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What are you baking these days? August 2014 Edition, Part 1 [old]

Once again, the end of the month has trapped buttertart in her office, both early and late, so here is the new thread.

I have not baked much lately, but buttertart has been busy. She told me about a goose pie made with filo, which sounded fabulous, as well as some walnut shortbread squares. Apparently, these cookies are the latest in a long line of attempts to replicate a cookie that Mr. buttertart remembers from his youth. Alas, these were not them, but they were delicious nonetheless, which they should be since they were made with both butter AND lard!

What's keeping you in front of the oven?

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  1. I rarely bake in summer but today plan to make a blueberry version of Smitten Kitchen's strawberry summer cake. It is made with half barely flour which gives it a nice silkiness.
    I love simple cakes like this which show off the great fruit we have right now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: magiesmom

      Did you see the new Smitten Kitchen post, which was for a new blueberry cake?

      1. re: roxlet

        I did ( I get the emails,) but I like this one:)

    2. Yay, back to the baking thread! I've been MIA for a few weeks, but there has been a decent amount of baking.

      First up was a recipe that I became obsessed with after seeing some blogger's post on Instagram. The only caption said "Yeasted Sugar Cake." So I Googled that and came across an Epicurious recipe for "German Sugar Cake." It's a fairly loose yeasted dough which is baked in a cake pan. There is a thick sprinkling of sugar atop the cake, which caramelizes in the oven. The flavor of this "cake" is delightful--somewhere between a crème brulee and a coffee cake--but I did not particularly enjoy the texture.

      Next up were some mixed berry hand pies for the bf. These had blackberries and raspberries.

      A cross-section of my favorite pie dough is shown, which is rolled and folded several times to produce something like a very tender puff pastry dough. It has sour cream and butter in the dough, and is just the most delightful stuff to eat.

      I made a trio of mini muffins for a weekend trip with the bf. Bouchon Bakery's Blueberry Muffins (minus the crumble), a new ABSOLUTELY F*CKING DELICIOUS zucchini muffin recipe (which I've made literally 5 times in the last 3 weeks), and an old favorite--Cappuccino Chocolate muffins.

      I make Smitten Kitchen's cream scones often, but usually skip the rolling and cutting unless they're for company... I've gotten into a bad habit of adding chocolate chips *swoon*

      Next photo is of a new recipe for coconut macaroons, which were fantastic. I had to make a bday cake the day before (German Chocolate--forgot to take photos) and had tons of leftover coconut, so I made "German Chocolate Macaroons" by dipping in tempered chocolate, topping with a brown sugar glaze and toasted pecans. The bf adored these and ate a dozen in 2 days.

      Lastly, an old standby--made my favorite Lemon Loaf cake.

      There has been much more baking, but I don't have pics and can't remember it all. Lots of cookies, and another cake somewhere in there.

       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      14 Replies
      1. re: nothingswrong

        Would you mind posting the zucchini muffin recipe?

        1. re: lukfam

          Yes, no prob! There isn't anything really unique about this recipe, but they are for some reason above and beyond all the other zucchini recipes I've previously tried. Exactly what I was looking for. They are better the second day I think, as they get very very moist and tender. I've been storing them in the fridge after the first day since it's so hot and humid here.

          I've tried these in regular sized muffin tins and vastly prefer them in the mini size. I will do half or 1/3 of the recipe since it makes a lot and it's just me eating them.

          These are supposed to taste like the ones from Starbucks, if anyone is familiar. They do taste like them, but the texture is much better.

          ZUCCHINI WALNUT MUFFINS
          Makes 2 dozen regular muffins or 4-5 dozen mini

          -3 eggs
          -1/2 cup veg oil
          -1/2 cup applesauce
          -1 3/4 cups sugar
          -2 cups grated zucchini (not drained/squeezed)
          -2 teaspoons vanilla
          -3 cups flour
          -3 teaspoons cinnamon
          -1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
          -1 teaspoon baking soda
          -1/2 teaspoon baking powder
          -1 teaspoon salt
          -1 cup walnuts, toasted for 5-8 minutes at 350 F

          Beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, and sugar. Stir in grated zucchini and vanilla.

          In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Stir in toasted walnuts.

          Spoon into greased/lined muffin tins, filling almost to the top. Bake at 350, rotating tins halfway through. For mini muffins, they take me about 12-15 minutes. For regular sized muffins, they take about 20.

        2. re: nothingswrong

          Was that the Moravian sugar cake with mashed potato in it? I used to love that one, but found it too sweet and rich the last time I made it.

          1. re: pavlova

            No, but I did see that one! I LOVE potatoes but I tend to avoid baking recipes with them. I just can't do it :)

            1. re: nothingswrong

              Funny--I don't like eating potatoes but find they add so much to cakes and breads that that's the only time I use them!

          2. re: nothingswrong

            I just googled German Sugar Cake, and came up with this interesting cake that is very different than what you describe.

            http://www.quick-german-recipes.com/b...

            Where is the recipe you used from?

            1. re: roxlet

              I think it was this one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              I misplaced the recipe, since I don't think I'll be making it again. For some reason I thought it was titled "German" or had that label in the notes, but this one doesn't...

            2. re: nothingswrong

              please share the zucchini muffin recipe! i have some to use up and that sounds perfect.

              1. re: tastycakes

                Just posted it above. They are really tasty; I just had several for "second breakfast."

                ZUCCHINI WALNUT MUFFINS
                Makes 2 dozen regular muffins or 4-5 dozen mini

                -3 eggs
                -1/2 cup veg oil
                -1/2 cup applesauce
                -1 3/4 cups sugar
                -2 cups grated zucchini (not drained/squeezed)
                -2 teaspoons vanilla
                -3 cups flour
                -3 teaspoons cinnamon
                -1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
                -1 teaspoon baking soda
                -1/2 teaspoon baking powder
                -1 teaspoon salt
                -1 cup walnuts, toasted for 5-8 minutes at 350 F

                Beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, and sugar. Stir in grated zucchini and vanilla.

