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What are you baking these days? October 2013 edition! [Through 11/2/13]

Well, it's October in places I'd just as soon be already, so here we go. What falltastic autumnlicious treats are you conjuring up this month?

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  1. Just put a pan of biscoff apple blondies in the oven, we'll see how those go over as an after school treat.

    It's my youngest daughter's birthday (8) this week-end and she has requested individual apple "pies" made by cutting off the top of the apple, scooping out most of the middle and filling it up with butter, sugar, cinnamon and then a lattice of pastry on top before baking. I hope they are as good as she's expecting!

    5 Replies
    1. re: cheesymama

      Biscoff apple blondies?? Recipe???

      1. re: rstuart

        I made this recipe
        http://www.rachelcooks.com/2012/10/08...

        But I doubled it for a 9x13 pan, baked 35 min, but would only go 30 next time. I also left out the caramel chips and grated one huge apple (peeled) into the batter. Next time I will dice the apple. The grated apple just kind of disappeared into the blondies once baked, which is still good but I wanted bits of apple.

        1. re: cheesymama

          Thanks Cheesymama (and great name!). I do love the biscoff.. and this recipe looks good, with or without the apples!

      2. re: cheesymama

        I don't know if you were actually looking for a recipe for the individual apple pies, but this site might be helpful if you are http://paperplatesandchina.blogspot.c...

        1. re: zitronenmadchen

          Thanks! Every suggestion is appreciated.

      3. I've been experimenting with no-knead sourdough bread lately, and just sliced into a loaf that I made with about 1/3 rye flour last night. Flavor is good but the structure was lacking a bit - I think I overproofed it, but I also think that I'm just not getting enough gluten development with no-knead and sourdough starter (even though I added a bit of vital wheat gluten to this loaf to add structure). Still, it's tasty!

        1 Reply
        1. re: biondanonima

          I'm making sourdough this afternoon, because this summer when it was too hot to bake, I had the brilliant idea to make sourdough bread dough and freeze it rather than just throwing away the starter when it needed to be refreshed. Not sure if the stretch and fold method counts as no knead, but that's what I do to my bread dough.

        2. Six ingredients.. No butter. No flour.... Best chocolate cookies of my life. Maybe, the best all-around cookies that I have had.

          http://www.yammiesglutenfreedom.com/2...

          3 Replies
          1. re: GraceW

            Wow. I'll get right on making anything that ends up on these boards with that kind of endorsement.

            1. re: THewat

              Best cookies of life.
              (Mailed them to 3 different states. And made more for me. I want more now.)
              Best cookies of life.

          2. My two favorites right now are a Chocolate Gingerbread loaf with fresh Ginger, and Earl Grey cupcakes with Lemon buttercream frosting.

            http://cupcakemuffin.blogspot.com/201...

            http://desertcandy.blogspot.com/2008/...

            1. Well, we just finished the last of the spiced zucchini cupcakes with a lemon-ginger mousse filling and yogurt buttercream, which I really liked. My little boy turns five tomorrow (!) and he has requested blueberry cupcakes to take to school. I'm thinking about taking a vanilla cupcake recipe and folding in blueberry puree - he wants a marshmallow filling and I was thinking a cream cheese frosting, maybe with more blueberry puree, with fresh blueberries on top. I really need to get going on those!
              On a non-cupcake front, I had butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips and cinnamon chips that I wanted to use up, so I folded all that into a blondie recipe, and they ended up tasting like cinnamon rolls! So of course I drizzled them with icing. Very sweet and rich, but they went over really well at the women's group for whom they were destined. :)
              I'm so glad fall is finally here!

              6 Replies
              1. re: auburnselkie

                You might want to take care with folding blueberry puree into a vanilla batter, as blueberry juices can turn it that weird grayish-blue tint. Still tastes good, but not the most appetizing appearance.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  Oh, thank you and I know that can happen. I just took them out of the oven and they are decidedly more purple than gray. I used about 3/4 cup of puree. And once I've gotten in the marshmallow filling, piped on the frosting, rolled the sides in purple glitter and then topped the whole thing with either a stormtrooper or a Darth Vader head...who is even looking at the cake at that point? ;-)

                  1. re: auburnselkie

                    Sounds like all is well. Purple, glitter, and storm troopers/Darth Vader? Please post photos!

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      I think they were a success - there were none left! His birthday party happens tomorrow and he's told me he wants a blueberry birthday cake...well, okay, then! I'd better get cracking! :)

                       
                       
                      1. re: auburnselkie

                        Oh my god.. the cuteness! What a great mom!

                        1. re: rstuart

                          Oh thank you. It was fun humming the Imperial theme as we decorated them. I am raising a family of dorks!

              2. The weather is all wrong for my October baking! Seems more summer than fall so I've just been eating ice cream.

                Please send helpful baking ideas.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kimeats

                  October is National Cookie Month, go forth and bake cookies.

                2. Traditional Apple Strudel -- no phyllo dough... dough is resting now, as i prep my filling and lay out a nice sheet over the coffee table.. i can't wait to get stretching... and then roll it up like a domino! ....wish me luck...

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Emme

                    WOW! Great! That's something I haven't had the nerve to try. Very exciting!

                    1. re: sandylc

                      highly recommend. super easy to prep, just need patience to stretch. i split my dough into two smaller ones.. i learned from the first to really compact my apples and chop small, then make sure to get a good tight roll... second one had better layers and fewer air pockets.

                    2. rosewater madeleines just out of the oven to take to friends for breakfast; minimal humping this batch

                      1. I made a Balzano Apple Cake a few days ago. Since the recipe first appeared in the NY Times 9 years ago, I've probably made this cake 30 times but recently I seemed to have forgotten how good it is and how simple it is to make. I'm sure I'll be making it again before long.

                        Recipe:
                        http://www.alexandracooks.com/2009/11...

                        I use only half as much butter as the original recipe calls for and I always get great results with it. Also, you can use just about any type of apples.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Sam D.

                          I have that printed off from 9 years ago...somewhere. Apparently I've forgotten about it too! I was going to make the one in Around my French Table, but maybe I'll revisit this one. Thanks for the reminder!

                          1. re: Sam D.

                            Sounds Excellent! I am from SEA, so know Scott Carsberg where the recipe originated for NYT article...

                            Sounds perfect for a brunch dish!

                            Just added to Pepperplate and saved:)

                          2. I just made a double recipe of pie dough. Most will go towards making apple hand pies for my son's breakfasts this week, and the rest will go towards making a quiche on Monday morning to bring to a lunch.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: roxlet

                              I just put together a batch of pie dough as well - my first with the leaf lard I rendered a couple of weeks ago (half lard, half butter). We'll see how it compares to my usual all-butter crust (same recipe, only difference is the lard). I'm going to make an apple crostata later tonight!

                              1. re: biondanonima

                                Crostata out. It was a small one, but the two of us just destroyed it. The half lard crust was excellent - super flaky and it got nice and crisp in the oven as well. I think next time I'll do 1/4 or 1/3 lard and the rest butter, though, for more butter flavor.

                                1. re: biondanonima

                                  I've done lard pastry in the past, and I really love it, but I love it most with more savory pies. That's very ambitious to render your own lard. Kudos!

                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    The lard sold in Canada (TenderFlake) has no porkiness to it and makes brilliant pastry.

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      Actually, the rendering process couldn't have been easier - I just threw the cut-up lard in the slow cooker on low and let it go for about 6 hours. Strain and done. Of course, buying it would be easier, but I only seem to be able to find that Armour brand, partially hydrogenated stuff in the stores here. What I wouldn't give for TenderFlake!

                              2. It's the weekend, and I'm feeling completely inspired by the two KAF traveling demos I went to yesterday ... but it's 90 degrees! Too hot for bread and pie , I think, but I might make a chocolate chip snack cake.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                  Banana-chocolate chip cake just came out of the oven ... yum!

                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                    Recipe to share, please? I've got a crop of overripe bananas in the freezer.

                                    1. re: tcamp

                                      Hi there, sorry for the delay. I was trying to find this online, but it doesn't appear to be on the KAF site. Here you go:

                                      KAF Awesome Banana Bread
                                      (makes 1 9x5" loaf or 12 standard muffins)

                                      2 eggs
                                      1 c sugar (I used half brown sugar for deeper flavor)
                                      1/3 c veg. oil (I used melted butter)
                                      1 c mashed ripe bananas (2-3 -- I used 3)
                                      2 tsp vanilla
                                      1 tsp baking soda
                                      1 tsp baking powder
                                      1 tsp salt
                                      1 tsp cinnamon
                                      1/2 tsp nutmeg
                                      (I also added about 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
                                      2 2/3 c all-purpose flour OR unbleached white ww flour
                                      1 c plain yogurt (I used Greek)
                                      1 c of any of these: chopped nuts, dried fruit, choc. chips, or coconut (optional, but I used choc. chips and walnuts)

                                      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
                                      Grease and flour a 9x5 loaf pan or muffin tins.

