehard pâte feuilletée classique maker, this method will revolutionize your baking.

                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                  Thanks. :) I do sometimes make rough puff and love it, but this was for a Daring Bakers' challenge, so I thought I'd go whole hog. It's really not hard, you just have to be around to pull it out of the fridge every half hour or so. And I only did 4 turns as I didn't want too much puff (is there any such thing?) for the mille-feuille.

                                                                                  1. re: pavlova

                                                                                    Try this sometime, it's much better than any rough puff I've ever made.

                                                                              2. Made this rhubarb crumb cake, but with grated apples. It's great with rhubarb if you haven't tried it yet, so I'm hoping the apple version turnes out good as well. Preparing for the storm, so if we lose power, we will have some crumb cake to get us through.....


                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                  Oh lord, that cake is GOOD. I actually just ran into a colleague this week who ate it when I made it about 2 years ago.. she remembered it, and asked for the recipe!

                                                                                2. Buttermilk biscuits, to go with dinner. I'm trying to use up stuff in the fridge (and biscuits are never a bad addition!)

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                    I love biscuits and made some myself yesterday to go with bacon and eggs. Recipe from Southern Plate - daddy's rise and shine biscuits - I kneaded them and rolled them out and they rise nice and high and have a flaky, but not dry. texture. We will be putting our house on the market shortly so I am trying to use up some pantry and freezer ingredients in my cooking and baking. That's my current challenge.Also, made Chocolate chip cookies for my son to take to a party and a Raspberry Banana Bread by Robin Miller, from her first book. One of my favorite banana bread recipes and it is made without any added fat.

                                                                                    1. re: nadiam1000

                                                                                      Make sure to bake something with cinnamon before you show your house. Supposedly, it's makes buyers more inclined to like your house. The power of positive baking!

                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                        roxlet - I like that! I think I read that, somewhere too. With al the baking I do, if it can help me sell my house, that would be fantastic. I have also heard that you can leave fresh baked cookies out. Maybe I should frezze some chocolate chip cookie dough balls so I can bake some at a moments notice : )

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                          That won't work with everyone. I avoid those places in shopping centers that specialize in cinnamon baked goods as I don't like the smell of cinnamon. That said, I know that I'm in the minority as most people do like the smell.

                                                                                          Just bake some (non-cinnamon) bread instead.

                                                                                        2. re: nadiam1000

                                                                                          Raspberry Banana bread sounds really good...

                                                                                      2. Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread. I followed the epicurious version that includes an option for cooking in a loaf pan, but found a conversion chart that said I could also cook in an 8x8 cake pan. I used a non-stick pan and greased/floured the heck out of it, based on some scary reviews about how it is prone to stick. It slipped out beautifully, no problems at all. It looks and smells AMAZING. (The batter tasted pretty awesome too.) Per recommendation, I made it yesterday for a dinner party today. But.... party now canceled due to the *^@$*&^$*#&$ hurricane and NYC's tendency to overreact. What to do? I'm a single girl with no self control, so eating "just a piece" is not an option. Can I freeze it? If so, how long will it stay?? So disappointed. :-(

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                          I would freeze it. I find that cakes like that freeze really well.. just wrap in a few layers of plastic wrap or tinfoil, put it in a ziploc bag, and bung it in the freezer.. there's no icing, right?

                                                                                          1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                            It freezes very well, in my experience. Should be fine for a few months, well wrapped.

                                                                                            1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                              Wonderful, thank you both so much! Nope, no icing. Just gorgeous, unadorned gingerbread. :-)

                                                                                              1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                I love that cake. A heavy-duty bundt pan is a must, in my experience. I was so scarred from my first experience using a thin one (it stuck horribly), I almost didn't try again.

                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                  I used a pretty heavy duty, non-stick 8x8 baking pan and it slipped out like a charm. Almost too well! It just fell out of the pan, and I almost dropped it!

                                                                                                  Turns out it doesn't matter whether the thing freezes or not though. It spent 1 day in the freezer before I lost power, so by yesterday evening it was a partially defrosted gingerbread cake. I couldn't bear to let it go to waste, so I took it to friends in thanks to them for letting me soak up their electricity and internet. I agree with all the reviews: this is a stellar cake. Incredibly delicious, especially with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream. Friends loved it as well. Definitely a keeper of a recipe.

                                                                                                  1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                    Sad to hear that you lost power but glad to hear that it was a hit!

                                                                                            2. Oatmeal pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips and dried cranberries, as a bribe for my staff.. I didn't have enough dried cranberries so I decided up use some white chocolate as well, which I think may have been a mistake.. too sweet.
                                                                                              They seem pretty good but I found that they took far longer to bake than the directions indicated.. I kept on having to put them back in the oven for a few minutes, which really cut into my viewing of "call the midwife".. even now I fear they may be on just the right side of cooked!

