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What are you baking these days? May 2014 edition, part 1 [Through May 14, 2014]

Hi everybody!! It's May in my other favourite parts of the world, so here we go with what will probably be Part 1 for this month, since the threads have exploded recently. Lots of nice newish posters and old stalwarts contributing. Hard to believe that some months we barely hit 100 posts...
I neglected to mention that February marked 5 years of happy What are you baking? confabs. Makes me a happy little (butter) tart!
Here are the results of last weekend's goings-on -- a leek and bacon tart, based loosely on a Nick Malgieri recipe, for Saturday dinner (with céleri rémoulade); some blueberry bran muffins (Bob's Red Mill bag recipe, with 1 1/2 c bran and 1 c ww flour instead of the reverse, and TJ's dried wild blueberries, yum), and those spectacular salted nut butterscotch cookies I can't stay away from. Mine spread less than others'.
So, what are YOU baking these days?

 
 
 
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  1. By the way, if someone does want to index the recipes posted here, that would be just hunky-dory with me. I don't have the time, unfortunately.

    15 Replies
    1. re: buttertart

      I'll do it!!!! I'd actually be happy to review each month's recipes and index them at the end of each thread so I can make sure to jot down the ones I want on file.

      I think it will be really handy so we don't have to scan through 600 posts to find the one we needed.

      If anyone else wants to do it, let me know here, otherwise I will get started on last month's index later on tonight.

      1. re: nothingswrong

        Sounds great, but perhaps it should be a separate thread, like "Recipes from April's Baking Thread"
        I think some people have difficulty loading such a long thread if they have slow internet service, so another, shorter thread might be helpful for them.

          1. re: roxlet

            What about an ongoing index thread? A post for each month, perhaps, and then perhaps a link to it in the OP of each new what re you baking thread. Would make a great resource easier to keep track of, and something people could bookmark.

          2. re: nothingswrong

            That is so neat! Thank you so much! Let me know if you want any help....

          3. re: buttertart

            OKAY! First recipe index is up here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974196

            I'm going to do a post for each month. I like Caitlin's idea about doing it all in one thread so we can bookmark it and refer to it anytime. Although who knows--given the length of each month's recipe index, that thread may get too long as well. I guess we'll see.

            I linked to as many recipes as I could find on the internet. I may have gotten a few of them wrong (like KAF has multiple recipes with similar or the same names), so feel free to correct me if I got your recipes wrong.

            Also, I only listed baked goods that had specific recipes mentioned.

            Hope the format is okay--I wasn't sure, but thought poster's names should be listed. Sometimes I just remember "Roxlet's Strawberry Cake" when looking back for a recipe.

            Let me know if I should change anything.

              1. re: nothingswrong

                Wow, that looks like a lot of work! It is greatly appreciated. I cant count the number of times I have poured through old baking threads to find a recipe.

                1. re: nothingswrong

                  I am beyond impressed! How did you do it so quickly? And recipe links are amazing to have in one place.

                  Many thanks, nothingswrong!

                  1. re: herby

                    I made some French fries and put on a movie and just knocked it out last night. It was kind of relaxing :)

                    1. re: nothingswrong

                      Wow! That is outstanding! You are an energizer bunny...

                        1. re: nothingswrong

                          Great job with the baking index! Your amazing.

                      1. I baked the blackberry buttermilk cake from Bon Appetit recipe can be found here http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                        Love the texture of the cake, it got rave reviews and is already 1/2 gone. My substitutions were 1/4 cup coconut oil for an equal amount of butter because I only had one stick room temp and I omitted the orange peel ( didn't have any) and added almond extract.

                        I was a little concerned the cake might overflow the pan. I did use the 9 inch springform called for in the recipe but boy was the pan full when I put the batter over the berries and sugar. It baked fine though. I was very glad I had some cake rounds on hand for the flip over.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: rasputina

                          Here is the pic of the blackberry buttermilk cake, after it's 1/2 gone ........

                           
                          1. re: rasputina

                            oh and since I finally am getting around to posting pics, here is the apple cider pie and lemon meringue I made a few weeks ago that I posted about.

                             
                             
                          2. That leek and bacon tart looks really great! Recipe, please! Is it like a frittata in a crust?

                            Indexing the recipes would be a great idea...going back five years would be even better, but a massive undertaking.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: souschef

                              It's the crust from the Tenderflake box ;-), chilled in the pan (I would prebake it next time). Filling: 6 strips of bacon, fried quite crisp and cut up, 2 massive leeks, thinly sliced and washed extremely well, cooked in a skim of the bacon fat until limp, a bit of s&p, a few gratings of nutmeg, 1 c heavy cream and 4 eggs mixed into the leek mix when cooled. 425 for about 40 mins, 28 cm or so tart pan. Avctually done au pif which I know drives you crazy ;-)

                              1. re: buttertart

                                Thanks Buttertart. There's enough there for me to not go crazy :)

                            2. Since chocolate chip cookies are highly in demand by my visiting Egyptian, I decided to try Joy the Baker's version blogged about in flourish, which is the King Arthur Flour blog. It is pretty close to my usual recipe in terms of butter/sugar proportions (I usually use dark brown sugar though), except that this recipe calls for one stick of butter to be browned, and a teaspoon of molasses to be added in. Also, I usually make mine in a bowl, just mixing by hand, and this recipe called for some extensive beating in a mixer. I think they're very nice, but still waiting for the mavens to weigh in.

                              http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2...

                               
                              19 Replies
                              1. re: roxlet

                                Hey Ms. Roxlet,
                                Pls give us your unvarnished, unbiased opinion of Joy the Baker's cc cookies. I await your verdict. You did say "very nice"---but do they surpass your favorite recipe? What is your fav cc cookie recipe if it's not Joy the Baker's?
                                Thanks mucho.

                                1. re: soccermom13

                                  Hi soccermom!

                                  I forgot to ask the ccc cookie eaters last night about this iteration of cookie. My husband is very much in the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" camp, but he hasn't weighed in on these yet. I'm on Weight Watchers, so I'm trying not to eat cookies. :(

                                  I have made thousands of ccc over the years for more bake sales and team treats than I can count, and everyone loves my ccc, which sell out at bake sales. Basically, it's the Toll House Cookie recipe with a few modifications.

                                  Roxlet's Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

                                  Cream two sticks of butter with 1 cup packed dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar. Do this by hand, not using a mixer since a mixer incorporates too much air for this recipe. Add a good tablespoon of vanilla (I never measure, I just pour), and two eggs and mix well. Mix in 21/4 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a scant teaspoon of salt. Add 3 cups of chocolate chips.

                                  Make the size you like -- bigger or smaller -- and bake for about 6 minutes, at 350 and then rotate the pan. Bake another 6 minutes, or until nicely brown.

                                  These will be flatter cookies than Joy the Baker's, but will not be as crispy as hers.

                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    Roxlet,
                                    Thank you very much.