                                      In a bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, and oil. Then add the bananas and vanilla.

                                      In another bowl, whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger (if using), and flour.

                                      Stir all the dry ingredients quickly into the banana mixture, and then stir in the yogurt and nuts (etc) until just mixed. Pour into the prepared pan or muffin tins.

                                      Bake the loaf for one hour, or the muffins for about 20 min.

                                2. Just made maple pecan blondies for my brother. Actually good to make since the fact they that are filled with nuts means that I won't "accidentally" eat half the pan for dinner. Use my grade C maple syrup, and replaced half of the vanilla extract with maple just to bump up the maple..

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: rstuart

                                    Grade C maple syrup? Please do tell---where did you buy it? And is it even more flavorful than Grade B?
                                    Thanks!

                                  2. Cranberry Orange Cake in my crock pot! Yummy and so easy! www.FoodWacky.com

                                     
                                    1. I took the Cocoa Pound Cake recipe to which I linked last month and turned it into a Chocolate Pound Cake by substituting (for the bloomed cocoa) an equal weight of melted chocolate (note: I had converted all the volumetric measurements into weights, via TCB).

                                      The chocolate version was denser and more chocolatey.

                                      Prior to that I made the cocoa version again, but with gluten-free flour. It was more successful than the gluten-free madeleines I had made, except that coating the Bundt pan with butter and gluten-free flour was a problem as the flour tended to clump, and it messed up the surface of the cake. I was going to post a picture to show the problem, but was concerned that if I did, Buttertart would ban me from this (her) thread for posting such a picture. ;)

                                      9 Replies
                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          Here's the picture of the cake made in the pan that was floured with gluten-free flour. Note the ravaged surface of the cake, as well as the inside.

                                          The inside does look moist, and tasted okay, if a bit dry. The person for whom I made it said that she thought it was dry, so she served it with apple butter.

                                           
                                          1. re: souschef

                                            can you just not flour the pan and just excessively oil the pan?? I sometimes forget to flour the pan and it's worked out.

                                            1. re: trolley

                                              The problem was with gluten-free flour; the flour clumped together in the bottom of the pan, whereas with AP it is even and there is no problem with the surface.

                                              Fortunately, I don't have to do gluten-free baking often.

                                              1. re: souschef

                                                I thought you were a butter-only man for greasing? I have never baked with gluten-free flours, myself.
                                                Hmm, would rice flour or cornstarch in a shaker/dredger work? That's what I use for pan dusting with flour.

                                                 
                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  If you use the Wilton easy release, no need to flour at all...

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    Nope, I always use butter AND flour.

                                                    I use a shaker too.

                                                    I've never tried Wilton easy release, and have never seen it around. The cake supply house that usually carries Wilton products only has their own house brand, which I have not tried.

                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                      I can get Baker's Joy baking spray at most of my local grocery stores/Walmart - it's about half the price of the Wilton and works perfectly.

                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                        Baker's Joy is gluten-free, I believe, which is why I mentioned it...

                                          2. Family Circle had an easy recipe for cherry coffee cake this month, so I intend on making it this afternoon.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. The Saveur rum cake is in the oven, except with Kirschwasser (Alsatian) instead of rum. SO easy to make...http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                                              22 Replies
                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  Where do you get your kirschwasser?

                                                  1. re: Tam38

                                                    This came from Warehouse Liquors in the Village (NYC), NOT cheap.

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      I just had my husband buy some from Total Wine in Norwalk, CT - they had several, ranging from $12 for 750ml to $100+ for 375ml. I had him buy Fidelitas brand, at about $20 for 750ml. I have yet to taste it but the interwebs had mostly positive things to say. We shall see. I have beignets de Vinzel planned for next weekend...

                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                            Just a quick follow-up - the Fidelitas Kirschwasser is quite nice - not harsh at all, with good sour cherry flavor. Probably not something I would sip on its own but definitely nice to include in cocktails or recipes.

                                                            And speaking of recipes, the beignets de Vinzel were RI. DIC. U. LOUS. Deep-fried fondue bombs. Heavenly. I used a recipe from Saveur, which doesn't seem to be available online yet, but it was just like this one except with 1/4 c. of white wine and an extra tablespoon of flour added: http://fxcuisine.com/Default.asp?lang... The recipe is perfect as-is - next time I would just use a nicer white wine and maybe find a more flavorful gruyere (I used Comte from Costco, which was fine but not as flavorful as it could have been).

                                                            In Saveur, they refer to these as Malakoffs, but in doing some internet research I discovered that Malakoffs are actually just sticks of gruyere, battered and deep fried, while these little fondue bombs are properly called beignets de Vinzel. Make them. Seriously.

                                                             
                                                             
                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                I know, as soon as I saw the recipe I became totally obsessed. They are worth every greasy, carby calorie!!!!

                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                            You might find a better price at Astor Wines a few blocks away. I tend to by liqueurs and cordials there while I stock up on spirits at the Warehouse. Reminds me it's time to stock up on my brandy and rum for the winter!

                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                              Astor's website at least shows they're out of it, except for Washington State at $26 the half and (shudder) Leroux. We shop both stores too.

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          Any idea on how to get a Bundt cake out of a pan that it has stuck itself to??? I used PAM for baking -- had done it before but this time it Will.Not.Budge. I gave up and poured the topping over it in the pan... :(
                                                          You jinxed me, roxlet ;-)

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            I had that happen once when I buttered a Bundt pan but forgot to flour it after.

                                                            And why, might I ask, are you blaming Roxlet for your (how do I say this politely?) misadventure?

                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                              Because I had almost the identical misadventure (I used Wilton Cake Release and not Pam Baking spray, as bt did) in the identical pan. bt thinks it's catching, but I hope not! Neither of us ever had a problem with a cake releasing from this pan before!

                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                I've had it happen too. I ended up just trying to get as big, intact hunks out as possible, trimming them up into slices, and then arranging the slices on a plate with a sprinkling of conf. sugar and nuts (camouflage!)

                                                            2. re: buttertart

                                                              Hmmm. So what's the bottom line? (I've probably missed passed discussion on this.) Use Wilton Cake Release or Pam Baking spray? Or do something else?

                                                              I bought the swirl bundt pan from King Arthur and have used it a couple times and liked it. Used the Wilton item. How does that compare to the Pam stuff? I like the looks of the pan and don't want to worry about cakes coming out of it.

                                                              1. re: karykat

                                                                I use the Wilton stuff, and it worked faultlessly before this. I made the gingerbread recipe from The Last Course, which bakers have complained about being difficult to get out of a pan -- any pan -- before this. I don't know if the recipe for what buttertart made also has a history of being difficult to remove, but I will probably try the pan again on a simpler batter.

                                                              2. re: buttertart

                                                                Hints - Besides using grease/flour or spray product that includes flour, the real key is to let the cooked cake sit in the pan 10 minutes (not much more/less), then unmold. (see the video of hints at the Nordic Ware site).

                                                                I also use a wooden bamboo skewer (long toothpick) to gently work around the top outer edge and center spindle, just to be sure the cake doesn't hang-up there. (Learned this tip from a friend who is a expert home-baker of Bundts.)

                                                                Rapping the pan on the countertop (on a towel) also encourages the cake to release cleanly.

                                                              3. re: buttertart

                                                                That recipe in Saveur is SO old.... it made me smile. I made that in High School ala Bacardi Rum Cake - only difference is, there were finely chopped toasted pecans either in the cake, or simmered in the glaze, I don't remember which.

                                                                I love that cake, and made it all through the '80's. Nice reminder to make again. LOVE the idea of doing it with Kirsch; would be great with some sour cherries in the batter in addition!

                                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                                  Yes it would. I have fond memories of the rum cake too...

                                                              4. Apple cinnamon bars for a meeting tomorrow at work..

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                  Yum! I may be able to move past blueberries and that sounds lovely. How do you make yours?

                                                                  1. re: auburnselkie

                                                                    From King Arthur:
                                                                    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...
                                                                    Very very very sweet.. I love this, but others may not...

                                                                2. I want to make cranberry tart for the Thanksgiving dinner next Monday (Canadian) but can't find any recipes but MS. Anyone has made such tart?