                                                                                              1. Finally made the devastatingly delicious Braker almond poundcake (tie me to the mast good) and some more potato bread, this time with 1/4 white whole wheat and a bit of OJ as counseled by King Arthur Flour as being good in ww bread (had an orange out of the fridge, thought what the hey). Storm provisions. Hope all stay warm and dry in the next few days.

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                  That Crystal Poundcake is great. I have a tin of pistachio paste, and I was thinking of trying it with pistachio rather than almond, of which I have none. Whaddaya think?

                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                    I made Hesser's with pistachio and had some problems, but I think it was using 2 three-cup bundts rather than an 8-cup. I may have used baking soda i/o baking powder too.

                                                                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    AH.. from Flo Braker's simple art of perfect baking? Or baking for all occasions?
                                                                                                    Either way. looks good.
                                                                                                    I love potato bread... maybe it's the irish in me? My mother makes potato rolls from the Bentley Farm cookbook that are addictive.. people beg her to make them every summer for BBQs..

                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                      From the simple art...so simple half of it's already disappeared.

                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                        Hmm.. I will have to look at my mother's copy when I visit her next!

                                                                                                  3. My son implored me to make some cookies, and since sablé are among his favorite cookie, I decided to make Carole Walter's Jan Hagels, which are essentially a sable pressed into a pan, painted with beaten egg white, covered with sliced almonds and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. This is a cookie you should only make when the end is near -- you will be tempted to inhale them. I made these last year around Christmas (they store up to 3 weeks in a covered container), and they basically didn't make it to the Christmas cookie tray.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                      I used to make Jan Hagels when I was a teenager - they were so good!

                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                        Those sound great---and like a ton of work!

                                                                                                      2. I baked up the rest of the scones I had in the freezer. I love having them ready to bake off, but I didn't want to lose them all when the power goes out. Cranberry-choc chip.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                          Chocolatechipkt, my son loves scones and these sound delicious. Any chance you could share the recipe? I have cranberries and chocolate chips so I may have to make these for him.

                                                                                                          1. re: nadiam1000

                                                                                                            Here you go. The recipe is for cream scones, and there was a chocolate chip variation, so I just added chocolate chips and dried cranberries.

                                                                                                            Sedona Cream Scones
                                                                                                            (from Carole Walter's Great Coffee Cakes)

                                                                                                            Makes 12 good-sized scones

                                                                                                            2 c cake flour
                                                                                                            1 1/3 c all-purpose flour
                                                                                                            6 Tbs granulated sugar
                                                                                                            4 1/2 tsp baking powder
                                                                                                            3/4 tsp salt
                                                                                                            1/2 c unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
                                                                                                            1 c + 2 Tbs heavy cream
                                                                                                            2 eggs (one will be separated)
                                                                                                            1/2 c chocolate chips (I like regular ones, though the recipe calls for mini)
                                                                                                            1/4 c dried cranberries
                                                                                                            1 Tbs sparkling sugar (or more granulated)

                                                                                                            Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

                                                                                                            In a large bowl, combine the flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, and use your fingers (or pastry blender) to mix the butter til the mixture is in pea-size pieces. (This could also be done, carefully, in a stand mixture)

                                                                                                            Mix together the cream, one egg, and one egg yolk (save the remaining white). Add this to the dry mixture, and blend til just combined.

                                                                                                            Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board/counter. Knead briefly (5-6 turns) and divide the dough in half. Form one half of the dough into a ball, flatten til it's about an inch thick (or so), and slice into six pieces. Repeat with the second half of the dough.

                                                                                                            [I like to freeze mine at this point, so I can bake them off whenever I want]

                                                                                                            Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and arrange the scones on top, giving them enough space apart. Quickly whisk the remaining egg white and brush it on top of the scones. Sprinkle them with the sparkling sugar, and then bake for 16 to 18 min.

                                                                                                            Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for 5 min. or so.

                                                                                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                              Chocolatechipkt, thank you very much for posting - they sound delicious. If I make them this weekend I will report back. I know my son would be very happy! I may try making them with dried cherries and chocolate chips : )

                                                                                                        2. I made two-inch pistachio-cardamom shortbreads (from Ottolenghi) and packed several into colorful mini Chinese takeout boxes for party favors for a big birthday bash for my mother last weekend.
                                                                                                          Also baked many dozens of mini ham-gruyere turnovers for the same event.

                                                                                                          Weekend houseguests were served larger versions of those turnovers at one breakfast and blueberry-cranberry muffins w/bits of ginger at another.