                                    p.s. Totally unrelated to this post but I just skimmed the weight watchers thread and saw some of your posts. Doggone it but it's hard to be a good baker and not naturally thin! That is the story of my life.

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      This recipe is very similar to my favorite: Baked Brooklyn's chocolate chip cookies. I've actually modified their recipe so that it's more in line with yours, as Baked's calls for 2 cups of flour, which I don't find to be enough so I add more. The large amount of dark brown sugar really makes them special in my opinion.

                                      Baked's Chocolate Chip Cookies

                                      2 cups all purpose flour
                                      1 teaspoon salt
                                      1 teaspoon baking soda
                                      1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
                                      1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
                                      ½ cup granulated sugar
                                      2 large eggs
                                      2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                                      2 2/3 cups (16 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

                                      1. re: emily

                                        Yes, very similar. There are endless variations, for sure, all similar to Toll House too!

                                        1. re: emily

                                          How about yours Emily--chewy, crispy, flat, thick??

                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                            I'd say they are chewier with crispy edges and not flat. With only 2 cups flour, they are flat and too greasy imo. I actually bake them until they are a deep golden brown because I like the caramelized flavor, which makes them less chewy, of course.

                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                            Not exactly. Somewhere in between crispy with a little chew that increases as the cookies "age."

                                        2. re: soccermom13

                                          Well, so far the reaction here is mixed. The cookies are good, I've been told, but the others are perfect. I suppose I should stop experimenting with CCC and stick with what works. My husband has yet to weigh in.

                                        3. re: roxlet

                                          I have her cookbook but have yet to cook anything from it. It was one of those kindle deals I couldn't pass up. Brown butter in baked goods seems to be getting popular lately.

                                          1. re: rasputina

                                            Well, it does add a nice caramel note to many things!

                                          2. re: roxlet

                                            And, ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. My husband finally tried the ccc last night, and diplomatically said, "They're very good, but I like your regular ones better." However, he did say that he thought the Salted Nut Butterscotch cookies (from April's thread) were awesome.

                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                  I think I looked at that browned butter recipe but I thought it used extra butter so I didn't proceed. I don't stock Crisco anymore though I guess it no longer has transfats. Adding half Crisco made for a crisper cookie and I think less greasy. I'll have to try using coconut oil.

                                                  1. re: divadmas

                                                    I don't quite know which recipe you are referring to since none that I've made uses Crisco. The Joy the Baker ccc are very crisp, and stayed that way.

                                                    1. re: divadmas

                                                      Crisco does indeed have transfats. Just not enough of them to have to legally say so on the nutritional chart. Also, the jury is currently questioning whether the majority of mass-produced vegetable fats are possibly bad for your health.

                                                      The biggest and most provable point to never using Crisco is that it brings NOTHING to the party flavorwise. Add this to the fact that it is generally used as the main component in whatever baked item it's in, and you end up with a baked item that ranges in taste from tasteless to icky. Not to mention the slimy mouthfeel after eating it.

                                                      I'll step down from the podium now.

                                                  2. ATK's Oatmeal Muffins...Interesting recipe, yet happy with the end results!

                                                     
                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Lorry13

                                                      Love the streusel topping on those!

                                                      1. re: Lorry13

                                                        I just realized I also just made these as well, my sister recommended the recipe to me, and I didn't remember you'd also made them. Mine look different, and not just because I didn't do the topping. I think I pulsed the oatmeal too much and I added cinnamon to the batter, so mine are darker brown. Taste good though!

                                                        1. re: Lorry13

                                                          Where can I find this recipe? They look and sound great!

                                                        2. I'm still working my way through my triple ginger lemon cookies--they are SO good and the flavor actually seems to improve with time. I brought some to my sister and brother in law and the seemed to enjoy them.

                                                          This weekend I've recruited some folks from work for a parade, and I'd like to bring some goodies, but I'm struggling to find a recipe. I'd like to make either muffins or sweetrolls and I'd like to use my sourdough starter since I have it coming out of my ears now. Any recipe suggestions? I'm thinking this one http://www.examiner.com/article/52-we... but would like other ideas/suggestions. It is an early morning parade, so breakfasty things.

                                                          1. That tart looks really good, I haven't had bacon in so long. I'm making baguettes today for my ongoing "perfect" baguette project, and for the first time, I think my epi is going to look like a sheaf of wheat instead of a blobular something or other you might see under a microscope!

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                              Baguettes have be on my to-do list for forever. What recipe have you felt worked for you?

                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                I really like the recipe in the Bread Baker's Apprentice, it's half bread flour, half all purpose. You make pate fermentee, and that can stay in the fridge for up to three days, then you make the same dough again and add your pate fermentee to that.
                                                                And a sucessful epi, I'm so excited! The best part of a baguette is the quignon (the cripsy points) and there are so many quignon with this shape.

                                                                 
                                                                1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                  Your epi looks really good. I still haven't gotten around to trying to make one.

                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                      Thanks! It took a bunch of tries and looking up a video on youtube to get it right.

                                                              2. Made these this morning, blueberry drop scones, I had a honey butter left over so I melted it and uses coconut milk mostly bisquick and some whole wheat flour just what we had on hand as I'm moving tomorrow. Then used frozen but thawed and drained blueberries.

                                                                 
                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: LEsherick2007

                                                                  Those look delicious. And sounds like you'll never be able to replicate the recipe. Grin. Great you were able to pull these together with what was on hand.

                                                                    1. re: LEsherick2007

                                                                      http://magpiesrecipes.blogspot.com/20...
                                                                      This is what I based it on again I used mostly bisquick with some WW flour instead of the AP flour and baking powder.
                                                                      No sugar and used the melted butter and honey mixture instead of the coconut oil. And I had more than the 1/2 cup so I added more WW flour to make up for the added moisture but just enough so it was not a sticky mess.
                                                                      No shredded coconut as I had none.

                                                                    2. I'm way behind on baking these - Carrie Mullins is the Sweets editor at Serious Eats and she posted the recipe for these biscotti on 16 April. That very day I went out to Trader Joe's and picked up the cinnamon coated candied almonds she called for in the recipe. I posted here on the Home Cooking board about her use of Extra-large eggs vs. Large eggs, and then didn't get going on baking them until today.

                                                                      So I made them early this afternoon and they just finished cooling: I made a nice cup of tea and sat down to sample them - these biscotti are as described; they are dunkers. Eaten as-is, they're teething biscuits but they are tasty as all get out. I'm loving them even though I'm not a fan of dark chocolate; in the biscotti, the dark chocolate works.

                                                                      http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                                                       
                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                        I remember seeing those at SE. Those cinnamon-coated candied almonds sound fabulous. I don't much like teeth-breaking biscotti but next time I'm at TJs I'm going to look for those to add to my own biscotti recipe.

                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                          If you dunk 'em, they're not remotely tooth-breaking. I know TJs will be glad to sell another bag of nuts, in any case.

                                                                          1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                            I'm not a dunker! But maybe I will try them anyway and underbake a few minutes. Worst case, I'll just nibble on them.