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                    Fine Cooking has a fabulous cranberry-almond tart with a cornmeal shortbread crust. I made it last year for (US) Thanksgiving, and everyone loved it.

                                                                    http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/cr...

                                                                    There are a few other cranberry tarts on the site (but I haven't tried them):
                                                                    www.finecooking.com/.../festive-cranb.... aspx

                                                                    www.finecooking.com/recipes/pear-cran...

                                                                    www.finecooking.com/recipes/rustic-cr...

                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                      Thank you! The one you tried sounds delicious and exactly what I am looking for - tart and fresh and not too sweet.

                                                                  2. I made apple hand pies, and a cheddar, mushroom, bacon quiche.

                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                      Oh, yum! Anything with pie crust is a-ok with me!

                                                                      1. re: auburnselkie

                                                                        Yes, I'm on a pie-crust kick these days!

                                                                      2. re: roxlet

                                                                        Can I please have the recipe for the quiche? Thanks!

                                                                        1. re: Kosherbyforce

                                                                          It is from kingarthurflour.com, which I've linked to below. I added 4 slices of bacon, which I chopped up. If I were to make it again, I would use much less garlic (maybe 1 small clove, not the 3 large ones specified in the recipe), and I would add it earlier and cook it a bit more than the recipe calls for. The quiche is nice since it only uses milk, not cream, so it's not as rich as usual. I didn't use the pie crust recipe that is with the quiche -- I just used my regular butter crust.

                                                                          http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

                                                                        2. Made Utah scones for a party tonight (when in Rome, or Salt Lake City) with raspberry honey butter. They're always a hit, and always remind me of fall. My mom used to make them for us while we were trick or treating with our dad and we'd eat them with hot chocolate when we got home.

                                                                          Wasn't really planning on deep frying twice this week, but our pumpkin doughnut party is next Sunday, but it's nice to be able to re-use the oil. I usually fry very infrequently, so the oil goes off between fryings

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: sarahjay

                                                                            What are Utah scones? I've never heard of them before! Do tell...

                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                              White bread dough (often frozen Rhodes rolls) rolled out, deep fried, and served with raspberry honey butter (raspberry jam, butter, honey, whipped until pink and fluffy) They're especially popular for Pioneer Day (July 24, state holiday)

                                                                              I don't know why they're called scones here, but never knew what a real scone was till I was in high school, even though I grew up in California. It's one of those Mormon-culture things, like frog-eye-salad (http://petitelefant.com/quick-and-eas... )

                                                                          2. Yesterday it was banana chocolate chip bread for after school snack. Today will be apple crisp, my favourite comfort food dessert from childhood, made from my granny's recipe.

                                                                            1. Polvorones from My Sweet Mexico.

                                                                              1. NYTimes Jaques Torres Cookies (again.. because I read through this review of a bunch of CCC, and it confirmed how amazing I already know that they are--and a good friend needs some sturdy cookies in her life which calls for only the best: Torres)
                                                                                Here is the comparison reviews--by a blog that I have never read before.
                                                                                http://www.thegrinninggourmet.com/?pa...

                                                                                Also these ("trashy"-seeming) no-bake Candy Corn Peanut Mallow bars for a secretary that loves candy corn.
                                                                                http://www.julieseatsandtreats.com/20...

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: GraceW

                                                                                  Great chocolate chip cookie bake-off. What did you use for bread flour? TIA

                                                                                  1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                    For some reason I believe I used Whole Wheat Pastry Flour for one of the flours.. but looking back, I cannot recall why I used this (because I went out of my way to get it, multiple times just for this recipe). I must have been looking at a re-print of the recipe that called for it.

                                                                                2. Now that the weather is cool enough to heat the oven to 500 degrees, I'm back at my quest to make really good baguettes. Shaping is the usual problem, as you can see from the picture, and they need more color, but a pretty good start for my baguette "season." I did get pretty good irregular holes, which I was pretty proud of.

                                                                                   
                                                                                   
                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                    Do you let them rise in couches? (Not sofa couches, fabric couches...)

                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                      Kind of, I have a heavily floured piece of cloth I use, it holds it's shape between the baguettes, but I have to prop up the outside with peanut butter jars, olive oil bottles, and any other heavy objects at hand.

                                                                                      1. re: karykat

                                                                                        Aw, thanks! One came out really nicely, the other got a little bit stretched when I moved it to the oven.

                                                                                        1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                          I hate that moving it to the oven part. You slave and fuss and worry over your dough and your shaping, then that second between your hands and the oven determines the entire fate of your results.

                                                                                    2. I must be a bread baking day. Roasted potato bread here. I modified Jeffrey Hamelman's recipe so I could use some newly refreshed sourdough rather than a preferment I haven't done.

                                                                                      Should be out any minute.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Tam38

                                                                                        That sounds really good. Do the roasted potatoes get completely mixed into the dough or are they still in chunks?

                                                                                        1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                          Small chunks, but I try not to let it get too out of control because my 10 year old is scandalized to find potatoes in his bread.

                                                                                      2. Lots of yummy quick breads: cinnamon/apple, cornmeal, whole wheat & honey. Easy and very satisfying!

                                                                                        1. I made Mom's apple cake from the Smitten Kitchen website. I thought it was fine, but they loved it at work.

                                                                                          1. RLB's Golden Grand Marnier Cake from "The Cake Bible" made in two pyrex bread pans for a committee meeting today. It's super tender. I'll be interested to see how it goes over.

                                                                                            1. Sweet potato biscuits ... good for a cool, rainy day.

                                                                                              1. Smitten Kitchen's pumpkin cinnamon rolls, minus the icing (I didn't have any cream cheese) and tomorrow a lasagna (not dessert, but I'll bake it ;) It's been cool and wet, but the snow is only on the tops of the mountains so far!

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                  It is lasagna season, I made lasagna for dinner tonight.

                                                                                                2. http://www.nickmalgieri.com/schoggito...

                                                                                                  One of the reasons I wish I had a Swiss baking book. (Haven't followed up pavlova's leads yet...)

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    That sound incredible - maybe this afternoon.....! Thanks for the link, buttertart.

                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                      Incredible, yes, and pretty straightforward too

                                                                                                    2. Just took this Ozark apple cake out of the oven: http://patriciaspatchwork.blogspot.co...

                                                                                                      It looks GORGEOUS (I made it in my swirl Bundt pan, which is pretty much the greatest pan ever). I was worried when I was mixing it up that there wasn't enough batter for the amount of apples, but it seems to have turned out perfectly. I won't get to taste it until tomorrow, though - DH is taking it to a picnic that I'm not attending but he promised to bring home a slice!

                                                                                                       
                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                        It will probably be the better for the rest.

                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                          Unfortunately, the slice DH brought home was a bit undercooked in the center - tasty enough, but a little gooey. Oh well. The church crowd seemed to like it well enough.

                                                                                                      2. I also just cut into a loaf of semi-no-knead sourdough. I've been experimenting with the proportion of starter and the length of the rise, and I'm just not 100% happy with any of my results. Today's loaf (which was 75% hydration and did its first rise in the fridge for about 36 hours) has good flavor, but it's a bit denser than I would have liked. Also, despite a bit of kneading/stretch and fold action before the second rise (and the addition of quite a bit of flour, probably enough to bring the hydration down to 70%), the dough didn't want to rise upwards, but just spread out into the pan. Oh well - at least it still tastes good!

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                          I have been experimenting with the stretch and fold bit, too. If you wait for an hour in between three SAF sessions, it seems to give great body to wet dough. I'm really getting happy with this method. The dough almost becomes marshmallow-y. Fascinating!

                                                                                                        2. Made some pumpkin corn muffins for breakfast. (Used the leftover pumpkin in overnight pumpkin oatmeal...) Corn muffins and pumpkin muffins are favorites in my house. We'll see how the combination goes over!!

                                                                                                          1. Just made the King Arthur flour chocolate chip pumpkin bread. I added grated apple and flaxseed, subbed half whole wheat flour and pastry flour, increased water by 1oz., and reduced the oil by 1/2 and sugar by 1/3rd. Tastes great warm, we'll see how it is in the morning.

                                                                                                            1. KAF bacon, cheddar, and chive scones ... and some kind of yeast bread too.

                                                                                                              1. pumpkin pie. it's been an uphill battle. I don't know if it's bc i didn't follow directions or bc my new home is 5,500 above sea level. the crust is a challenge. it came out bumpy and required more liquid. then when i rolled it out it was sticky and stuck to the wax paper. so with wax paper i stuck it in the freezer and then peeled off paper. then blind baked but i feel like i handled the dough too much...The dough recipe i used...
                                                                                                                http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                                                                                                Then I bought a sugar pumpkin but turned out it was rotten in the middle so went back to the store and bought canned pumpkin.