                In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Stir in toasted walnuts.

                Spoon into greased/lined muffin tins, filling almost to the top. Bake at 350, rotating tins halfway through. For mini muffins, they take me about 12-15 minutes. For regular sized muffins, they take about 20.

              2. re: nothingswrong

                What type of cake loaf is the last picture? I find it intriguing...Looks good from here! You seem to be a wonderful baker.

                1. re: Ruthie789

                  Thank you!

                  It is a lemon loaf cake. Just a pretty standard cake recipe with white sugar, butter, eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon zest, etc. but I use cake flour in place of AP for a nice and tender loaf.

                2. re: nothingswrong

                  Praise the Lord! I was about to ask this group for a new ABSOLUTELY F*CKING DELICIOUS zucchini muffin recipe because I am baking for my son and his family (new baby plus other grandma have just arrived). Please post this recipe! There are so many out there that I was lost but now I'm found!

                  1. re: Berheenia

                    Lol. Well, I personally think this one is f*cking amazing. I have tried so many... It doesn't have butter though, which I know is a bad thing to many 'hounds.

                    ZUCCHINI WALNUT MUFFINS
                    Makes 2 dozen regular muffins or 4-5 dozen mini

                    -3 eggs
                    -1/2 cup veg oil
                    -1/2 cup applesauce
                    -1 3/4 cups sugar
                    -2 cups grated zucchini (not drained/squeezed)
                    -2 teaspoons vanilla
                    -3 cups flour
                    -3 teaspoons cinnamon
                    -1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
                    -1 teaspoon baking soda
                    -1/2 teaspoon baking powder
                    -1 teaspoon salt
                    -1 cup walnuts, toasted for 5-8 minutes at 350 F

                    Beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, and sugar. Stir in grated zucchini and vanilla.

                    In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Stir in toasted walnuts.

                    Spoon into greased/lined muffin tins, filling almost to the top. Bake at 350, rotating tins halfway through. For mini muffins, they take me about 12-15 minutes. For regular sized muffins, they take about 20.

                  2. re: nothingswrong

                    Those all look fabulous and the German Sugar Cake is intriguing. I might have to try baking that. I'm always looking for recipes to celebrate my German heritage.

                  3. Gougeres are in the oven to have with cocktails with new neighbors. I decided to give them some zip and added some Aleppo pepper.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Candy

                      I adore gougeres, and I love the idea of adding Aleppo pepper. What recipe do you use?

                      1. re: roxlet

                        Dorie Greenspan's in Around My French Table. I did not use enough aleppo, next batch I'll punch it up a bit.

                         
                      2. re: Candy

                        Yeah, Aleppo sounds like a good addition. I also want a recipe please!

                        1. re: nothingswrong

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

                          This is the recipe. It is quite simple. I'm glad it was on Epicurious, so much easier to cut and paste then typing out the recipe.

                          1. re: Candy

                            Thanks! I've never made them before, but those look easy enough.

                      3. Cherry ricotta tart with a pistachio shortbread crust.

                        1. My annual cake day party with my baking friends is coming up in two weeks and these are the two cakes that I'm planning on making:

                          A kueh lapis (Indonesian layer cake) -- I can't wait to try this one. It uses over a pound of butter and 30 egg yolks, yikes! My plan is to park myself next to my toaster oven with a bottle of wine for a couple of hours.
                          http://www.homelife.com.au/recipe/ind...

                          A mocha rum cake (because chocolate, coffee and booze). I'll make this one a couple of days in advance so the rum has a chance to mellow.
                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                          We're also going to team up that day to make this ridiculous mega cake (it's not huge, it just has a gazillion components):
                          http://tvnz.co.nz/masterchef-australi...

                          16 Replies
                            1. re: TorontoJo

                              Wow, that layer cake looks fantastic! I think that I had something similar in Singapore a few months ago..

                              1. re: rstuart

                                I'm really fascinated by it and looking forward to trying it. My friends with Indonesian and Malaysian relatives love it.

                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                    It looked very, very labour intensive!

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    !! I'll say! I just followed the link.. that is quite the logistical feat!

                                    1. re: rstuart

                                      That's why this is a team cake! Hopefully by dividing up all the components, it won't be quite as crazy.

                                  2. re: TorontoJo

                                    Oohh-I am looking forward to seeing how the Indo cake turns out! I did a big dessert engagement party and 1/2 of the couple was Indonesian by birth. I made a version of the cake to honor their heritage, but was struggling to get my layers thin enough (too many desserts, too little time) as you can see in the photo. If yours works I may need to save the recipe.

                                     
                                    1. re: TorontoJo

                                      So what does the "mixed spice" in the recipe translate to? And do I really need a grill - is there another way?

                                        1. re: Kosherbyforce

                                          Yes, "grill" means broiler in Australia. And based on other kueh lapis recipes I've seen, I'm planning on using some combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.

                                          I'll report back in two weeks on how all the cakes turn out!

                                        2. re: TorontoJo

                                          Reporting back on the kueh lapis. It's easy to make, but requires a bit of patience. Just separating the 30 egg yolks is trying enough, but baking the layers is best done with a glass of wine and some good tunes playing. The first layer is really challenging to spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Next time I will heat the pan first, so the batter melts and spreads itself. The subsequent layers are much easier: I use a large pastry brush to spread the batter around.

                                          Each layer took 2 minutes under the broiler in my toaster oven. To make my time tethered to the toaster oven more tolerable, I moved it onto a lower table in my living room and sat on a comfy chair with a timer and a glass of wine.

                                          I think I got 19 layers. It's quite a tasty thing, very crepe-like in flavour. It's supposed to be quite firm, but we served it room temp, so it was quite delicate. I imagine that all the butter (almost a pound and a half in an 8" square!) makes it quite firm when chilled.

                                           
                                           
                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                            Quite a baking feat! Glad to hear that it was so tasty -- and why not with all that butter!