                                                                        2. re: mcsheridan

                                                                          Oh candied almonds, that is different. When I saw the picture I thought it was hazelnut.

                                                                          1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                            a) I can NEVER get my biscotti to look that pretty! and,
                                                                            2) We have the exact granite counter tops in our kitchen.

                                                                            1. re: adirunner

                                                                              Don't feel too bad; the four in the picture were the "beauty queens" of the batch. In some of the others, the chocolate looks like a brown smear, and some have 3-4 almonds stacked up.

                                                                              The granite went in last Fall in my major remodeling event. I'm loving it much more than the old laminate. ;)

                                                                              1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                Well, the four certainly are gorgeous! :)

                                                                                And, us too. When we bought the house, the kitchen was white?! Clearly, she did not cook often and did not have kids.

                                                                          2. Dinkel-Walnussbrot - Spelt Walnut Bread

                                                                            Recipe from The Fresh Loaf http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2223...

                                                                            I started the soaker and biga yesterday with freshly ground spelt flour and chops, had plenty of buttermilk even after making that cake yesterday. I used a bowl lined with a kitchen towel and well floured as a substitute brotform. Was too lazy to fire up the ceramic oven outside so I baked it in house oven on the baking stone with steam as directed in the recipe.

                                                                            It came out wonderful with a nice crisp crust from the steam, had terrific oven spring and a nice moist crumb with good chew. What a great tasting bread. I'm definitely making it again. The flour left a lovely pattern from the towel on the top also.

                                                                            here's a poor picture of the bread. sorry took it with my phone and I have poor lighting in the kitchen.

                                                                             
                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: rasputina

                                                                              What is Dinkel? Dialect for dunkel (dark)? Looks wonderful, must try.

                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                Dinkel is the German word for Spelt which is a type of grain. Dinkel Walnussbrot means spelt walnut bread.

                                                                              2. re: rasputina

                                                                                That looks lovely, I love bread with nuts.

                                                                              3. Finally made Blueberry Boy Bait, which has been seen on every blog in the history of blogdom: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Blueberr...

                                                                                Made no real changes, aside from going heavy on the vanilla, since I always do.

                                                                                Bf just had a slice and said it was "phenomenal." This is a very old recipe and I can see why it's still around. Took me all of 5 minutes to prepare and yields a great, tender, buttery cake with a wonderful crispy cinnamon-sugar topping.

                                                                                Oh and I used frozen "wild blueberries" from my local supermarket which are spectacular. Much better tasting than the expensive organic ones I've bought in the past.

                                                                                 
                                                                                 
                                                                                 
                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                  I've always loved the very retro name of this! Boy bait, indeed!

                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                    Me too! I told it to my bf as he was eating it and he said I indeed have baited him.

                                                                                    I'm eating a slice now and it tastes just like blueberry pancakes. Love.

                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                      It is very good. Caitlin McG likes it too...

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                        Who, me? Your memory is playing tricks on you, as I've never made bbb. But I have made and enjoyed a lemon blueberry buckle, which is kinda sorta similar, and guess what? So did you! See here, a few years back, in a previous iteration where the bbb was also discussed (scroll down a little for the buckle recipe): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7952...

                                                                                        And I just noticed that that link is from a Part 2, so obviously, you dealt with the lengthies that way back in the mists of time...

                                                                                      2. re: roxlet

                                                                                        I first found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen a few years ago.. and loved it. Was a bit sheepish about telling people what it was called though..

                                                                                      3. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                        Oh that looks yummy. I really need to check the freezer, I have some blueberries that have been in there for months now.

                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                          I have made Blueberry boy bait before and it's very good I used this recipe.
                                                                                          http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/06...

                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                            I also use the frozen wild blueberries they are delicious.

                                                                                            1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                              I have to say, I was surprised when I opened the package at how small they are. Like the size of large BBs. The organic Cascadian Farms blueberries I'd been keeping in the freezer were large and plump. But these little guys--I loved them! They are super flavorful and their small size dispersed them through the batter, so there was a bit of blueberry in every bite.

                                                                                              I know I'm raving about a local chain store's damn frozen fruit but I just love when you find a delicious, cheap alternative. They actually ARE organic too, so even better!

                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                I tend to think the small ones of the better ones. Lived in Northern Quebec, and they grew in the field in front of our home, they were small. I usually buy the small ones at the farmer's market and freeze them but they are like buying gold, very expensive. The frozen is a very good alternative.
                                                                                                Of late, I have been buying organic blackberries, cherries, and peaches from one company which are very good. I like to have them on hand for baking and do not waste as much compared to fresh..

                                                                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                  The wee ones are the best. They grow in northern Ont too.

                                                                                          2. Jeez Louise, 50+ posts already???

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                boy is that the truth LOL. Plus Mother's Day and Memorial weekend this month for those of in the US.

                                                                                            1. Brownies! With a speculoos frosting. A co-worker got a promotion and is leaving our team for another one; today was his last day with us. Living alone and incapable of controlling myself around sweets, I jump at ANY excuse to bake and then take it directly out of my apartment, ha ha.

                                                                                              I knew he loves those big chocolate chip cookies you get from the soup/salad/sandwich places, but I wanted something I could mix and bake in one go, no fussing with multiple rounds of cookies on trays. I also had been wanting an excuse to make something with speculoos since I noticed my corner grocery carried it, AND I had been wanting to try Ina's Outrageous Brownies since I had not loved the last recipe I tried. (Nick's Supernatural. Sorry buttertart!!)

                                                                                              Voila!

                                                                                              I followed Ina's recipe exactly, except that I halved it and used pecans instead of walnuts. Even halving it, I still had enough brownie batter left over to fill 5 cupcake wells. Those are the ones in the picture, since the tray that I took to work was almost immediately demolished sans photos. More than one person had that instant, vocal "ohmigod" reaction after taking a bite, and two said they were the best brownies they ever had. Another person said she just wanted to eat a tub of frosting with a spoon, which was awesome because I had totally winged it and was afraid the consistency was off.

                                                                                              I know y'all will get it ... there's just nothing better than that feeling you get when you bake something that people love. Made my day.

                                                                                               
                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                wow, looks great. Would love the recipe for the frosting..

                                                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                  Not my brownies and not my frosting but here is an alternative that is so quick it is almost instant : in a saucepan put 1 cup sugar and 1/ 3 cup each milk and butter. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute by the clock. Remove from burner and dump in 1 cup chocolate chips. Stir until they melt. Immediately pour over still- warm brownies in pan (or any cake in pan). Frosting sets up as it cools and makes a layer of fudge.

                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                    Sure thing! Like I said, I winged it a bit, but it wasn't complicated. I started out by beating together 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/3 cup speculoos, 2-3 tbsp butter, 1-2 tsp vanilla. and 3 tbsp milk. It was way too dry, so I alternately added speculoos and splashes of milk until it was a spreadable consistency. By the time I was done, I probably had used a little less than half the jar of speculoos. I had wanted it to be more "whipped", but I found it almost seemed to take on a greasy look the more I beat it. (I dunno why, though it did occur to me that maybe I had added too much of the speculoos... ). Anyway, since it tasted great (not too sweet, strong graham cracker/cookie like flavor) I decided to leave well enough alone, and then stirred in 4 ounces of mini chocolate chips. After spreading on the brownies I put it in the fridge for a bit for it to set up, and I think that helped with cutting later.