                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                  Get a specialized high-altitude baking book, or research it online. Very tricky.

                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    i have a great one called Pie in the Sky however, the recipe uses egg in it which is good but i prefer my crusts without egg for pumpkin pie. i do need to give it a go.

                                                                                                                    1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                      If you have a Kindle, check title "High Plains Sifter", apparently available free this weekend.

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        I DO have a kindle which is sadly collecting dust but what a great use for my sad kindle. thanks for the tip buttertart!!

                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                          High plains sifter?? Best high altitude baking name EVER!

                                                                                                                    2. re: trolley

                                                                                                                      Could be a humidity thing. Pie crust is the one thing that I repeatedly encounter that is touchy that way. I ALWAYS have to add the max or more water for piecrust in my area - it's pretty dry in Minnesota, despite what the natives will tell you!

                                                                                                                    3. I made a Savarin from Pierre Hermé's book "Chocolate Desserts". It's in the book because Hermé likes to serve it with chocolate whipped cream; I prefer plain whipped cream.

                                                                                                                      In any case, I felt that the crumb was not dense enough to hold the soaking syrup, so I'm looking for a more dense cake. The next one I will try is from Anne Willan's "French Cookery School."

                                                                                                                      Hey Buttertart, I just noticed that AW's "From My Chateau Kitchen" is available used on Amazon for $12.75; nice book.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                        I've wanted that since it came out. Uh oh. (I got her memoir for my Kindle but haven't started it yet.)

                                                                                                                      2. The pumpkin doughnut party was a failure, but the doughnuts were great! I'm hoping the day-olds aren't too stale!

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                          Still have doughnuts, does anyone have a bread pudding recipe they love? The doughnuts are yeast-raised, and quite dry.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                            I think Paula Deen's got that one covered. I tried to wing one once with the best raised glazed donuts in the world, those made by the Donut Lady in the supermarket in my husband's small home town in Iowa, who has been indisposed the last couple of times we've visited, causing much weeping and rending of garments around the family breakfast table.

                                                                                                                        2. Smitten Kitchen's Mom's Apple Cake:
                                                                                                                          http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/0...

                                                                                                                          Much tastier than I had anticipated.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: emily

                                                                                                                            roxlet makes much the same cake, right, roxlet?

                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              Yes, very similar! No nuts, though, and no apples on the top (two layers of apples), but the ingredients seem very similar!

                                                                                                                          2. Not very fall related but still working on my macarons. I've tried french and swiss meringue methods and so far french has worked best for me.

                                                                                                                            Still want more feet, though. And need food processor to get the almonds finer.

                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. i'm not baking any YET, cause I just got to the magazine, but I have GOT to get that pecan cream cake (with coconut, and cream cheese frosting) in the november saveur magazine. THEN I'm going to move on to the multiple recipes for pies - too many I want to make.

                                                                                                                              MUST TEST PRIOR TO THANKSGIVING!!!! wouldn't want to disappoint anyone on the actual day itself.. better to test, test, test beforehand (heeHee!!)

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. Made avalanche bars for a pot-luck.. it amazes me how much people love them.. got 2 requests for recipes! And soft-batch biscoff cookies.. pretty good, but not as good as my favourite oatmeal biscoff cookies..

                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                        I have to try these! I'm always looking for bar cookie recipes. I've never heard of avalanche bars.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                      Yum! Avalanche bars are always a hit. :)

                                                                                                                                    2. Apple pies... for each of the last two days.

                                                                                                                                      Smitten kitchen's pie crust with Alton Brown's filling.

                                                                                                                                      1. I made two batches of pear skillet cake using extremely ugly, hard pears that someone brought to work. The cake, delicious. I left the first one out and by the time I got home Saturday, it was totally devoured.

                                                                                                                                        http://www.thekitchn.com/moms-pear-sk...

                                                                                                                                        I didn't have ground ginger so I used a bit of allspice and a bit of garam masala.

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                          Do you use 6 pears for one cake? I may make this one, because I have pears that won't ripen, but I only have 4 pears in total. And I have a 9" skillet instead of a 10". I don't have crystallized ginger either, but have all the rest. This looks like a great cake, thanks tc. :)

                                                                                                                                          www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                            I think it would work fine. I believe the goal was to cover the bottom of the skillet with pear so you could just slice them thinner. It is a pretty forgiving cake, which is good for this very imprecise baker.

                                                                                                                                        2. Nancy Silverton's Creme Fraiche coffee cake for work:
                                                                                                                                          http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                                                                                                                                          Soooo delicious. Almost like a pound cake with cinnamon and pecans.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                            This was very good! I had a large amount of crème fraiche on hand, thanks to a sale at the FM. Perfect way to make a dent in my supply.

                                                                                                                                            Thanks for posting.

                                                                                                                                          2. My toddler and I made sugar cookies and oatmeal cookies yesterday for daddy's lunches this week. We're trying to do that more with our budget - his packaged cookie love is getting a bit to $$$.

                                                                                                                                            Pretty sure we'll be making banana bread today. I need to search around here to see if there is a highly recommended recipe. I'm always trying to ones, have yet to find my favorite.

                                                                                                                                            1. I'm in the middle of drying apples/applesauce right now, so over the weekend I made an apple pie. The first I've ever done with a half-lard, half-butter crust. I needed to drain the apples longer (too wet) but the crust was really flaky. I did miss the taste of all butter though. A worthy use of the lard we finally rendered last winter. I'll try again in a week or two.

                                                                                                                                              I'm trying to convince my kids that we should make cookies for National Cookie Month, but not too much interest so far. Now cookies for home, that's another matter.

                                                                                                                                              1. Momufuku Milk Bar's "Blueberries and Cream" cookies. Made the dough last night. Shaped the dough into the cookies and they are resting and waiting for me to bake them tomorrow. I'm excited. Every dessert I've baked from the MMB Cookbook has turned out fantastic so I'm looking forward.....

                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: jarona

                                                                                                                                                  I loved reading that book, but I've yet to cook from it. I'll have to check those cookies out!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                    I LOVE those cookies. I did versions with dried apricots and dried cherries (as well as with dried blueberries). I liked the dried apricot version the best. The tartness of the apricots played well with the sweet milk crumbs.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soccermom13

                                                                                                                                                      Well, I made the cookies and have used co-workers as my testers before bringing them to my son. Verdict:
                                                                                                                                                      AMAZING. Some even like them better than the Corn Cookies..and others like them better than the Chocolate Chocolate cookies! My Frenchman likes them better than the Corn Cookies.
                                                                                                                                                      Me..I just love those Corn cookies so much, nothing comes close!
                                                                                                                                                      Jeez. I've never, ever had a miss with that MMB Cookbook. It's greatness!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jarona

                                                                                                                                                        Must get it out and have another look-see!

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jarona

                                                                                                                                                    I found the recipe for the Blueberries and Cream Cookie and a video in case anyone else wants it.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jarona

                                                                                                                                                      I just got that book yesterday. I happened to pass by the Milk Bar after stopping by Epicerie Boulod and couldn't resist getting the cookbook along with a slice of crack pie. The pie was nice but the way the lady at the counter just pulled it out already packaged up in a small tiny box made me question its freshness. The taste made up for this though. What are your other favorites from the book?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PrinceZuko

                                                                                                                                                        The Candy Bar Pie is outstanding! This Thanksgiving the requests have come in from the family for: Compost Cookies, Corn Cookies, Chocolate Chocolate Cookies and Crack Pie. I am going to make the Pistachio cake for fun.
                                                                                                                                                        All the "crumb" recipes in the book are delightfully sinful as you really need to double up the recipe b/c snacking on the crumbs is what you will do. I don't know how Christina Tosi comes up with that stuff, but it is the best dessert cookbook out there. I love the fact the desserts are just not your grannies recipes:)

                                                                                                                                                    2. Serious Eats fudgy coffee cashew brownies.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Pizza (bbq chicken and roasted bell pepper)
                                                                                                                                                        bread, both using this recipe (half for each, minus the dry milk): http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

                                                                                                                                                        1. Yesterday I picked up the Cook's Baking Book, and I had it open to the page with some biscotti, and my son decided that he wanted me to make biscotti for his breakfasts. "And if you could make a cappuccino to go," he added. I told him he was pushing his luck, lol. He said that they are really good, and he polished off quite a few with a glass of milk as an after school snack.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. Baked an apple tart of some sort. Shortbread crust. Frangipane layer (leftover from baking galette des rois last wk), apple slices supposed to be in shape of a rose, then after having baked it 75% of way or so poured simple custard on top and finished baking. Taste and texture are pretty good, need a glaze for it though. Or another way to get a bit of color on the apples.

