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What are you baking these days? November 2012, part deux [OLD]

Hello again everybody, this is getting into the season that everybody is baking up a storm (sometimes during storms, or in preparation for storms...)
I have been wanting to try the nut cake from Maida Heatter's first book, but am planning to do it when there will be more than just the two of us to put ourselves around it.
So what are you planning and/or hotting up your oven for?

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  1. I recently made the Apple Dapple Cake from a recipeI found on CHOW. Growing up my mother made a really good apple cake, but the recipe was lost years ago. It's one of the first cakes I remember being able to bake all by myself when I was about 10 or 12 without needing any adult help or supervision. So there is a lot of sentimental value to my mom's apple cake (w/cream cheese icing). Over the years I've tried various apple cakes trying to replicate it with no luck. There were 2 things that stuck with me from the original recipe...it was an oil based cake and it could be made in a bowl with no mixer. So when I saw the recipe for the Apple Dapple Cake (which is a pretty silly name) and saw that it met those 2 criteria and the rest of the recipe seemed vaguely familiar I figured why not. The big difference was that this cake was baked in a tube pan and topped with caramel.

    The verdict? The cake recipe IS the same one I remember making as a child, it is my mother's apple cake. Instead of the caramel being semi-soft and gooey like a candy apple, it crystallized, which was probably due to bakers error on my part, but even slightly crystallized it still had that rich buttery, brown sugary goodness that really complimented the apple cake.

    The cake does not really need to be baked in a tube pan, a 9"x13" pan or even a 10" springform would work just as well. So glad to have this recipe back in my collection :-)

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      What a neat story. So glad it's returned to your home!

      1. re: DiningDiva

        Chocolate babka. This was my first time making it, and while my loaves turned out beautifully I am I little intimidated to convert the recipe to make mini loaves. Maybe you all could help, I am hoping to give them away to family members this holiday season, but how do you adjust baking time/tell doneness on a yeast bread like this? Instead of 2 large loaf pans, could I use 6 minis? http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      2. Tonight I'm doing a test-run of caramels. Also making the chocolate peppermint bark tonight. And then planning for the rest of my baking happening throughout the week (for cookie exchange on Sunday).

        1. I am not a frequent baker and have quite the love-hate relationship with baking but I'm constantly saving recipes for 'someday.' One such recipe which got stuck in my head about a month ago was Bienenstich/"Bee sting cake". I'd never heard of it before but for whatever reason I just had to make it.

          I will be making a pecan-pumpkin pie on Wednesday, for my father who loves pumpkin pie (I prefer pecan, which is where the compromise came in). I got ambitious yesterday and made the bienenstich and a test run of the pie in one day.

          Both came out fabulous. I really surprised myself. I used the Bee Sting's from this recipe: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe... The only modification I made was to replace the almonds with crushed walnuts (I'm on a walnut kick lately).

          For the pie I used this recipe for the filling: http://kidscooking.about.com/od/thank...

          I was positive I hadn't kept the crust cool enough or I'd overworked it, but it came out flaky as could be and delicious. In the past I've been atrocious at crust making ( I don't bake pie crust, I bake bricks). This recipe is a keeper: http://www.salad-in-a-jar.com/family-...

          I shared the pie around with family and coworkers, no complaints!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Tovflu

            Those Bee Sting things ae adorable! Can't wait to try them, thank you!

          2. May I join? I bake constantly. I have been a hobby cake baker for over 15 years so there is always something in my oven. Most recently I have put my decorated cakes on hold during the holiday season. This coming week, for Thanksgiving, I am baking a browned butter pecan pie, a bourbon chocolate pecan pie, and two sour cream apple pies for co-workers. Christmas is going to keep me busy for sure.

            Last week I made a pan of these for someone's birthday:

            http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Wh...

            I am not a huge fan of that combo (especially white chocolate-yuck) but dang these were good! Everyone at work flipped over them. The base for the blondie is so chewy and flavorful, so I am going to modify it for Christmas with chocolate chunks and toffee bits folded into the batter and a chocolate icing instead of cream cheese.

            2 Replies
              1. re: AnnieWilliams

                That looks great.. it almost looks like the starbucks cranberry bliss bars (which I have on the mind because I just made some using a different recipe!). In any case, despite have dozens of blondie recipes, and at least 4 for the cranberry bliss bars... I am still clipping this one. thanks for sharing!

              2. I've done so much baking this week because I'm currently in the thick of Thanksgiving potluck season (I'm a young twentysomething with lots of young twentysomething friends who kill for an opportunity for lots of free food and alcohol... hence, potlucks).

                I brought pumpkin pie squares (the Joy the Baker recipe) to a potluck Thursday night. Yesterday evening I made torta di mele to bring to a brunch this morning with friends of mine who I studied abroad in Italy with. And tonight my roommates and I hosted a potluck for which I baked individual pumpkin pies (made in a muffin tin). It was my first time messing with mini pies but it was really successful! They got all eaten up! I used Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" flaky pie crust and pumpkin pie filling recipes.

                Haven't decided what I'm baking for real Thanksgiving yet. I'm thinking either a pecan pie or a cheesecake. I also promised my boyfriend I'd bake us some scones or muffins for the train ride to my parents' house. Must decide what to make for that... I'm a bit maxed out on pumpkin things, so any suggestions for non-gourdy baked goods are welcomed!