                                                                                                2. Both the Bill Granger Coconut bread and too-sweet but utterly addictive robin's eggs cookies went very quickly at work (as did the cinnamon blondies), so I feel like I have my baking mojo back. Am making a cinnamon roll bundt cake this week for a colleague's leaving tea (working with mostly women means that we have an inordinate amount of potlucks and teas).. recipe here:
                                                                                                  http://www.beantownbaker.com/2013/11/...
                                                                                                  I've been wanting to try the recipe for a while..
                                                                                                  Also thinking ahead to the end of May and my birthday. I usually always make Nigella's nutella cake (which I still love). But occasionally I mix it up, and this year I was thinking of trying something new.. several options are springing to mind.
                                                                                                  The coconut cake OR chocolate cake recommended by Roxlet (with the cooked flour frosting)..or this blackout cake from King Arthur...
                                                                                                  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...
                                                                                                  Decisions!
                                                                                                  BT: what did you make for the significant birthday in your house?

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                    The cinnamon roll bundt cake turned out well, btw... would recommend the recipe. But how can you go wrong with 6 eggs and 3/4 lb of butter?

                                                                                                  2. My niece and I made muffins last night. She is four and knows that many of the things that go into muffins are delicious, but isn't sure which are the good ones. So I gave her a fork and asked her to whisk together the dry ingredients she had helped me dump in the bowl. She took it very seriously, but then I saw her grab a bit to eat of the flour mix. Apparently she wasn't impressed. I told her I'd let her know when the batter would taste better--and let her try some brown sugar.

                                                                                                    She is quite the budding baker, but like all four year olds I only managed to keep her attention for one batch, and then she did a dramatic re-enactment of frozen. We made a raspberry sourdough muffin and an oatmeal muffin.

                                                                                                    The sourdough recipe is SO light and fluffy, not too sweet. I did use coconut oil instead of butter in this, and my starter was whole wheat. Here is the recipe http://www.examiner.com/article/52-we... I didn't use all the topping, but then I used the rest on the second batch of muffins.

                                                                                                    My sister suggested I make these http://mamasminutia.blogspot.com/2012... oatmeal muffins from cook's illustrated. I didn't make the topping, since my nieces needed my attention. I did put some on the tops of some of the muffins. I will say the recipe said it would make 12-18 muffins, but I got 21 reasonably sized muffins. They are good, not as light and airy as the sourdough ones, but with a good texture and toasty flavor. I did add cinnamon to the batter with the dry ingredients. The batter was very thin, and it is supposed to sit out for 20 minutes before being baked. But niece one needed to go to bed and niece two screamed for a half hour, so they didn't get in for more than an hour. The batter was thicker, but they may not have risen as much.

                                                                                                    This muffin extravaganza will be for a parade I'm going in for work, for all of our attendees, I hope they enjoy the muffins and the parade!

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                      I think they will be a hit. They look lovely.

                                                                                                    2. That quiche recipe is calling to me!

                                                                                                      1. I have been baking blueberry citrus muffins, spice cookies, & lemon pound cake. Tomorrow I'll make a chocolate pound cake. I have been working at our polling office with absentee/early voters. We've all been bringing treats. The chocolate pound cake will serve a lot of people and it is a go to super cake. Fudgey and rich.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Candy

                                                                                                          That's terrific, and good for you!

                                                                                                        2. I was asked to make a birthday cake, and now with farmers' market strawberries really starting to hit their stride, I thought strawberries and cream was the way to go. This was really simple to put together, too. The honoree will always choose chocolate, so the cake layers are the Hershey's Black Magic cake (though I use much better cocoa than Hershey's and a different mixing order, so as to bloom the cocoa in the hot coffee). For the cream, I did the cream cheese-whipping cream combo that roxlet mentioned in the April thread, and it is, indeed, delicious - just a bit of tang, but less so than creme fraiche.

                                                                                                          This is the second chocolate cake with berries and cream I've made recently but haven't partaken of! I did have a bowl of strawberries with a dollop of leftover cream for dessert.

                                                                                                           
                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                            The other really good thing about the cream cheese/whipped cream combo is that it holds really well. It is the identical cream that is used in the fresh fruit (strawberry, peach, blueberry) cream pies that we get out on LI at Briermere Farms. I have pretty much replicated them by using this cream.

                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                              That cake is gorgeous!

                                                                                                              And LOVE THOSE PIES. I did a bike ride last year where the mile 70-something rest stop was sampling four different kinds. I had a piece of each one. No shame here.

                                                                                                              Roxlet, would you mind posting your recipe replicating them?

                                                                                                              1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                I don't really have a recipe. I make a single piecrust, and prebake it and cool it, then make the cream:

                                                                                                                Whipped Cream
                                                                                                                8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
                                                                                                                1/2 cup sugar
                                                                                                                1 teaspoon vanilla
                                                                                                                dash salt
                                                                                                                2 cups heavy cream

                                                                                                                Pile on the fresh fruit (halved strawberries, sliced peaches, blueberries, raspberries, etc.) and you're done!

                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                  Here's a photo of their fresh fruit cream pie:

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                    Very nice. Looks like a sunflower...

                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                      These pies are so good in the summer when they really pile on the fresh fruit. You could almost convince yourself that it's healthy.

                                                                                                              2. I've got coconut tres leches cakes going for a Quatro de Mayo/college graduation party. They're not quite traditional, with only coconut and sweetened condensed milk in the soak, the third milk will be the whipped cream on top.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                  I served the cake with sliced strawberries, which were great!

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                2. One of 2 layers of chestnut cake (le marron) from RLB's Cake Bible, to be iced with the cooked flour frosting, with half the sugar called for and sweetened chestnut purée added.
                                                                                                                  Le gâteau d'anniversaire de mon très cher mari, qui a ses 65 ans cette année...

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                  23 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                      Thank you! The Beast is quite pacific today :)

                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                          Was wondering what you were making him.. chestnut cake sounds wonderful! 65 ans? C'est impossible!

                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                            He will be very happy to hear that. Amazes the heck out of me, too.

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        Please let us know how it tastes. I'm a chestnut fiend, as you know.

                                                                                                                        How thick are the layers?

                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                          'tis a beauty to behold if you view the cake on facebook - what is the filling between layers?

                                                                                                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                            Here it is all dressed up...the frosting is the flour one, with less sugar and chestnut purée beaten in. The filling is the same. I should have beaten the purée into the warm slurry. I thought I had crime de marrons but it was unsweetened purée, and didn't totally emulsify. Those are Turkish marrons, the purée was Faugier.

                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                          2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                            It tastes fantastic. The layers are about 1 1/2 inch thick. You must make this cake :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              I intend to. That looks great.