                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                                                                              I sometimes sift a little confectioners' sugar on top & run the tart under the broiler quickly. It makes a pretty, glossy finish.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks!! That simple huh? Next time...

                                                                                                                                                            2. Made Pear-Cranberry Crostada from Flour and it was outstanding. My pastry got a bit warm and was difficult to pleat around the filling, so the final product was not as good looking as the photo in the book but if you haven't seen the photo it was pretty good. So very delicious :)

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                Good idea and right time of year. Did you roast the pears really for more than an hour at 400 degrees? (I don't think I read the recipe wrong).

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mscoffee1

                                                                                                                                                                  I was worried about roasting pears for such long time and took them out after an hour but next time will roast longer because there was still syrup left. I cooked the syrup with fresh cranberries and ended up with very tasty sort-of jam :) I was also very worried about length of baking and kept telling myself "just trust her" - the result was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you, it seemed so weird. Hope to try it soon.

                                                                                                                                                              2. I made Date Nut Cake Squares from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts with the optional caramel icing (caramelized sugar, butter, cream, and confectionary sugar) - great combination and easy.
                                                                                                                                                                Just in case anyone is interested:
                                                                                                                                                                http://nikoosphotos.com/date-nut-bread/ (but no icing)

                                                                                                                                                                1. I made that brown butter cobbler cake from the NY Times with Gravenstein apples and cranberries, using brown sugar for the fruit part and cinnamon instead of nutmeg for the top. I truly can't imagine that it wouldn't be delicious made with any kind of fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I'm baking LOTS of luscious goodies in my slow cooker!!

                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FoodWacky

                                                                                                                                                                      what are you baking in your slow cooker? The above looks amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. In honor of National Chocolate Cupcake Day, I made chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter-cream cheese frosting.

                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                      1. Your humble servant has not been baking, due to the Kirsch cake lasting ages (and there being other stuff in the house.
                                                                                                                                                                        However, this weekend have plans for the rye bread with beer I thunk up, and my MIL's spice cookies, so I can give our German trainee an empty one of the Lebkuchen spice packets I love for these -- his father has a grocery store and he said he could send me some :) (Lots, I hope, these have kept very well. 9 spices in the mix,)
                                                                                                                                                                        Also, I just ate an Outspan (from South Africa) Cara Cara orange from the bag I bought in the summer and didn't eat any of because I was too busy stuffing summer fruits and lychees down my gullet.
                                                                                                                                                                        They're a little dryish -- are Cara Caras on the dry side normally, or is this a result of my neglect? In any case, they're just OK for eating (not as acid as I like my oranges to be ideally.
                                                                                                                                                                        I was chuffed to see these because I have fond memories of Outspan oranges in Canada when I was growing up -- and really should not have let them go uneaten this long. Marmalade? Recipes using a whole passel of oranges? Tehama's recipe, while delicious, doesn't use very many. Any ideas, my dears?

                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                          Claudia Roden has orange cake in her Book of Jewish Food - it uses oranges that are cooked for a couple of hours. You could cook all your oranges and freeze for future. The cake is moist and lasts for days.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                            That's the one co-opted by Nigella, right? Very good idea but didn't go over big with himself, who eats most of what i make.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                              That's the one (co-opted? ha-ha-ha). Well himself like what himself likes... What about these: http://spoonful.com/recipes/orange-re...

                                                                                                                                                                              or maybe this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02...

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                            I buy the Cara Cara's quite often sometimes they are juicy other times dry. It's hit or miss with them. I often make date squares and squeeze the oranges for juice that I am not using in my fruit drawer.

                                                                                                                                                                          3. Today's theme is cooking with beer! I am making a loaf of beer sourdough (currently enjoying a long slow rise in the fridge) and I just finished making creamy beer caramels, using reduction of some fall beers that my DH deemed unworthy of drinking. The caramels are cooling now, but I tasted some from the spoon - the beer flavor is subtle, but there.

                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                              The beer sourdough was pretty good - I used a slightly lower hydration than I do for no-knead (around 65%) and the resulting loaf had much better structure, but was obviously dryer in texture. I think I prefer the moist chew of the higher hydration (usually around 72%), so I think I'm just going to have to find a way to create more structure in the higher hydration doughs. Any of you stretch-and-folders care to elaborate on your technique?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                I spray a large bowl with baking spray and then dump the dough in and cover it (I use a glass bowl with a plastic lid).

                                                                                                                                                                                After letting the dough rest for 20-30 minutes, I wash my hands and then pick up the dough. I then sort of let gravity stretch it into a long, very fat rope of dough. Then I hold it by the ends and fold it into thirds. Then, I turn it ninety degrees and coax it into another long, fat rope, and fold it into thirds again. Plop it back into the bowl, cover it, and set the timer for an hour. I usually do this three times, followed by a brief rest while I get things ready for the final loaf-forming.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                  Do you do this after an overnight rest, or do you mean 20-30 minutes after first mixing the dough? And what hydration percentage do you use?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                    No overnight rest. Just mix, rest, and start the fold-once-an-hour dance. Start to finished baking, about six hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The Bouchon recipe has been my main one lately....it's about 68%.

                                                                                                                                                                                    EDIT: Oh, I have changed HOW I make the Bouchon recipe after reading in Bakewise that overmixing causes your bread to be less flavorful; Bouchon wants you to mix the dough for 20 minutes. I just barely mix it and let the folding finish the job.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                      Very interesting! Are you using a levain, commercial yeast or both?

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Good: made bittman's easy blondies (found via Smitten Kitchen).. made with browned butter, maple extract, some maple sugar, and pecans. A wee bit overbaked, but the recipient was happy (didn't sample due to my nut hatred).
                                                                                                                                                                              The bad: pulled a double batch of my favourite apple cider muffins out of the oven, only to see the canola oil sitting on the counter... totally forgot it. Just don't think that they'll work with *no* fat. What a waste of some good ingredients!

                                                                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                Perhaps you could successfully turn them into some kind of bread pudding, with eggs and milk adding back some moisture and tenderness.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                  Did you try one? Love Caitlin's idea of a bread pudding.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                    I did.. oddly enough, despite baking them for much longer than usual.. they were all undercooked in the middle (I had realized my mistake at this point and just took them out in despair). theoretically they could all be trimmed and something could be made of them.. but I am feeling too tired and lazy today!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                      We have some pumpkin corn muffins I made. I think there wasn't enough fat in the recipe (and perhaps slightly overcooked as well), and the darned muffin papers were IMPOSSIBLE to peal off the muffins. I ended up cutting the papers off and crumbling up the muffins. We are now eating them with milk as "cereal" in the morning. It's actually pretty good. I'm thinking some half & half on there would be REALLY good!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                      I would love your apple cider muffin recipe if you're willing to share!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks! I'm going to make a batch this morning, minus the nuts so I can send them to school. Have you ever added diced or shredded apple to the recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                                                                                                            Oddly enough, I pretty much always add apple (and always omit the nuts). I generally add about one apple per batch, chopped finely. Leave the skin on, and use a granny smith because they're nice and tart. I mix in at the end.. shredded would be good too!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks, I made these on Monday and they were enjoyed by co-workers and a bunch of kids after school. I shredded a large courtland apple and squeezed out some of the juice since the apples I have been getting are so juicy this year. They were a huge hit and I loved the flavour. I'll be making these again once I replenish my apple butter supply.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. I'm making TKO's (homemade oreos) tomorrow from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. My husband is going to an Eagles game in Philly so I have the whole day to play in the kitchen. Looking forward to it!