                                                                                                          And I made a mango cheesecake for the close of an Indian feast last week. It was a tweaked version of the recipe in "660 Curries." I made the (divine) pistachio-cardamom crust from the book, w/a standard cream cheese filling w/a hit of vanilla and a top layer of sweetened sour cream. I finished the cake by spreading mango puree over the top (instead of baking into the filling as the book suggests) and sprinkling it with pomegranate seeds. The whole thing was delicious, but that crust . . . I'll be using it and a graham cracker crumb variation again . . . and again.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                              Beautiful! I love the sound of those flavor combinations, including pistachio in the crust (I do the same in my key lime tart). Did the mango puree firm up on its own, or did you have to add gelatin or cook it down quite a bit?

                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                I just pureed some (frozen) pulp and poured it over before serving, CM, though I can imagine it would be nice as a firm layer--and really pretty. The crust was the best.

                                                                                                            2. Re Sandy: All ok except for very minimal damage to the house. We didn't even lose power. We were incredibly lucky and feel terrible about the destruction elsewhere (including communities spitting distance from here). Hope you are in good shape wherever you may be, do let us know as soon as you can.
                                                                                                              Off work again today, hmm...what can I bake? Maybe a pie. Lemon meringue appeals.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                Just let me go on the record now: I am VERY sorry - I didn't mean to make such a nasty storm. My husband is telling people not to mess with me now. Sandy.

                                                                                                                To be serious, I am so very glad you are O.K., buttertart, and I hope things turn out O.K. for everyone else, as well.....

                                                                                                                Nature can really be something else.

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                  So glad to hear you're ok, so sorry for some of your neighbors.

                                                                                                                  Bake away, Buttertart!

                                                                                                                2. Just baked some delicious milk chocolate chip cookies. I needed to make up something quick for a little event I have this week. I had a bag of milk chocolate chips from ALDI and followed the recipe on the bag and whoa - gotta say, quite delicious! I'd definitely follow that recipe again.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: tiffeecanoe

                                                                                                                    tiffeecanoe - I have those chocolate chips from ALDI and I will have to try that recipe. How did you like the quality of the chocolate from ALDI? Their prices are good.

                                                                                                                    1. re: nadiam1000

                                                                                                                      I thought they were more than fine! I don't bake much and my husband isn't a huge fan of bittersweet chocolate chips, so I just picked these up randomly, not even knowing what I was going to do with them. The recipe doesn't call for vanilla, that was my only addition. Oh, and I sprinkled some sea salt on before baking.

                                                                                                                  2. I made the salted caramel ding dong cake from this months Bon Appetit and it was excellent, from the cake to the ganache.

                                                                                                                    1. I am not much of a baker (except for cookies---cakes tend to get stale before we two can finish them), but I made a delicious crumb coffee cake before the storm. I followed KA's recipe http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe... and added toasted pecans. I halved the recipe and gave 1/4 to some friends to spread out the calories. I think the recipe was a hit---I got a very nice text message this morning praising my "Hurricaine Sandy coffee cake."

                                                                                                                      My only complaint with this recipe was that, for me at least, using melted butter in the topping meant that the crumbs were very fine, like sand, rather than chunky (I may have over-mixed). I made a rum-raisin apple-pear crisp recently that called for cold diced butter in the topping, and I much preferred that chunkier texture.

                                                                                                                      Photos of both, just for fun (apologies to my FB friends who've already seen these :) ).

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                        Both lovely--and I'd feel the same way about the toppings.

                                                                                                                      2. Mini pumpkin muffins and Chocolava cookies for the kids' school Halloween parties and for the office. I was reminded today that there was a request for Cinnamon buns and it's cold & snowy up here so that'll be my next project I think--along with the NYT Rhubarb Coffeecake posted somewhere above :)

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                          You are so very lucky that your school allows homemade treats and Halloween celebrations. That was ended by the grim fist here long ago.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                            When we lived in Calgary Halloween was not celebrated at the school my oldest daughter attended-the Principal was the one against it, not the Parent Council(the other two weren't school age yet) I'm glad their new schools allow it--sugar fueled Halloween parades are one of my fondest memories of grade school(it's not like the kids will be productive that day anyway heh).

                                                                                                                            I have another project on the backburner-- I attended a Craft Show this past weekend and there was a booth sampling warm chocolate pudding with vanilla sauce & cranberry shortbread. The vendor was trying to sell me on the idea of buying their products frozen and heat & serve. I've been making shortbread since I could see over the kitchen table. Does anyone out there have a tried & true baked chocolate pudding & vanilla sauce recipe?

                                                                                                                        2. Had to make something for Halloween:

                                                                                                                          3 Replies