                                                                                                                              I've never made the flour frosting; I love buttercream!

                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                  Would you mind posting it one more time, please.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                    Sure, here it is:

                                                                                                                                    Flour Frosting

                                                                                                                                    1/4 cup flour
                                                                                                                                    1 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                    1 cup milk (or coconut milk for coconut cake)
                                                                                                                                    1 cup butter cut in cubes (My butter was cool and firm, but I could still leave an indent when I pressed my finger into it)
                                                                                                                                    1 tsp vanilla
                                                                                                                                    pinch of salt

                                                                                                                                    1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar, flour, salt together. Add the milk and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally (I had to whisk constantly or else it started to stick and clump at the bottom) until the mixture has thickened into a paste and slightly bubbly at edges (You probably don't want it boiling because we all know how boiled milk tastes..)

                                                                                                                                    2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; beat until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too soft, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill slightly: then beat again until it is the proper consistency.

                                                                                                                                    3. Add the vanilla and continue mixing until combined.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                      I would put the purée into the hot finished slurry and I do let it boil a bit (or "make eyes", as my great-grandmother used to say). You could beat in crème de marrons before or after the butter.
                                                                                                                                      The cake was still delicious last night.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                        Thanks. Does it thin slightly when the flour is cooked (as in pastry cream)?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                          I'm not sure what you mean. The frosting is light and fluffy. The mixture of flour, sugar and milk thickens when it's cooked, and stays thick as you beat it to cool, and then beat in the butter.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                            When making pastry cream you heat the mixture slowly till it thickens and comes to a boil. Then as it continue to boil, in about a minute it thins out slightly, which indicates that the flour has cooked.

                                                                                                                                            I read about this is Anne Willan's "French Cookery School" book, and did find this to be the case.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                              I see. When making the flour frosting, you do not really allow the mixture to boil, and you do not want the flour mixture to thin.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                          Roxlet, I am thinking of trying it (with coconut milk) on coconut cake for my upcoming birthday.. have you ever used lite coconut milk (which is what I have) or should I go full fat?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                            I'm pretty sure that the coconut milk I use is full fat since my husband usually buys it, and he has never knowingly bought anything marked "lite." I have, however, used 1% milk, so judging by the fact that it came out well (you're adding a ton of butter anyway), I would think that the lite coconut milk would work just fine.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                              I did it with lite coconut milk and it turned out delicious! I also folded in some toasted, finely chopped coconut as well, to give it even more coconut flavor. YUM!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                                Sounds delicious. I always coat the cape in chopped coconut after icing. Either way, it's terrific!

                                                                                                                              1. Inspired by Nothingswrong, made some muffins using my frozen berries. Used a recipe from The New Best of Better Baking.com, Marcy Goldman, author, called Buttermilk Lawsuit Muffins. The house smells good, love doing a Saturday night bake.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                    They are very good and tender and soft.

                                                                                                                                1. Baked some freezer CCCs this evening once the temperature cooled to, you know, below 90.

                                                                                                                                  I freeze the dough in big round balls, and halfway through baking I squish them down so they cook evenly. I took a pic because all that melted chocolate is just so gorgeous.

                                                                                                                                  Also baked my weekly loaf of French bread which is cooling now and will later be sliced and frozen.

                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                  1. I thought I'd post a link to this very interesting blog post on homemade yellow cake vs. boxed cake mix that was posted on the King Arthur Flour blog called Flourish. I really like this blog a lot, and I know that there have been many posts on CH about yellow cake throughout the years.

                                                                                                                                    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2...

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                      Thanks roxlet, I love seeing side-by-side comparisons like that. I have 2 or 3 white cake recipes I love, and several chocolate, but have yet to find a decent homemade yellow. I totally agree with the author about remembering yellow cake from my childhood, aka Betty Crocker. Nothing I've made at home replicates that texture and flavor.

                                                                                                                                      I want to try the KAF recipe now but don't have any almond extract...!

                                                                                                                                    2. My baking adventures today have been more miss than hit this weekend, the water I put in the oven for my sourdough spilled on the dough and split it along the bottom in a strange way. And my sourdough cookies turned out unusual. So much for experimenting!

                                                                                                                                      1. Just pulled two batches of goodies from the oven. Why I felt the need to turn my oven on today is beyond me. It is SOOOOO hot here.

                                                                                                                                        First up, I had some strawberries that needed using, so I made these "Strawberry White Chocolate Brownies" (blondies): http://www.crumblycookie.net/2012/07/... Since I can't do strawberries in their natural state, I opted to puree and cook them down into a deliciously concentrated but fresh-tasting sauce which was then (kind of) swirled into the batter.

                                                                                                                                        Since I still had about half a stick of butter softened on the counter, I made these Chocolate Rocky Road Cookies I bookmarked for some reason: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolat... The photos look awful, kind of like a baking fail, but they smell amazing and I can't wait for them to cool enough to eat.

                                                                                                                                        Will report back after sampling. I hope today's baking wasn't in vain.

                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                          Nice baking. Please send your warm weather to Minnesota.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                            Would if I could, sandylc! It's been in the mid-90s for most of the last week. Accompanied for 3 days with hurricane-level winds. Those have died thankfully and now it's just relentless heat. It's 9 PM and I still have the A/C on full force :)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                              WOW! The furnace is running and I'm under a blanket right now!

                                                                                                                                              I suppose we will leap soon directly from cold to 90s and mosquitos.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                Cold directly to 90s and mosquitos sound very midwestern (I'm from Manitoba).No spring, no fall!
                                                                                                                                                Nothingswrong.. the blondies look great!

                                                                                                                                          2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                            I agreed with sandylc, send some of those degrees over to New England, not all of them though. Those blondies look really good, I love strawberries.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                              Just back for an update...

                                                                                                                                              These were singlehandedly the most disappointing blondies I've ever made. The bf has been eating them and thinks they're good, but I took one nibble and then another the next day, and didn't even finish my piece. They are utterly bland. The areas with strawberry taste like berry, but the actual dough literally tastes like nothing. Kind of a bummer and waste of a whole package of berries and a bunch of white chocolate.

                                                                                                                                              As to the Rocky Road cookies, they are okay. Missing something, but we ate them all. They are nice and chewy, almost like a brownie but not as intense. Predominant flavor is the nuts. Marshmallows add little to the party, aside from some crispy bits where they charred in the oven and of course some sugar.

                                                                                                                                              Two baking fails, IMO.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                You always learn something from the fails.......

                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                  I made the White Chocolate Brownies, yesterday, but I browned the butter (I don't think it made a taste difference) and added a middle layer (12 oz) of fresh raspberries (between layers of batter). It turned out to be a cake rather than "blondies" or bownies, but was very tasty. I agree the cake did not have a strong taste, but was very nice with all those raspberries. I was going to add sliced almonds on top, but forgot.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mscoffee1

                                                                                                                                                    I just looked at the recipe, and those are not blondies. Blondies are made with brown sugar (once upon a time, before the 'blondie' moniker took hold, they were referred to as butterscotch brownies, because butter + brown sugar = butterscotch = blondies' characteristic flavor).