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ooh! We need a report on those TKOs...!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                          They actually were easier to make than I had anticipated. I made them small with a 1-inch cutter instead of the larger one TK recommended. The only problem was that you whip the filling to make it fluffy but then it kind of oozes out from between the chocolate cookies. They don't look as nice as I would like them to but that certainly doesn't affect their flavor. I would definitely make them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                      2. With half a pie crust in the freezer and an impromptu dinner with some friend, pie was the easy dessert choice. Coconut cream pie was the suggestion, and I ran with it. I made the recipe from Cooks Illustrated Baking Book, but I didn't use the suggested graham cracker crust. One dinner, 5 people, and only the slightest bit left, so I guess it was a hit!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Today, after watching "Martha Bakes," I made Martha's shortbread. Just simple shortbread (butter, sugar, flour, salt), but very tasty. I used mini tart pans instead of one big one, and love the smaller pieces. Do people really eat big wedges of shortbread?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. This thread inspired me to check out the King Arthur site for recipes for this morning's breakfast. I had some apple cider syrup that we had picked up in western Mass. during a foliage drive and found the perfect recipe for Upside-down Apple Cake using the syrup on the KA site. It calls for a simple caramel sauce to be made, with about half put in the bottom of the cake pan and the other half reserved for drizzling over the cake slices when serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

                                                                                                                                                                                            This cake is delicious and moist, but very sweet, so be forewarned if you have an aversion to overly sweet things.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Please excuse the lousy photo!

                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I just finished making the Caribbean rum cake for my son's advisor/chem teacher who is from the Caribbean, and who wrote a recommendation for my son's college application.

                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm also making a large recipe of chocolate chip cookies for the College Counseling Office, and my son's advisor who went above and beyond the call of duty to get my son's application in. They made changes to the common app this year, and it's a nightmare. Since my son is a recruited athlete, the coach wanted to get the application in asap, but it was almost 10 days from the time my son submitted the application and the time the university received it! And there is absolutely no way to do it on paper. I think it's called progress! Anyway, this is the second batch for the college office since their hard times are just beginning!!

                                                                                                                                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                Ugh, the college process. I remember it well. My kid is 25, and it still seems like a miracle that we all made it through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Glad to see that food bribery is alive and well, ha ha, and I hope it works!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Haha. Not bribery, though, since it's all been done. I prefer calling it a thank you. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Excellent. Good luck to your son. Mine is off getting the Masters thing right now. Nothing is better than kids.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's nice to be friendly with baked goods, regardless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Roxlet, it's not too early to start thinking about recipes for baked goods that your son (and hungry roommates) will enjoy that ship well. USPS flat rate boxes are the way to go, timed so they're not just sitting somewhere on a Sunday, waiting for delivery. It makes distances feel shorter, both to bake and send treats, as well as to receive a taste of home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aw, I think I'll go bake something to send out tomorrow.....time to add some Peeps and candy corn to the package. "Tis the season, and I rise to the challenge of filling every inch of those flat rate boxes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: janeh

                                                                                                                                                                                                        You're clearly experienced in this matter! What have you found to work best? And how do you ship inside the flat rate boxes? Do you have a way of wrapping things so that more than crumbs arrive on the other end? Actually, since he'll be in the Tri-state area, I think my post office told me that it's more economical to ship with the priority mail boxes. And since he is a recruited athlete, that means that we will be bringing lots of treats to matches, which I'm really excited about!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ah, yes. I'm an experienced baking and shipping mom! I usually use ziploc plastic boxes, sometimes layering cookies, etc. with wax paper or parchment. Then I fill in the spaces in the box with various other goodies, new socks, etc, to provide padding. The flat rate boxes are priority mail - much less expensive than mailing most things by weight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          How nice that your son won't be too far away. I'm sure that everyone will flock to you at matches once they've sampled your baking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It can be a hard transition, but there's nothing like seeing your kid happy and thriving. There are plenty of us who've survived the high school/college transition who can commiserate (and toss in a recipe to make sure it's about food!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: janeh

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have you made particular recipes that ship well? I'm thinking biscotti might be one, for example...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some favorites are polvorones (mexican wedding cookies), rugelach and Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies. Also, any substantial - i.e., not too fragile - chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you don't already have a roll of Dorie's cookies in your freezer, ready to slice and bake, go directly to the kitchen and mix up a batch - they're the best!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Years ago, I sent a monthly care package of sweets across the country (CA to NY) for a time, and also sent holiday threats the opposite direction when I lived in NY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I found that fudgy brownies and rice krispies treats both shipped well. I'd cut them and wrap them well in foil (not each piece individually, but a bunch together), then put the wrapped slab in a ziplock bag. They're sturdy enough that they won't break, and when well wrapped stay fresh for a good while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Biscotti and shortbread are good candidates because they keep a long time, and as janeh says, soft or chewy but not fragile types also work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hey Caitlin, thanks for the chuckle......"holiday threats". :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ha! Yes, I'm sure my folks and the in-laws opened those packages with trepidation each year...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: janeh

                                                                                                                                                                                                            OOH! I need cookie-packing advice, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anyone out there shipped to England before? Is it just stupid expensive?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have shipped to Latin America.. the small flat-rate box which is typically $4-5 within the US was instead at least $16-20 to ship to Latin America. It felt odd shipping homemade cookies that were probably only $3 of ingredients for near $20... but I knew it would make the person feel much better, so I still sent it and tried not to think about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That looks a lot like the apple tart I made from Smitten Kitchen (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/1...) though mine was rectangular. I used Wolf River, Baldwin and Braeburn apples. Also cheated and bought puff pastry from Trader Joe's. It was well received at my dinner party when served with vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        At the same party I made gougeres which are always yummy, I use the recipe from David Lebovitz.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Nick Malgieri's Supernatural Brownies, which I do think are my new favorite right now, especially using muscovado sugar as a substitute for dark brown. It adds a subtle "caramel-y" flavor to these really moist bars:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/din...&

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lesliej

                                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart will certainly agree with your affection for Malgieri's brownies!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. i finally made that banana bread I talked about last week. I followed the Flour banana bread recipe and it was delicious... but incredibly moist - is there a such thing as too moist? I hate to complain about the moistness of a banana bread! I like to slice it the next day and toast it and butter it and felt it was difficult to do - BUT, boy was it delicious as is. Will definitely make again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tiffeecanoe

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have been making JC banana bread for awhile now and the last time I made it I found it very greasy. I think whipping the eggs makes a lighter loaf but am thinking of subbing browned butter for the oil next time. I am on the fence with this recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                              have you tried coconut oil? i substituted the oil with coconut oil on my pumpkin muffins and the difference was amazing! browned butter is great too. it adds a dimension to the banana bread that was enjoyed by all. however, with browned butter I like to showcase the browned butter on it's own in a cake or use a less dominant flavoring fruit like plum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                No but I will try coconut oil next. Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The molasses smelled so good I made some bran muffins (Bob's Red Mill bag recipe, 1 1/2 c bran and 1 c ww flour instead of the reverse). They were snapped up at work today in the blink of an eye. The cookies came out very well too -- I was all thrilled with myself for sugaring 4 at a time by swirling them in a bowl with sugar, only to be told by my sister (in law) that she and my MIL had been doing the same for years. Waah. The bread will have its portrait taken klater, worked our nicely too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            The muffins rose better in the pan with only six, I suppose because of more heat transfer. That's why the 2 pics of the tins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Those muffins got better as they sat. Moister.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yum! Will have to check that out..

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. made pumpkin muffins this morning at the request from the little guy. went thru recipes after recipes and settled on a Smitten Kitchen from 2006. Didn't require milk which i didn't have on hand and replaced the regular oil with coconut oil. A great recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2006/1...