                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              Agree, it's amazing! 30 egg yolks, holy cow.

                                              I love that you moved your toaster oven into the living room TJ. When I make dog treats in bulk, I bring the dough and some baking sheets into the living room and shape them all while watching TV (takes like 1-2 hours) with a drink by my side.

                                              Cake day looks like a success, and your offerings were beautiful and impressive.

                                            2. re: TorontoJo

                                              30 eggs!! I am so impressed... that is quite a feat (and a lot of butter!)

                                          2. I'm making pita bread to go with some falafel for dinner, and some galettes with frangipane and fresh cherries. last week was figs and raspberries.

                                            I made pesto for ricotta, pesto, and heirloom tomato croissants for the croissant dough in my freezer. and using some of the frangipane for chocolate almond croissant as well.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: tastycakes

                                              How do you make the ricotta/pesto/tomato ones? You don't roll them up as croissants, do you?

                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                i made a "frame" shape and added the filling after proofing. i did try it the rolled up way like a pain au chocolat but it was too soggy.

                                                1. re: tastycakes

                                                  Oh, I see. So like a Danish kind of? Or how you'd use puff pastry, score a border, and fill the center.

                                                  Sounds delicious! I may have to try this next time I make croissant dough. Thanks!

                                            2. Thank you roxlet...I'll be making bread this weekend, and maybe something tomorrow...

                                              1. I took my crème caramel recipe, dispensed with the caramel, melted chocolate in the milk before adding it to the eggs, and baked it in individual "pots de crème" cups. I really liked the silky-smooth texture, but have to work on the amount of chocolate; it needs to be more intense. Key to the texture was straining it through a very fine chinois to get rid of any grains of chocolate and chalaza (thanks for finding that word, Buttertart; sounds like Swahili!).

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: souschef

                                                  That sounds divine. Maybe more egg yolks and less dairy for more intense chocolate flavor?

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    Interesting; I hadn't thought of that since the eggs in the crème caramel are just the right amount (I've eaten a few that were too eggy). I was going to just increase the quantity of chocolate. I'll try it per your suggestion. Thanks.

                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                      Try some combo of the 2. It's the whites that make things eggy, at least according to Cook's Illustrated.

                                                2. I'm boring, I've been on a cheesecake kick all summer. I got a bunch of raspberries on sale about a week ago that I ended up freezing and I'm baking yet another raspberry cheesecake today.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: rasputina

                                                    I'll take a piece of that boring any day, or more specifically, right now!!

                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                      Agree. The bf was just asking me to make a raspberry one. Classics are classics for a reason... they're delicious!

                                                        1. re: rasputina

                                                          agree with both Roxlet and nothingswrong.. to me, "boring" and "cheesecake" don't belong together!

                                                  2. I made a peach cobbler tonight, very loosely based on an Epicurious recipe. I made so many substitutions though, I think I can safely call it mine. I'm home visiting family and I did a long bike ride this morning, which was timed to coincide with a local farm's annual corn roast. The corn was delicious, and they were also selling some "roasted stone ground corn meal", which I don't think I've ever seen before. It was a darker color and had the most delicious nutty smell. I sampled a shortbread cookie made from it and had one of those "ohmigod" moments. I couldn't resist buying some, even though I had no idea what to do with it. On the drive home I passed another local farm advertising "You Pick" peaches, so I stopped in. Voila, inspiration! Peach cobbler made with roasted corn meal.

                                                    Now I get to brainstorm other things to do with the meal. It really is amazing stuff.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: charmedgirl

                                                      I made a cornmeal crusted peach cobbler a few days ago, too... the cornmeal dough had been in the freezer and was pretty stiff after I thawed it, so I sliced it like refrigerator cookies, and layered the rounds on top.

                                                      DH loved it, but I have no idea where I got the recipe for the cornmeal cobbler topping. It was less sweet, and even a little salty, and was super good with vanilla ice cream.

                                                      1. re: charmedgirl

                                                        That sounds amazing. I never heard of roasted corn meal either. Is the corn roasted first, I wonder, or is the meal roasted?

                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                          That is an excellent question I didn't think to ask. I googled and couldn't find any information about how the particular farm/mill I went to does it. I did find the webpage of another farm/mill located one state over that ALSO apparently makes roasted corn meal, and they say they roast the corn before grinding the whole grain into meal.

                                                      2. I have been messing around with a recipe from GlutenFreeBetty's blog for Blondies for over a year, and finally got it right. My friend has several food allergies, including egg yolks and chocolate, so I took the whole eggs and chocolate chips out of Betty's recipe.

                                                        I don't have a gluten issue, but these blondies are so good, anyone would like them. They're like eating salted caramel in a brownie form.
                                                        Some of the ingredients were included in today's iteration because that's what I had in the pantry. The recipe called for two cups of brown sugar, but I only had 3/4 cup. So I used the Trader Joe's coconut sugar that my sister had given me. It called for two cup of gluten free flour mix, but I had just one cup left of King Arthurs GF baking mix. So I used that, and a cup of the spelt flour that my GF friend's wife had given me. I've probably made this recipe, in some form or other, a dozen times. This time, I got it just right .

                                                        Gluten Free Blondies

                                                        1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
                                                        3/4 cup packed brown sugar
                                                        1 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
                                                        2 egg whites
                                                        2 tablespoons vanilla
                                                        1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                        1 teaspoon salt
                                                        1 teaspoon xanthum gum
                                                        1/4 teaspoon baking soda
                                                        1 cup gluten free flour mix
                                                        1 cup spelt flour
                                                        1/2 cup vanilla chips
                                                        1/2 cup broken pecans
                                                        1/4 cup organic unsweetened dried coconut

                                                        Preheat oven to 360 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, mix melted butter and brown sugars on medium speed for 1 minute. Add egg whites and vanilla. Continue mixing another minute or until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the rest of the dry ingredients except the vanilla chips, pecans and coconut, and mix until just combined. Stir in 1/4 cup of the vanilla chips, the pecans and coconut. Spread batter into a greased 9x13 pan and sprinkle the remaining vanilla chips over the batter. Bake 33-38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool slightly before cutting into bars.