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                      It was the texture I was referring to. I guess you could say they were the cakey type of brownies but to me it was a moist cake. I guess that could be the same thing.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                        Interesting, thanks for the info. I don't know what they are, but I agree they are not a brownie/blondie.

                                                                                                                                                        What I find odd is I've made cakes/scones/shortbread with less "flavors" in the ingredients (like just flour, butter, sugar) and they've been far more flavorful than that recipe. I added extra vanilla and a full cup of fresh ripe berries, not to mention all that melted white chocolate. I think it's the low amount of butter in the dough. Regardless, I won't be making them again.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mscoffee1

                                                                                                                                                        I could see them being much better full of fresh raspberries! Glad they worked better for you :)

                                                                                                                                                2. Chicken thighs on the grill: some marinades:
                                                                                                                                                  Jardine's Fajita
                                                                                                                                                  Soy Veh Teriyaki (sesame)
                                                                                                                                                  Dinasaur BBQ Mojito

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                          Your cake looks great.

                                                                                                                                                          Did you like it? I made it a few weeks ago, but I don't think I baked it long enough. It was nice, but dense (because of my baking incorrectly I think). I made Alice Medrich's almond cake and it was wonderful. I added some orange zest and a little orange syrup.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mscoffee1

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks. I thought it was good, and, yes, very dense, but not great. I actually preferred nibbling the pure almond paste more.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                              Try the Cook's Illustrated almond cake from this year. To die for.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                            That's beautiful. I just made a Lebovitz almond cake (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/06/...) for a double birthday - they request it every year. Mine wasn't nearly so pretty as yours, but the Lebovitz version is a really good cake.

                                                                                                                                                          3. Had a hankering for blueberry scones this AM. Successfully pulled off a mini batch of just 3 total, using those frozen wild blueberries I have.

                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                              Just *three* scones? How did you *do* that? Inquiring minds want to know about mini-batch baking.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                I carefully halved a halved (maybe quartered?!) recipe and mixed 'til the dough looked right.

                                                                                                                                                                In a small bowl, stir:

                                                                                                                                                                1/2 cup flour
                                                                                                                                                                1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                                                                                                                                1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
                                                                                                                                                                pinch of salt

                                                                                                                                                                With fingers, quickly cut in:
                                                                                                                                                                1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter

                                                                                                                                                                Then stir in:
                                                                                                                                                                1/4 cup cream
                                                                                                                                                                1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

                                                                                                                                                                And a palm full of frozen berries. Dropped in big rounded blobs onto a baking sheet and baked @ 425 F for maybe 12 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                It made 3 nicely risen scones, about 4" wide.

                                                                                                                                                                ETA: I personally like sweeter scones so I ended up drizzling with some powdered sugar + water, as they weren't sweet enough for my morning craving.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks! Sometimes you just don't want to make a big production; you just want a couple of warm, buttered scones. :)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                So what do you think? Worth doing? My husband claims that after all the work, you'll probably get something that's not as good as what you can buy. These look awesome, and I've been tempted by the recipe many times!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                  They came out nice. However, I generally don't buy white English muffins, I lean toward honey wheat or something with whole grains. I like the extra chew and flavor from the whole wheat flour. I would make these again but use half whole wheat and sub honey for the sugar. I gave some to my brother who only eats white muffins and he loved them.

                                                                                                                                                                  Really not too much work. Dough comes together quickly. I did not have rings so just shaped myself which is why they aren't perfectly round. I made some on an electric griddle and some on non-stick frying pans on the stove. Both worked fine, the key is to put on cold pans and let the dough rest, then turn on the heat and they puffed up nicely. I used semolina on the pans but I bet cornmeal would work just as well.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                    They sure look good, but the proof is in the toasting and buttering. Might make your husband change his mind.

                                                                                                                                                                    I bought Bay's EMs not so long ago, and found them over-rated. The only EM that ever came out of a toaster softer (seriously) than when it went in. Big disappointment. Back to Thomas'.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                      I like adding some sourdough starter...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                        Ha! You're not married to mine, are you roxlet?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                          Not sure. I store them in the freezer, I'm sure they will last several months frozen. English muffins are the only bread I regularly store in the refrigerator. Store bought last a while in the fridge but I'm not sure how long fresh would. I've had not problems with freezing them. Take one out and if I'm in a hurry I microwave it for 10 seconds, just enough so I can slice and pop in the toaster.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks. EMs have been on my "oh I have to make them someday" list for a long bunch of somedays.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                          I made these about a hundred million years ago and I remember them being very good, but I never did again. Must try.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. I recently made Chinese egg custard tarts. I much prefer this recipe compared to the restaurant version because I like my "Dan Tat" a little bit sweeter.

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.yummyreads.com

                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. Cinnamon streusel bundt cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                I used my favorite bundt cake recipe for lemon cake, omitting the lemon zest/extract and using just vanilla. Took a cinnamon-heavy streusel recipe from Ina and added it to the middle.

                                                                                                                                                                                Also made a maple syrup glaze.

                                                                                                                                                                                Great flavor and texture. I'm not even hungry right now but can't stop eating it. Reminds me of what mom used to make!

                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Two almond cakes, one lighter-than-air Chocolate Roll (with some added chocolate sauce on the side.) All good. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                      I used that lighter-than-air recipe recently, but baked in a 10" springform pan and topped with whipped cream and berries, for a friend who can't have wheat.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                        It's one of my favorite gluten-free deserts. I roll it around heavily spiked whipped cream & serve with a warm, bittersweet chocolate sauce (Cook's Illustrated, Jan & Feb '02)

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Tomorrow is Butterscotch Brownie day. I made mine with butterscotch chips and mini Hershey kisses.
                                                                                                                                                                                      For anyone needing a reason to bake next week Tuesday is apple pie day and Thursday is chocolate chip day.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Inspired by the Dish of the Month thread, I made a galette for dinner last night. I used Martha Rose Shulman's yeasted olive oil pastry, and filled it with asparagus, artichoke hearts, leeks, green garlic, slow-roasted plum tomatoes, feta, capers, and fresh dill. It was delicious, and I'm looking forward to the leftovers for lunch!

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. We're having some friends in to dinner tonight, and I decided to make a dessert that I used to make some 20 years ago. It was from the very first issue of Fine Cooking Magazine, and it's so old it's not even on their web site. It is essentially a symphony of caramel.

                                                                                                                                                                                          First you make a pretty standard caramel (using a little orange juice and orange liqueur), and then you make almond nougat cookies, which you drape over some custard cups to make a cookie cup that is filled with caramel mousse and dribbled with caramel sauce at the time of serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I forgot what a PITA the almond nougat cookie cups are. They spread much more than I remember, so the first sheet was a total loss having four cookies on the parchment, which became one. Then I only did two per sheet, which was fine, but I had also forgotten the very short window between when the cookies are too hot to touch and when they are too hard to drape. Fortunately, I could just put the cookies back into the oven balanced over the custard cups and allow them to drape themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                          It's a very pretty dessert, but a lot of work! I plan on serving with some fresh raspberries. I hope I have time to take a photo!