                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pumpkin muffins are great. I love the Ellie Krieger ones.. they're "fairly" healthy..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had 2 today and can go for my 3rd if I don't lock them or myself away. They're that good and I'm not a fan of muffins. They're always too dry or something isn't right. I did modify the recipe with the coconut oil and added an egg yolk to experiment with since I just moved to a higher elevation. but I highly recommend the Smitten Kitchen recipe. I'll try the Ellie Krieger ones next. thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ugh, this thread is horrible for my waistline. Too inspirational! Glad they don't have much pumpkin here in FR (either that or I'm too dense to notice, better off!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yups. I don't think they like pumpkin as much ;) then again they don't celebrate thanksgiving so their holiday spirit doesn't kick in for a while...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          youareabunny, I am curious about the availability/use of pecans in France. Such wonderful baked goods there, but never a recipe with pecans - doesn't French/Viennese Pastry and Pecans seem like a heavenly marriage?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think so! Tons of almonds here, easy to come by in the big market or even small ones. Meal with skins or without, slivered, sliced, whole. But pecans? Never seen them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Sunday market I goto is not the biggest, but there is a nut guy so I will have a look when I go again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now you've added another item for me to bring when I'm back here next year ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Whoops. I was looking for this and couldn't find it, so I posted last month's thread....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm going crazy this weekend for my boyfriend's birthday party. I am not much of a baker, so I have the feeling I'm biting off more than I can chew:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Two pumpkin rolls (one with nuts, one without; using butternut squash puree instead of canned pumpkin)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                One chocolate tart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Two Dutch apple cakes (one as directed, another with pears and raspberries instead of apples
                                                                                                                                                                                                                )http://oneperfectbite.blogspot.com/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Since Cynsa and Buttertart have both made my chocolate fig cake, I thought this might be of interest to them:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I made the cake again, this time using Valrhona Guanaja chocolate. I was always surprised that Cynsa's cake broke when it was being transferred to the cake plate, as I never had that problem (and I've made it dozens of times); this time I did. As well, this time there was not as firm a crust on the top of the cake; the whole cake seemed much softer. I didn't think that going from Callebaut 56% to Valrhona 72% would make such a difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As for the taste, I think I prefer the cake made with Callebaut. The glaze and the cake did not really come together; you could taste the cake separate from the glaze. Mme Souschef felt the same. That was yesterday, after I glazed it. The cake has been sitting in the fridge overnight. I'm going to bring a piece to room temperature today and try it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was tempted to make it (in addition to the Valrhona) with XO Cognac and butter with 84% butterfat. Then I found out the price of a bottle of XO............!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I forgot to mention that the viscosity of the Valrhona glaze was very different from the usual viscosity of the Callebaut glaze. The Valrhona glaze was much thicker, so I had to add more cream to it (the glaze is made up of chocolate, gianduja, and whipping cream).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's the higher cocoa mass, it is tricky using different chocolates. The new Medrich, which i just got, goes into that in detail. Must make the cake again, it's the right time of year for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let me know what you think of the new Medrich after you've had time to read it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's always the right time of year for that cake! I tried it again; definitely prefer the Callebaut version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Just finished making a batch of focaccia sandwich rolls and chocolate whoopie pies. Now I have pita bread in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hey cherylptw, long time no read! Hope all ok.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi!! I took a break over the summer and have been back about a month. Nice to be back at Chow and to read everyone's mouthwatering treats!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I put a pie crust together yesterday. I am going to bake an apple pie today

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I just made melonpan. Been having some stomach issues so I wanted something tasty but plain. It's basically a brioche sort of dough, with a layer of sugar cookie. And I made them turtle shaped just cuz... although they rose more than expected so a few of them lost their feet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ridiculously adorable. I love them and want them for my very own! <3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I freestyled an Italian prune plum tart using Ruhlman's "Ratio" as a guideline for the cookie dough, which was pressed into a 8" pie pan. It included almond meal, TJ's multigrain baking mix, chickpea flour, vanilla and almond extracts, brown sugar, agave nectar, and Splenda (I was running out of all 3), an egg, butter, and coconut oil. Pressed this into the pie pan, then arranged the quartered plums, which had been tossed with tapioca flour and agave nectar, cut side up in concentric rings. Once cooled, brushed with melted quince jelly. Dead easy, but elegant-looking, and yummy. Could have used more tapioca because the plums were mostly overripe but hey, I guessed right on the amount of fruit to buy, and you can't have everything!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Our sweet and smart German trainee's last day is tomorrow, so I made some supernatural brownies to take in...can't let the boy go home without a real brownie!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He would have to be crazy not too.. I am sure that there can't be that many good brownies in Germany!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Today it was Carole Walter's Classic Sour Cream Cinnamon and Nut coffeecake - so good!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm planning on some type of cocktail inspired cupcakes for a friend's 40th birthday party this Saturday. She has requested something chocolate, so I'm thinking either black russian or mudslide. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has a recipe they love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Yesterday I baked my most-frequently baked item - chocolate cake from the back of a Hershey's can of cocoa powder (years ago) with powdered sugar on top. It was my oldest's 16th birthday and that is his favorite cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Looks like I'll be making it again tomorrow for a weekend fall festival.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Luscious Cheesecake from Joanne Chang's Flour. The oven is turned off and the cheesecake left in the oven for an additional hour as it cools to prevent cracking. Truly luscious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Apple, cheddar and cranberry muffins

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. My own recipe for tequila lime fruitcake that needs to steep in tequila for 4-6 weeks. Requests are already coming in!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And blueberry muffins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That fruitcake sounds crazy-good! Might you share the recipe (please, please, please)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: janeh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I got on a rant about three years ago over fruitcake. When posed the question "do you like fruitcake?" my friends and family shouted a resounding "are you kidding me? NO!" When I asked the same question of my European friends, their reply was "of course, are you crazy?" Then the royal wedding took place and I read several articles about the wedding cake--a traditional English fruitcake. The American dislike for really good fruitcake disappeared when someone invented the myth of the fruitcake that traveled the world. I set out to change that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I collected several recipes and adapted them to my locale--New Mexico. The ingredients include tropical dried fruits combined with some unusual spices. And, naturally, tequila. Now, three years later, friends and family (Americans and Europeans) are beginning to put their orders in early. Fruitcake haters take heed--are you afraid of a little fruitcake with your tequila?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here is the recipe and a photo of the finished product.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TEQUILA LIME FRUITCAKE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dawn Singh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  New Mexico
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2) 9 inch loaves

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 cups AP flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 T baking soda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 teaspoon ground ginger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 teaspoon amchur (dried, ground mango)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  zest of 2) small limes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter at room temperature
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 cup organic sugar (or white sugar)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 c organic agave syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup tequila
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 large eggs at room temperature

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 cups toasted pistachios (approximate)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 1/2 cups (approximate) of each of the following or a combination of at least three:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dried pineapple
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dried papaya
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  golden raisins
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  crystallized ginger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Italian citron
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dried kiwi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Combine all dried fruits in a large container, stir and steep with 1/2 cup tequila and cover overnight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Heat oven to 300F. Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans with coconut oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Beat butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until pale yellow, 3-4 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Add sugar and mix until fluffy, another 3-4 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5. Add eggs one at a time, mixing in well before adding more. Use a rubber spatula to scrape sides of bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6. Transfer egg/butter/sugar mixture to large mixing bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, lime zest, dried fruits that have been steeped in tequila (include the tequila), pistachios and dried spices. Fold in just until well blended. Divide into two batches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7. Bake until cakes are golden and set about 1 1/2 hrs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  8. Let cool on rack in the pans for about 30 minutes. Release from the pans by running a knife around the outside of the cakes. Let cool thoroughly before slicing or preparing for the steep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  9. Place each cake on a piece of wax paper inside a tin with a tight fitting lid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  10. Add 1 T or so of tequila every week for 4-6 weeks or up to four months. Keep in refrigerator.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NOTE: Freezes up to one year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you so much for posting the recipe! I look forward to giving it a try in a few weeks. I usually bake mini loaves of Alton Brown's free range fruit cake, variations depending on what I have on hand. This year there'll be some new tastes for the fruit cake fans. Happy baking! Many thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am SO making this! Thanks for sharing!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you for sharing! That sounds delicious. I've never made fruitcake but am sorely tempted now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Please let me know how yours all turn out and how they are received. Good luck!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yay! I just called the Indian grocery near my home and they carry amchur powder - looking forward to making this as well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lesliej