                                                        1. An ugly but delicious peach crostata - I had some pie dough in the freezer so I just threw it together tonight with so-so grocery store peaches. Luckily the cooking brought out their flavor and the end result was tasty, but I rolled the crust too thin and it leaked in several places in the oven. And the peaches threw off WAY more juice than I was expecting, given how hard they were. Still good, just not pretty enough to photograph!

                                                          1. I made Monkey-bread from-scratch.. it was quite the process, but it turned out entirely perfect: no complaints.

                                                            I also made brookies or 'brownie-cookie-bars'.. but my oven always makes all my brownies hard (usually I take them out in half the time, but I didn't for once).. so I did not enjoy those.

                                                            1. I have some beautiful apricots-
                                                              any suggestions for baking them

                                                              1. Blueberry Buttermilk Tart: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                                                                Made more filling than I needed. Set up fine. Haven't tried it yet.

                                                                 
                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: THewat

                                                                  Oh yummy, I have a bunch of blueberries too.

                                                                  1. re: THewat

                                                                    This went to a party & disappeared almost immediately, without my getting a piece. I understand it had very good lemon / berry flavor balance; several people asked for the recipe. My sweetheart has requested another for next weekend.

                                                                  2. I rarely bake in the summer. That being said a nice weekend storm rolled through lowering the temperatures to a reasonable level. I made several loaves of french bread!

                                                                    Also I'll be making a couple cheese quiches for AM work day snacks.

                                                                    1. I think I'll forgo baking this weekend, unfortunately -- I'm on a clear liquid diet and prep for an Unpleasant Medical Procedure, and can't see making bread during it, which was what I was planning. Waah...

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          Will you have the day off tomorrow after UMP? Maybe you'll feel up to some bread baking then.

                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                              You could always start some bread tonight to leave in the fridge for an overnight rise and bake tomorrow when you get back. If you don't feel up to baking it's usually fine for another day.

                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                            Ick... colonoscopy time?

                                                                            I think you will feel like something nice and bread-y and comforting afterward.

                                                                            Hope it all goes well!

                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                              That is exactly what I thought! Hard to bake when you can't eat anything :(

                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                Yes, hopefully it's just something routine! I have massive gastrointestinal issues and have had to do fasts and clear liquids many times. It sucks, no two ways about it.

                                                                                Last time I had a long planned stay in the hospital, I knew I'd be forced to fast for several days, so I brought along a dozen homemade mini scones in different flavors in my purse. I then binge-ate them right up til midnight and my nurses thought I was bonkers. They kept coming in in the middle of the night to make sure I wasn't eating anymore and to ask where I was getting all these pastries from. Lol.

                                                                          2. What a lovely day so far! I put some dough in the fridge last night for "Cheater's Chocolate Croissants" to ferment and rise. This morning as I was doing the folds, one of my girl friends called from Palm Springs. She and her bf were standing in front of the Le Creuset outlet store and asked if I'd like a baking dish. 2 hours later, we were all having coffee and croissants on my porch. These are so delicious, very tender, and barely any fuss. It's a yeasted dough with sour cream in it. One of my favorite recipes. The bf insisted on making his own concoction with chocolate-covered toffee, peanut butter chips, and marshmallows rolled up in his.

                                                                            This afternoon, I carved up the pumpkins from the garden. Squash beetles took over our gorgeous crops and I had to save the pumpkins waaaay early this year. So I carved 2 and they are out on the railing, to be lit up tonight (why not?!). Pumpkin seeds were washed, boiled, seasoned, and roasted. Halloween in August!

                                                                             
                                                                             
                                                                             
                                                                             
                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                Exactly! I'm embarrassed to post this, but here's a photo. The neighbors probably think we are 100% certifiable.

                                                                                P.S. I've worked as a portrait artist for many years, but I carve like a toddler.

                                                                                 
                                                                            1. I made carrot cake for my mom's homecoming and I tried so hard to follow the recipe exactly, but the batter was so thick that I couldn't pour it into the pans, so I added a half cup of pineapple to get the right consistency. And amazingly enough it turned out really really good. I've never seen my family eat as much cake as they did--my mom even wanted to know how I made it!

                                                                              I also filled some cookie shells with a cream cheese/lemon curd cheese cake type filling for work.

                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. I found some nesting stainless steel bowls the other day with straight sides that I thought might be good for making small cakes.

                                                                                I had the opportunity to test my theory on Sunday with Jamie Oliver's chocolate beetroot cake. His recipe was for an 8 inch pan (4 cups according to a pan size conversion chart) so I made a half recipe and baked it in the 5 inch bowl which had a capacity of 500 ml.

                                                                                It turned out pretty well and the baking time only needed to be shortened be 5 minutes.

                                                                                1. DH requested "puffy" chocolate chip cookies for the week so I made a batch of Alton Brown's The Chewy. I scooped the dough onto a sheet and froze them. When transferring the frozen dough into a Ziploc last night I cooked off 6 of them. Pretty good. The only thing I like to change is to brown the butter, not just melt it. I had planned to make some ciabatta rolls and pizza dough, but it got too hot and too late.

                                                                                  1. Probably super dorky, but I made pate fermentee today for the bread baking competition on Friday. I'm going for the full flavor by leaving it in the fridge for three days. The cinnamon swirl bread contest has better prizes, but I have to follow the recipe exactly, even though I'm pretty sure the end product would benefit from a longer rise.

                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                      Not dorky at all.

                                                                                      I've been craving cinnamon swirl bread all week.

                                                                                      Good luck with the contest. I really hope you win! You always make such beautiful loaves.