                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, photo please! You must preserve a memory of your efforts :)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I am baking crackers with excess sourdough starter. I'm not sure how they will work, but am enjoying experimenting! The first batch cooked too long, but was tasty if slightly burnt. Fortunately this will make loads of batches!

                                                                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here are the finished product--very good! I'm just not sure I will be able to eat all of them before they go bad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They look perfect, like store-bought!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Keep them airtight--they should last a week or more??

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hope they will last--I put them in portion sized baggies and have already eaten a bunch with a yogurt harrissa cheese dip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yogurt harissa cheese dip. Do tell more!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                                                                                        These do look great - I'm always impressed with homemade crackers!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Homemade crackers is on my list of things I wish I could make. Maybe one day I will give it a go! They look great, by the way!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NancyChin

                                                                                                                                                                                                            They were SO easy--if I can do it, anyone can! I did have to buy a rolling pin, but I did them all in batches on the one sheet of parchment paper I had on top of my baking stone. So really almost no special equipment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NancyChin

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I swear by these - one of my all-time favorite recipes from a Chowhound: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2787...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                                                                                              You might be surprised how long these sort of crackers can last if they're kept in an airtight container. I made a lot of thin wheat crackers from Peter Reinhart's wholegrain book, they took over three months to be eaten and were good to the last.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Excuse the terrible photo, but here is the dessert I made last night from the premiere issue of Fine Cooking Magazine. Almond nougat cup, caramel mousse and a dribble of caramel sauce with raspberries. I have to say that this is fabulous!

                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yowza: that is some classy baking Roxlet. You had some very lucky guests!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Grasmere gingerbread. It's a gingery shortbread with a crumbly topping. Perfect with a cuppa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jammy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've been looking for a recipe for that, could you possibly post yours? Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is definitely not Sarah Nelson's recipe, but it's still quite nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Grasmere Ginger Shortbread

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cookie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 1/2 cups (340 g) all purpose flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3/4 teaspoons baking soda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3/4 cup (170 g) slightly salted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3/4 cup (170 g) dark or light brown sugar, lumps sifted

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Grease a 7 or 8 x 12 cake pan or jelly roll tin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Heat oven to 350 F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sift the flour, ginger and soda into a bowl, add butter and rub in with fingers. When the mixture looks like fine sand, stir in the sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Put about 3/4 of the mixture into the prepared baking tin and press with fingers to make an even layer. Scatter the rest of the mixture over the top. This will bake into a crumble topping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. They should be a pale golden colour. While still very warm, cut into fingers or squares. Leave in the pan until cold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Filling