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great! It's not that hard to find if you have Indian grocers in your area. Before you use it, taste it. Some are a bit more sour than others. The royal wedding cake baker used tamarind but I opted for amchur. Good luck. I have my fruits steeping in tequila as we speak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Do I understand the amount of fruit correctly - 9 cups? Or is it 1.5 cup total?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Good question, that is an important difference! I initially thought 1.5 cups total but rereading, I'm not so sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Definitely not 9 cups! I used about 3 cups, but you can use less if you like less. Also, add the agave syrup and tequila with the liquid ingredients. I just made it yesterday and it turned out beautifully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So, you use 2C of pistachios and 3 C of mixed dried fruit from the list in your recipe, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's right. I grind the pistachios up a bit in the food processor and add about 2 cups. I usually eyeball the mixed dried fruits, but this time I measured them for accuracy. You can add a bit less if you like, but I like mine very fruity. Here is a picture of one I just made and you can see it's very fruity. The spices are prominent and as it steeps in the tequila in the fridge, the flavors all blend together and mellow out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                CORRECTION TO THE TEQUILA LIME FRUITCAKE RECIPE ABOVE:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For the dried fruit mixture (your choice), add about 3 cups to the batter, not 1 1/2 cups of EACH of those listed. You can add less if you like, but I like mine very fruity so I add 3 cups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Add the tequila and agave syrup into the wet ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can grind the pistachios in the food processor if you like or crush them a bit with a hammer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I actually like fruitcake and I think I'm going to have to make this one :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is there a reason why you wait to add the dried spices with the wet ingredients rather than whisking them into the dry ones instead?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nope, no reason. Either way is fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And kudos to you for your fruitcake fondness! I love it too and make it with all organic ingredients except some of the dried fruits depending on what I have on hand or need to order. I'm converting all my AP flour recipes to spelt flour. Haven't tried it with this yet, but there is no reason it wouldn't work. Switching out AP for whole spelt flour has been a breeze in other recipes I've tried.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. This Spiced Cranberry Bundt, which uses Five Spice as one of the seasonings, and both ground and sliced almonds. Wonderful flavor, unglazed or glazed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/200...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I used my food processor to finely grind a cup of sliced almonds to make the 3/4 "almond meal" called for by the recipe. I also used vanilla non-fat Greek Yogurt, and needed most of two 6 oz cartons to make 1 measured cup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Baking times - in Garland (small Bundts) pan 40 minutes, in Bundlet (cupcake) pan 25 - 30 minutes, in mini-muffin pan 20 minutes. The texture as mini-muffins is very soft/tender. I prefer the contrast of the crispier thin shell on the outside /decorative indentations on the cakes that baked in Bundt pans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow... looks really great! It's a Dorie Greenspan... I don't think that I've ever had one of her recipes fail..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Tomorrow I am going to attempt the Better Nutters (homemade Nutter Butters) in the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook. The TKOs were a bit hit at work so I know they will be expecting something on Monday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You should put out a tip jar at work...or better yet, get them hooked and then start charging them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I have the cheddar cranberry soda bread that was featured in the latest King Arthur Flour catalogue. I made some changes, I used gruyere and parmesan, because those were the cheeses I had on hand, and I used frozen cranberries instead of dried, also I added a dash of Penzey's horseradish dip mix, so if it doesn't come out it's clearly not the fault of the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ha...heck no, go ahead and blame it on the recipe!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And now that it turned out very tasty, I'll take all the credit ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I'm on a Flour kick tonight, so banana bread, lemon-ginger scones, and the cranberry maple-pecan breakfast cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Maple Tarte Tatin. I took my eye off the apples while I was rolling the crust, which accounts for the slightly uneven caramelization - my burner has some definite hot spots. Even so, I was happy with how it turned out - not bad for a first try!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I always undercaramelize - ha, maybe we should combine efforts...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Right? Oddly enough, though, the darker spots were the tastiest parts - it looked burnt to me, but it really had just the perfect edge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Well, so far I've cracked one of my pumpkin rolls and broken the crust for my chocolate tart. Haven't cried or yelled once though!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not sure if I'm still going to make the apple cake and pear-raspberry cakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good thing I decided not to make the other cakes. The few people who RSVPed are now bailing. Looks like we will be eating a lot of junk food this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, dear, I'm sorry...it isn't you, it's them. What is wrong with people?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Enjoy the food, anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I made pumpkin ginger scones this morning from this King Arthur Flour recipe:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They are tasty with a nice bite from the crystallized ginger. Let's see if my son likes them, otherwise I will have to figure out who to give them to!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I made the bran muffins again. Same result with the ones in the pan of 6 rising much more than the full pan. These suckers are really good, gotta say it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Is this the recipe? Upthread, you posted, Bob's Red Mill bag recipe, 1 1/2 c bran and 1 c ww flour instead of the reverse. Looks dead simple! http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes.ph...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also like these a lot: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3306...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They both look good! I love bran muffins, but it's hard to find a good recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Those do look good.. and very healthy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They are, and they stay moist. Since they're so lean, be sure to grease the pan well or use muffin papers -- this batch stuck fairly badly (used veg oil spray). I think that's why I had a hard time with the Kirsch cake, too, there's very little fat in the cake itself.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    PS to Caitlin because of the local connection -- I got the pans at East Bay Restaurant Supply in about 1975. Pays to buy pro.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. My two grandchildren have a combined birthday party (family) and I baked an adapted version of her Butterscotch Tiramisu Cheesecake from The Painted Apron blog.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The batter tasted wonderful last night! I also made Curtis Stone's butterscotch sauce to serve alongside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks, I hope it came out well. There will be about 15 people at the party, some are in-laws. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you roxlet. They loved it after all and that's really all that matters to me. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I just made cherry/pistachio biscotti as a gift for one of my son's teachers who wrote him a college recommendation. I used the recipe from kingarthurflour.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I made maple pumpkin cheesecake bars for a friend's birthday party last night.. and pumpkin chocolate chip cookie bars for a friend's little girls. Both turned out well.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      How I have to figure out what to make for a staff potluck breakfast on Hallowe'en.. busy week, so it will have to be something quick!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you're looking for suggestions, I can recommend this pear bundt cake - minus the glaze. Flavorful and not too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://theculinarychronicles.com/2010...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That looks great.. I do love pears. I am feeling very lazy (or over-booked) this week.. I was originally considering something with apples or pears, but I may end going with something that does not involve peeling or chopping!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Just finished baking off Pan de Muerto.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I used the recipe from My Sweet Mexico by Fany Gerson with a few tweaks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The recipe does not call for warming the liquid used to proof the yeast. The first time I used the recipe I did not get the rise that I thought I should have. I now heat the liquid - milk in today's batch - and get a great rise. Still having issues with the criss-cross strips of dough that form the "bones" on the bread, but I think that is my issue, not the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I usually make the aniseed variation which calls for 1 1/2 tsp. of aniseed. I usually bump that up to 2 tsp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is a really good recipe and it does yield a very nice, soft textured pan de muerto

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I made the Apple Snacking Spice Cake from Joanne Chang's Flour with dates instead of raisins, toasted pecans, and lots of apples. It is wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mscoffee1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I made Banana bread from Flour last night to serve to my bookclub tonight. Very moist and flavouful. Wrapped in syran as she suggested and hope everyone enjoys.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Everything I made from Flour has been wonderful - carrot cake and chocolate tart come immediately to mind. I bought her second book but have not really spent any time with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I additon, I love her macaroons, meringues, red velvet cake(particularly her icing) and pop tarts.i

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There is (cooking from...) thread that we should be contributing to. I'll check it later and add my comments. And add a sticky to my book with your suggestions and mscoffee's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I just made Healthy Hummingbird Muffins which is the winner of a CHOW contest created by our very own Greygarious. Delicious and moist. You can google it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I made a pumpkin streusel coffeecake last night to bring in to a potluck breakfast tomorrow. Didn't have a chance to taste it until tonight.. wow... such a moist cake! I had a lot of problems stopping myself at just one piece!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh that sounds good! Where is the recipe from?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you, I was hoping you'd post the recipe :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i'm so excited to make this. thanks for posting,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I made the pumpkin-swirl brownies from Smitten Kitchen, but goofed on the chocolate (I put in 8oz when it called for 6) so the chocolate part was a little crumbly, but fantastic with milk!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. This weekend I'm going to make Crepes or Wrath's peanut butter blondies w the leftover reeses pb cups. Looks way over the top good..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I made Baklava from the new Cook's Illustrated Baking cookbook. I did the walnut/almond version and it came out great. It was for a surprise birthday party for a friend who had just gotten back from a vacation in Turkey so I thought it was fitting. I used a few extra sheets of Phyllo between the layers and on top and clarified 4 sticks of butter instead of 3 but otherwise followed the recipe(I had some butter left over). My sheets were 12 x 17" so I cut them in half crosswise to use in my 13 x 9" pan. The pastry turned out crisp and flaky and buttery with just enough syrup to be moist and sticky but not cloying. Next time I will try the pistachio rosewater variation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nadiam1000

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow - these look & sound terrific. You're a good friend to tackle this, and a good cook to be so successful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you Midwesterner. Baklava is not as hard as it might seem - it feels a bit like a cheat since I do not make the dough. Confidence and patience is required since phyllo can be delicate, but in the end it is brushing and layering. I love baking and making pastry and I still want to master croissants!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Three types of cookies. These will ship to my MIL who is recovering from major surgery. She's getting along very well with everyday activity, but doesn't have the energy for baking and both she & FIL have a sweet tooth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Today I made
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1) raisin drop cookies with chopped pecans, a family favorite recipe she gave me while hubby & I were just dating. It uses allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon, and the 2 C raisins are boiled in 1 C water, then cooled before addition.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2) chocolate chip with walnuts, using the dark chocolate chips. We like ours with half the chips (1 C, not 2) and nuts (1/2 C, not 1) of the "standard" Toll House recipe. and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3) Earl Grey Tea Cookies, using the recipe from Real Simple May 2005
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://food.realsimple.com/realsimple...