                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                        Thanks! It's just for my home town fair, so I doubt there will be a ton of entries. I decided to go with pane siciliano from The Bread Baker's Apprentice for the general bread competition since I've made it a bunch of times, and it always comes out really tasty, with toasty sesame seeds on top, and it has a pretty shape.

                                                                                        1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                          I'm sure the pane siciliano will be great. I'm getting all amped up now, for my fellow 'hound, and I really want you to win. Please let us know how it goes!

                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                            I will! I'm counting my chickens before they hatch and already know if I win the king arthur contest, I'm going to buy a fancy bundt pan.

                                                                                            1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                              You deserve one! I have a bundt pan obsession. Of all the things I own, I somehow can never have too many of them.

                                                                                              What is this KAF contest? I've seen random comments about it on Instagram but don't know what it is...?

                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                They sponsor baking contests at fairs around the country, cinnamon swirl bread for the adults, blueberry muffins for the kids contest, at least at my fair. The first prize for the adult contest is a $75 gift card.

                                                                                                1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                  Ha, many years ago I won a bread category at a county fair - and I still have the $1.00 check to prove it!

                                                                                            2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                              Third place in the king Arthur competition, so no bundt pan, but I did get a copy of their Baker's Companion cookbook. But first prize (and three whole dollars!) in the general bread category.

                                                                                              1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                Hey, that is fabulous! First place in the bread category is nothing to sneeze at. From what we've seen of your bread here, I'm not surprised. Congrats!

                                                                                        2. Not really baking, but I DID use the oven: zucchini blossoms stuffed with Boursin cheese and warmed in the oven. Served with a simple sauce made of tomato concassé, butter and garlic.

                                                                                          1. Dorie Greenspan's Caramel Crunch Bars... good, but not as great as I expected.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: emily

                                                                                              Curious what disappointed you about them. I made them day before yesterday. They're one of my grandson's favorites.

                                                                                               
                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                They were very good - but I prefer many of the other desserts I make a lot more. The flavors seemed to meld into one another and overall they just tasted sweet to me.

                                                                                                1. re: emily

                                                                                                  They are indeed sweet. That's what my grandson likes about them. :-0 That, and the crunch.

                                                                                            2. https://food52.com/recipes/13523-my-n...

                                                                                              I am going to make this in the afternoon-
                                                                                              can I substitute buttermilk for the yogurt?

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                I'm no authority on substitutions, but I don't see why not. I might go a little light on the buttermilk because it's more liquid than yogurt & expect that the whole thing might bake a little longer. Wiser chow hounds - am I right?

                                                                                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                  I would sub it, keeping an eye on baking time like THewat said.

                                                                                                  I regularly add up to 1/4 cup extra milk to cakes and Bundt cakes all the time to keep them moist and tender and they bake up just fine, maybe needing a few extra minutes in the oven.

                                                                                                  Since you're baking loaves, it might take some checking to make sure the center is done. You might consider lowering your oven temp just slightly (10 degrees?) and baking longer so the outsides don't brown too much before the insides are done. You can also tent with foil halfway through if they are still too liquidy inside but browning too much on top.

                                                                                                2. Made these bars the other day: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/smuckers...

                                                                                                  The bf was requesting something with oats, caramel, and chocolate, so they seemed perfect.

                                                                                                  I did a half recipe in an 8"x8" pan.

                                                                                                  I was worried about them being disgustingly sweet but they weren't at all. Easy recipe to put together, and they looked, smelled, and tasted great. The bf has eaten almost the entire pan by himself though. He thinks because they have oats, he can have them for breakfast.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                    Haha! I have a boyfriend like that. I made the mistake of telling him Oreos are vegan, so now he insists they are healthy. ;) That recipe looks great, by the way.

                                                                                                  2. I don't bake much in summer. Too hot. But the neighbor gave me pears from his tree, so I made a pear croustade. Sorry, no pic.

                                                                                                    1. Today I made my mother's old recipe for blonde brownies, with coconut and chopped peanuts. I used chopped honey roasted/salted peanuts, and sprinkled some chocolate chips on top.

                                                                                                      DH made Jeni's 'The Milkiest Milk Chocolate in the World' ice cream, and I wanted to make a cookie that wouldn't fight with the ice cream. They got along just fine.

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                        Ooh, how do you like that ice cream recipe? I've been debating between trying that one, her dark chocolate, and David Lebovitz' chocolate sorbet.

                                                                                                        1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                          This one is "divine", as our dinner guest said. I had printed DL's Chocolate Sorbet a while back, and hubby printed Jeni's dark chocolate recipe this week, so those are both on the list.
                                                                                                          This ice cream was so smooth and rich. This time, DH froze the canister and chilled the cream mixture really well, and it processed faster and less icy.

                                                                                                          1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                            Nice to know, thank you! I just got an ice cream maker with a compressor, so I've been having fun playing with recipes.

                                                                                                          2. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                            Toronto jo,
                                                                                                            Hubby made Jeni's Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World yesterday. If I didn't already love him, this would have done the trick. It's perfect.
                                                                                                            And another hit with the texture. He pre-chilled the canister and dasher in the freezer, along with chilling the cooked mixture in the fridge till it was good and cold. We have the ice/salt type of ice cream freezer, and getting a fast freeze is always a learning experience.

                                                                                                            1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                              That's awesome -- glad to hear both recipes hit the chocolate spot! I've been going mad with lots of different flavours, but haven't tackled chocolate yet. I did make a peanut butter ice cream with a dark chocolate caramel swirl yesterday. It was really good. :0)

                                                                                                          1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                            mmm, I love a bread with a dark crust...

                                                                                                            1. re: BeeZee

                                                                                                              Me too! I can't stand the pale chewy stuff we get in bakeries over here... In fact I have a tendency to let it get a bit too dark sometimes :P

                                                                                                            2. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                              Beautiful! And such a nice job on the slashing!

                                                                                                                1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                                  Thanks for the comments :)

                                                                                                                  Here's yesterday's dinner, asparagus quail egg pizza with tomme de savoie and parmigiano, cooked in a toaster oven!