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (I have never filled these cookies, as I'm not a buttercream fan. The filling has not been tested.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup (110 g) slightly salted butter, room temp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 cups (230 g) confectioner's sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon ground ginger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 teaspoons minced candied ginger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 teaspoons syrup from the jar of ginger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and ground ginger. Beat until combined. Add candied ginger and syrup. Stir well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Spread a layer of buttercream on one shortbread finger, top with a second. Best when freshly assembled. Eat within 3 days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Not baking, but made some date "truffles" with pistachios, coconut and orange blossom water to mimic Sofra Bakery's. I couldn't tell the difference, so I guess it was a success!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Made a galette (of sorts) for the DOTM thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They were supposed to look like little roses but whatever. Ain't nobody got time for that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Had some excess pie dough and rolled it out on parchment, spread with butter, and sprinkled (POURED) with cinnamon sugar. Broke into pieces after baking. I already ate half of these. Oops.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We called those rolly pollies growing up, and they were the best part of pie making.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I almost like them better than the actual pie! Lucky for me, the bf didn't see them last night and I got to eat them all myself around midnight :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think almost everyone has some version of this... I took a pie making class once and the teacher did it and called them "pie cookies." In my family, we roll up the dough up after spreading on the butter/cinnamon sugar and cut into slices after it's baked. We call them "yummies." I know, totally awful. But my brother coined the name when he was like 5 years old. We still call them that 30 years later, actually, and yes, it sounds even more ridiculous coming from a group of adults. But hey, it's tradition!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, a middle aged male friend of mine calls them "pinwheels," since that's what his mother called them. He kept asking me to make him some "pinwheels" and I had zero idea what he was talking about. After several failed attempts to get them "just like mom used to make," he put his mother ON THE PHONE with me and she explained: Spread pie crust with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cut into random strips with a pizza cutter. Bake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I asked finally why in the world they were called pinwheels, since they don't resemble them at all. She said "I have no idea. That's just what my mother called them."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We called them "cinnamon twistie things.." I wasn't crazy about pies, but always ate those!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I bake on Saturday night now, my Saturday night bake as I call it. I made a blackberry pound cake from a Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Mom has asked me to come bake bread with her this afternoon. I'm looking forward to it. We haven't baked together since Christmas' Greek pastry bake-a-thon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          She also requested a batch of my yeasted coffee cake. I baked her one in an aluminum pan so she can bring some to work tomorrow, and made individual-sized pastries with the other half of the dough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love those individual sized ones -- they would be great for my son's breakfasts. Do you do the twisty thing with each one?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For these, I just used a bench scraper to cut little pieces of dough off. Then took two at a time and twisted them into a rope, pinching the ends together lightly. That's it. Let rise again, then sprinkled with the crumb topping before baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I haven't made these in a while. Mom was very happy with her full pan; I have yet to have a piece but the bf had one fresh from the oven and gave out a little happy groan :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mom's first baguettes! She was so so excited about them, and loved how they tasted. It was so fun baking with her; I should go over there and do it more often.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. not really baking, but I made lemon curd crepes yesterday. Yum :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I made a tangerine chiffon cake last weekend for work birthdays. It looked a bit shabby (no photos, please) because I can never saw a cake out of a pan, but it tasted great with a tangerine glaze. First time I ever made one...from the Doubleday Cookbook by Jean Anderson and Elaine Hanna, which now lives in my kitchen and from which I've decided that anything new I take a notion to cook I will look up in that book. I love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This weekend I made pistachio cookies by adapting my mom's recipe for currant sugar crinkle cookies (they were my dad's fave). They're for a Turkish friend who just had a baby girl. Now to get them over there and love up that baby!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Re sawing out the cake, have you tried a product caller Ever Bake? I used it today on my Betty Crocker, strawberry cupcakes without a liner in the tin. Worked like a charm and the cupcakes gooey, spongy, eggy and quite delectable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The problem is you have to bake chiffon and angel cakes in dry pans, they need the surface to rise properly -- or so they say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have a food processor cookbook (nitty gritty books) by Jean Anderson that has really great recipes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The charts in Jean Anderson's processor cookbook are invaluable. I've been relying on them for 30 years and they've never failed me. How many sliced carrots is 2 cups? How many cups of shredded cabbage will you get from one head? The charts alone are worth the price of the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I read this post, Joan, and immediately went to Amazon and ordered a used copy in very good condition for $4 including two-day shipping. I'm pretty well-versed in using a food processor efficiently, but those charts do sound like gold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Sandylc,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Would you be willing to suggest a couple of great recipes from Anderson's ckbk? It's on my shelf and I've used the charts but have not cooked from it. (Hanging head in shame.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          S-mom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just got the Doubleday Cookbook on your recommendation. It's HUGE! Must make time to peruse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have to look for this book on my travels to and from yard and thrift sales!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So does a tangerine cake taste similar to orange? I have a tangerine tree in my backyard that makes the most amazingly fragrant and juicy fruit. I've been wondering if the zest in particular will bake up tasting right in an orange cake recipe. I zested a few last week but they smelled quite bitter, even though the juice is super sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The pistachio cookies sound great. Have fun playing with the baby!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I made the famous epicurious chocolate cake recommended, it is cooling on the rack. It rose unevenly, but should work once it is frosted. I had enough batter to make a batch of mini-donuts so I could taste it. It is pretty good--VERY chocolatey. I made a raspberry chocolate ganache from Rose's Heavenly Cakes. I will post a picture when it all comes together!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also made TONS of sourdough pancakes, and finally put my sourdough in the fridge so I will not have so much all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just saw off the top to even that cake out. That's my favorite part--I eat the whole lopsided scrap folded in half with frosting like a taco!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Looking forward to photos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. To take to a party, I made a berry blitz torte for the first time. I used this recipe:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              but left off the almonds and used fresh strawberries instead of raspberries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I got many compliments and several requests for the recipe, and it got eaten up before I could snap a photo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Last night I made this Snickerdoodle Cake http://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/sni... -- but note that the pan size is wrong; I used an 8x8 pan. One sad little piece is now all that remains (spouse, two offspring, and one friend-of-offspring devoured it), so, again, no photo. It wasn't as glamourous as the blitz torte, anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: P_penelope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love Snickerdoodle anything. I got stuck on these blondies a few years back... No matter where I bring them, they disappear within minutes: http://bakingbites.com/2010/07/snicke...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Glad to hear the Berry Blitz torte came out well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh yeah, I've made the Snickerdoodle blondies too to much acclaim. They are delicious, by all reports (great irony of life: I love to bake, don't love to eat the baked goods, so I rely on others' feedback).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: P_penelope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I understand. I do love to taste everything that comes from my oven, but I'm not always interested in more than a few bites. Then there's the rest of that layer cake or pan of brownies that I have to unload on others :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yum.. I agree.. I love Snickerdoodle anything too! My blondie recipe is from Two Peas in a Pod, but Baking Bites is another great blog.. will have to try this one..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Try them sometime! They are so easy with so few ingredients yet taste perfect. That was the first snickerdoodle blondie recipe I tried and I haven't felt the need to try another.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Actual snickerdoodles on the other hand--my god, I tweaked and tweaked recipes until I came up with one I love, but it took many many fails.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I still think snickerdoodles are one of the best, most underrated baked sweets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I made Vienna bread with dutch crunch topping from the BBA, inspired by Antilope last month. I shaped the dough into grinder rolls, I haven't cut into them yet, but it smells really lovely in here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As a totally unrelated aside, the translation into German makes me giggle, Weinerbrot mit Niederländischknistern. But, a lot of German words make me giggle, my German teacher couldn't understand why I found the word for strawberry, Erdberre, so funny. Come on dirt berry is worth a giggle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Quick loaf of almost no-knead levain bread this morning, as a gift to a friend of mine who is recovering from ACL surgery (the second one in a year - first one was botched and he nearly died from a clot in his lung, UGH!). It looked great as dough but not as good as usual coming out of the oven - I'm just hoping it tastes good and that my oven isn't on the fritz. The browning was unusually uneven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, what an awful story about your friend. I'm sure he appreciated the bread!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Made a caramel hazelnut chocolate ganache tart on Sunday. The original recipe called for a drizzle of chocolate on the hazelnut caramel, but that seemed...boring. Added an easy ganache, sprinkled with additional toasted hazelnuts, then whipped cream with a *generous* dose of kahlua. The cream was passed around and eaten straight up by the family ;)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sadly, someone found my leftover toasted hazelnuts and put them into trail mix. Sigh. Someone recently did the same to my stash of (baking) peanuts, raisins, & chocolate chips. There shall be new hiding places soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ama658

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That looks fabulous. Get a Weight Watchers frozen meal. Take it out and put your nut stash in there in the freezer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Cookies to take to the In-Laws last weekend. Chocolate chip pecan for MIL, Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin for FIL. I get many extra hugs when we show up with cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's a great reason to bake cookies!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The chocolate cake is finally ready for its debut! I frosted it with ganache, which may have set up a little bit too much, but tastes good. Fresh raspberries cost an arm and a leg, so I only bought a tiny container and put them around the top and bottom edge. I did taste the cake trimmings last night and it is decadent. I'm not sure if it will get all eaten at work--there will be other goodies and someone is bringing pizza, but I need the hit of chocolate to say goodbye to the staff member that is leaving a huge hole in our staff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Not actually made by me, but the Husband made me an orange cake with an orange curd filling for my birthday today, our refrigerator smells delightfully citrusy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I made buttermilk biscuits today and will be baking up a few chocolate chip cookies from the freezer tonight so the kids can celebrate chocolate chip day tomorrow (okay, I may be celebrating it too!).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tomorrow I will be making brownies for an afterschool birthday celebration in the schoolyard on Friday. I much prefer chocolaty things the day after.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Whole lotta brownies being baked around here! First Bach were the Malgieri supernatural brownies that I made for the custodian of my son's school for his birthday. He us a really sweet guy, and had been so kind to my son through the years. They've become friends. The second batch were also the Malgeri brownies,but theses were made with a swirl of peanut butter. My friend's son just had the second of two fairly serious orthopedic surgeries, and peanut butter and chocolate is his favorite combination. He was happy to have them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That is so sweet of you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And it reminds me... when I was in boarding school, the food was god-awful. The desserts were equally awful, but welcome, since we weren't otherwise allowed snacks or sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The one thing they did right were these giant brownies smothered in an airy PB frosting. Everything that came out of that kitchen was SYSCO brand, the same food served in the Utah state prisons. But those damn brownies with frosting... I've tried SO MANY TIMES to recreate them since, but can't even come close. They were absolute heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Very kind of you, food gifts can really brighten the day especially when they are well done. I have been wanting to buy a Malgieri book for awhile..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You should. His books are terrific! I particularly like Modern Baking, but this recipe is one that I got from Saveur since I don't actually have the book it's from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My favorite is A Baker's Tour, recipes from around the world...even butter tarts, I think!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Please mosey over to the thread for the second half of May, to continue the fab confab...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. The May baking thread recipe index is now up here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974196