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                  1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                                    And tonight's dinner! Jambon sec, mascarpone, pistachio, red onion.

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                  2. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                                    Maple oatmeal breakfast bread

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                  3. I have a question for you baking types, and I didn't want to devote a whole new thread to it. Hope that's okay!

                                                                                                                    We are having a brownie tasting for my brother's going away party next weekend. I'm going to be making 5 or 6 different kinds, and all I have are two 8x8 Pyrex dishes. My options are to borrow some from my mom and stepmom, or buy a bunch of the disposable aluminum kind.

                                                                                                                    I'm assuming that a thinner pan means faster heat transfer. Would I want to a) reduce the time, or b) reduce the temperature? What if I had the pan sitting on an aluminum half sheet for stability?

                                                                                                                    I'm still trying to learn the ins and outs of baking, and tweaking with brownie recipes is my first project. I guess this week's lesson is how the pan affects the outcome!

                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                      I'm not sure about the aluminum pans, but if you didn't want to do one marathon baking session, brownies freeze very well, you could make some in advance.

                                                                                                                      ETA: Frozen brownies are actually a pretty good summer time treat.

                                                                                                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                        Interesting tip! For how long do you feel comfortable freezing them?

                                                                                                                        1. re: sharonj

                                                                                                                          Hmm, I'd say 2 months, as long as they're wrapped really well.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                        I just want to emphasize here to watch your results, not the clock. Every pan AND every oven is different, so toothpick-test every batch before removing it from the oven.

                                                                                                                        Also, most brownie recipes that I have require a 9 x 13 pan, so check that before acquiring your pans.

                                                                                                                        I wouldn't adjust your oven temperature; actually, the old rule is to reduce by 25 degrees if you are using a Pyrex pan, which would be the opposite of what you are contemplating.

                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                          I'm specifically using recipes that call for 8x8s (or carefully editing the ones that use 9x13s) because I don't want a ridiculous amount of leftovers.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                            Agreed. I use disposable aluminum pans ALL THE TIME, and actually prefer them to my expensive pans (of various materials/color/shape/size).

                                                                                                                            I find they are great for baking cakes, bars, and brownies without toughening up or darkening the crusts/edges too much. I regularly use them to bake blondies and brownies.

                                                                                                                            You do not need to lower the oven temperature. They are light colored and lightweight. Bake at the recipe's stated temp/time, and just start checking them with a toothpick 5 minutes early (that's what I do with everything I bake). Continue baking until they are done.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                            Brownie taste-offs are the best. I would probably borrow pans because I don't want to leave anything up to those aluminum ones... and if there are leftovers, then you can pass them off/back with (a cleaned) pan.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                              I would think that an aluminum pan on top of another pan might cause the bottom to bake too fast. Thrift shops have all kinds of pyrex and glass dishes if you are not against using second hand cookware.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                Thank you all for your input! I think I'm going to go ahead with the disposable ones and be hyper-vigilant with the testing.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                  I just wanted to thank you all again for the help. Things went well, and I was very happy with the way they turned out in the disposable pans. I'm on of those people who doesn't like the chewy edges, and they turned out much better than they do in my Pyrex. Glad to finally learn that!

                                                                                                                              2. So I went on quite a baking binge yesterday--baked four dozen rolls for a party my parents were throwing. They thought they'd have 60 people--it was an open house, but we didn't have nearly that many, so I had about a dozen leftover. They were pretty good, but sort of average dinner rolls.

                                                                                                                                I also made a cake--my parents had just planned on cookies from costco, so I wanted to bring something else. They'd been cooking foods from their recent time spent in the Dominican Republic, so I made a cake with tropical flavors. I made Roxlet's coconut cake with flour frosting, but substituted lime zest and a little coconut flavoring. I then filled it with mango curd from Smitten kitchen, and topped it with mangos and passion fruit and toasted coconut. I did a double batch in 2 9x13s, and cut the two in half. I saved one fourth for another day and used three layers for the cake. It was the only dish that was completely eaten! The flour frosting didn't hold up well, since it sat out a lot, but the cake still tasted good.

                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                  Glad the cake was a success! I've never made a flour frosting that I've had sit out (do you mean outside?) on a warm day, so it's good to know that it doesn't hold up, though I think few frostings would!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                    The cake was actually sitting out inside the air conditioned house, and it was highs in 80s yesterday outside, and the a/c was cranking. I'm not sure why the frosting broke, but it didn't detract from the cake because it was mostly just under the fruit (which may be why it broke down). The flavor combo was really good--I upped the lime zest in the cake and used lime in the curd, and the passion fruit was nice and tart and sweet. This is one I'd make again, maybe with a different frosting.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                      Don't lose faith in flour frosting! It really is the best!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                        I'm going to give it another try tonight, we'll see how it goes. I may have messed it up by making it the night before I used it.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                          When I make a cake with flour frosting, I usually don't refrigerate it, but keep it under a cake dome. It never has broken down at all. Make sure you whip it really well after the butter is added!

                                                                                                                                  2. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                    That's interesting about the frosting -- I could have sworn I remembered reading in one of the many discussions about it here that the reason it was so popular in the south (including being the original frosting for red velvet cakes) was BECAUSE it held up so well in the heat. I can't find a really on point post about it via my searches though, so maybe I imagined it....

                                                                                                                                    ETA: just came across this fun video on google! They put 7 different frosting on cupcakes and sat them outside on a 90 degree day to see which would stand up best to the heat. Skip ahead to 9:50 to see the time lapse video of what happens to all the frostings. http://www.howtocookthat.net/public_h...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                      Very interesting! By American buttercream I assume she means butter and confectioner's sugar?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                        Looks like this is the recipe they used for American buttercream:

                                                                                                                                        120g (4.23 ounces) Unsalted Butter
                                                                                                                                        330g (11.64 ounces) icing sugar or confectioners sugar
                                                                                                                                        1-2 tablespoons or 15-30ml milk
                                                                                                                                        small pinch salt
                                                                                                                                        1/2 teaspoon or 5ml vanilla essence
                                                                                                                                        Whip butter until smooth and pale, stir in the icing sugar, milk, vanilla and salt then whip for a further 2 minutes.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                        Great video - I watched the entire thing.

                                                                                                                                        The one kid only wanted sugar - but his friend had a pretty good idea of things.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                          I found the kids' reactions to the cream cheese icing interesting, in that it seemed entirely unfamiliar to them. Perhaps it's just less common in Australia? (Not so American buttercream, given that it was the most familiar to all.) And I agree about the sweet-tooth's friend!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                            Yeah, the cream cheese frosting was "sour" to...what, three of them? Wonder how common it is there?

                                                                                                                                    2. Does granola count as baking? I've purchased Early Girl Granola and liked it so much I decided to try their recipe posted on Lottie & Doof's site:
                                                                                                                                      http://www.lottieanddoof.com/2010/01/...
                                                                                                                                      Really delicious. I love the sweet & salty combination. I used quick oats (because that's what I had), hickory nuts, pumpkin seeds and TJ's coconut chips.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                        Ooh! Where did you get the hickory nuts from?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                          Dietrich's Meats in PA - I buy leaf lard from them, too.

                                                                                                                                      2. Finally bought the swirl bundt pan I’ve been coveting for forever and first up was the Crystal Almond Pound Cake from Flo Braker.

                                                                                                                                        I also made Reese’s Stuffed Giant, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Not even sure where I found this, but it’s a CCC stuffed with a snack size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Haven’t tried one yet; made them for my grandson who is a Reese’s fanatic. I figured, how bad could it be?

                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                          Beautiful pound cake!

                                                                                                                                          And my boyfriend would be all over those cookies. I've made CCCs with chopped up Reese's and I'll bet they taste the same. Once, years ago, I made CCC with chopped pieces of Kit Kat candy bars. It seemed like they'd be gross with congealed bits of the Kit Kat wafers in there, but they were so good and people kept requesting them.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                            I love that pound cake recipe, and that bundt pan shape is gorgeous

                                                                                                                                            1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                              Flo Braker's editor was a colleague of mine and Braker brought this cake, among others, to the sales conference to help sell the book to the sales reps. I had one taste and asked the editor for a copy of the recipe from the manuscript. Been making it ever since, and it's still one of my favorites. There was no question but that this recipe was going to initiate my new pan.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                              Ooh, I *love* that bundt pan shape! I recently bought it for myself and can't wait to use it for a mocha rum cake this weekend!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                Please share that recipe when you get a chance - 2 of my favourite flavour!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                                                                  Here you go!

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

                                                                                                                                                  I'll report back on it after I make it. I generally trust 4-fork recipes on epicurious, though (and usually follow the adjustments recommended in the comments).

                                                                                                                                              2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                Beautiful cake. That pan has been on my "want" list since it came out. But other pans kept calling to me, and now my collection of 14 pans is ridiculously space-consuming, so I've been resisting.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                  The day I truly find a good way to store all of my baking pans, I will jump for joy. I've tried every shelf organizer, tiers, lazy susans, etc. and my "baking cabinets" are just a hot mess all the time.

                                                                                                                                                  Every time I'm tempted to buy another Bundt pan, I just take a look in there for half a second and the urge passes.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                  I really need to find an occasion to try that crystal almond pound cake recipe, after all the times you've extolled it, Joan. When I do make it, I will definitely use the heritage bundt pan, too.

                                                                                                                                                3. Made a batch of Smitten Kitchen's cream scones again last night, subbing half & half for the heavy cream. I froze the remaining gigantic container of half & half in 1/2 cup portions for future baking--hope it works out!

                                                                                                                                                  The scones got the ol' mini chocolate chip treatment. Upon awakening this morning, I see the bf has eaten almost all of them. *sigh*

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                    One of us should invent a machine that dispenses baked goods slowly for those with less self-control!!!

                                                                                                                                                  2. Lest you think I've given up on baking, I made a pizza on Saturday night (and forgot the salt in the dough, damnit, it seemed weird in texture and I should have realized something was up) and l'Otto di Merano rye bread (a favorite recipe) from Carol Field's Italian Baker yesterday.

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                      Glad to hear you've been playing with some dough!

                                                                                                                                                      So can anyone tell me what salt does to a yeast dough, aside from improve flavor? I know it supposedly "kills" or slows the yeast down, but in what way would it make the texture of your dough off? I have read a few times in baking books "make sure not to omit the salt or it will ruin the dough" but I've never seen it explained further.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                        Yeast is a fungus, and salt dries out fungus, so it does kill the yeast if it comes in direct contact, which is why fresh yeast should be mixed in before the salt, the autolyze stage. It also slows down the growth of the yeast even when used properly, try making bread without the salt and it will grow like crazy. My guess about the texture being weird is that with nothing to slow it down, the yeast has already used up the supply of sugars that separate from the carbohydrate strands, so more alcohol in the dough? I don't know, just a guess.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                          "It also slows down the growth of the yeast even when used properly, try making bread without the salt and it will grow like crazy."

                                                                                                                                                          Okay, this is what I was wondering, thanks!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                            In Tuscany, the traditional bread is made without salt. When Dante was exiled from Florence, he wrote, "How salty is the taste of another man's bread."

                                                                                                                                                    2. Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.. unfortunately, the parchment sheet slid off of the cookie-sheet as I was taking it out of the oven... and I could only catch half of the batch. EPIC COOKIE FAIL, and these were part of a gift for my grandparents!

                                                                                                                                                      Not to mention, I still have issues with this oven--it cooks the bottom of the cookie way more than the top. So that if you want the cookie actually baked all the way through, then the bottoms are brown. I have an air-bake pan and a 'regular' pan, and both result in the same undercooked tops and over-down underside. (I know its not the recipes because I have used the recipes at my parents house and I never end up with brown/dark-brown bottoms and undercooked tops.

                                                                                                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                        Two thoughts:

                                                                                                                                                        First, that has *almost* happened to me with the parchment about a hundred times. Last time was with a fully loaded pizza and I nearly fainted when I saw it headed for the floor. Luckily I deflected it back into the oven and it was saved. Poor you though! I've read online that putting a dab of egg white between the cookie sheet and parchment paper will stop this from happening but of course I never do this.

                                                                                                                                                        Second: Have you tried just baking your cookies on the top rack for the duration of the baking time? If I leave my cookies only on the bottom rack, the bottoms of them do get darker than I'd like, and my oven is new. I always rotate my baking sheets halfway through, no matter what.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                          I have never in my life owned any of those useless "cookie sheets" without rims.

                                                                                                                                                          Buy some regular half sheet pans. They are heavy-duty and will last you for life.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                            I perhaps shall. I was raised on 'air-bake' pans.. that never have rims, but at my parents house, it is easier to extract things from their stacked, narrower ovens because the oven-door is not giant. In my apartment the oven-door is giant, so I end up standing pretty far away and reaching in (I am short, with proportionally short arms) ..so it's pretty hard to get the pan out. I think I should go on another baking-break.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                              You can get the sheet pans at a restaurant supply store or Sam's Club (don't know about Costco). They are pretty cheap, but heavy duty and last forever.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                              They will definitely last you for life. I bought a couple from Williams-Sonoma, and after a few years of heavy use the surfaces started flaking off. I took them back to ask if this was normal. I was told no, and given two new pans at no cost.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                I don't understand - sheet pans don't have any surface coatings that would flake off - ?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                  Probably was referring to nonstick pans? With the coating??

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                    That's what I'm assuming. Not sheet pans.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                    They were sheet pans, not non-stick. Perhaps flake off was the wrong term; but it definitely looked like some kind of wear. WS thought so, too.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                      I wonder what it was? Of course, my sheet pans don't look the best, but it doesn't effect function. I've had them for MANY years now, and they pretty much get daily use.

                                                                                                                                                                      I should add here that I'm not a WS fan.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                Put another cookie sheet under the one you are using.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                  When the parchment slid, the sheet/cookies flipped over and smashed.. so I am not sure another sheet underneath would help especially because my air-bake pan cannot fit on-top of the sheet with rims (I would use that sheet with rims, but it is very low-quality and produces nothing but bad cookies).

                                                                                                                                                                  Anyway, batch two is now in the oven after going to buy new butter and while I was putting it in, the parchment sheet already started slipping again. I would put egg-white in between but don't want to ruin the pan by it burning the paper on-top of it.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                  That parchment thing happens to me all the time. I just yank the cookie sheet out of the oven without thinking. If I would just slow down once in a while!!! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                    I will say this second batch... is soooo tasty. I added a teaspoon of cornstarch which made them bakery soft. Also I think I accidentally grabbed salted sweet-cream butter (I think my baking-fail made me frantic at the store to re-do the batch ASAP).. instead of unsalted, and MAN the butter makes taste so good. I think my grandpa will be happy.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Well... I made another smallish batch of Smitten Kitchen's cream scones with chocolate chips again yesterday and guess what? THEY ARE GONE AGAIN TODAY. My man is a good eater, bless him.

                                                                                                                                                                    19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                      Now it's time to find a really good hiding place so you can have a couple for yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                        Okay, I did it because walker told me to. No rolling or cutting this time; drop scones all the way.

                                                                                                                                                                        Finally all of the 1/2 and 1/2 is used up!

                                                                                                                                                                        Now, where to hide these things? The bf has already discovered where I keep the good chocolate. He raids the kitchen in his sleep every night around 2 AM and eats indiscriminately. I may put some scones in the linen cabinet for the time being.

                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                                                                                          I adore these Smitten Kitchen scones. I can't stop making them, despite having like 10 other scone recipes in my recipe book.

                                                                                                                                                                          They are no nonsense; just flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, butter, and cream.

                                                                                                                                                                          I often use 1/2 and 1/2 with no big difference in texture. They are so tender. I'm stuck on chocolate chips lately but they're also fantastic plain with some jam, or with frozen blueberries mixed in.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                            I like dried cherries and toasted pecans in scones.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                              I've been adding toasted pecans to everything lately. Muffins, cookies, granola. They taste so buttery and decadent.

                                                                                                                                                                              I can't wait for fall, when baking copious amounts of pecan pie won't seem strange.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                I was threatening to bake one of those last weekend...hm-mmm....

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                  Really?? I bought a pound of pecans last week and swore up and down there would be pecan pie on the table but I kept getting sidetracked. It's been sitting on the counter in hopes that keeping it in plain sight will motivate me to make a pie crust.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                    I have an unbaked pie shell in the freezer, so any excuses I use are pretty thin.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                              I think I'll give them a try using plain milk instead of cream :)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                                                                                                I've tried them that way and they are still very good. Just slightly less tender.

                                                                                                                                                                                It takes less milk than cream to moisten the dough, so try adding maybe a tablespoon or two less than the recipe calls for or it will be very liquidy.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks! Good to know the recipe works well with milk :) I'll be quite careful with the amounts, I've had wet-scone disasters before.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                                                                                                    If you're going with milk, I'd recommend whole milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, we only ever keep whole milk around the house, I can't stand the watery stuff they call skim "milk".

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                                                                                                        Same here. And when their remove that perfectly healthy fat from milk, they are concentrating the sugar. Seems counterproductive to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                                                                                                      I had a wet scone disaster one New Year's morning when I was having company for brunch. I doubled the recipe, weighing the flour after measuring out the other ingredients. I didn't have enough flour, and forgot to cut back on the milk. It was not possible to buy more flour as everything was closed, so I just stuck the unrollable batter into a piping bag with a big star tip. Turned out great, and no one had any inkling that I had goofed!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ugh, we've all had the things-go-wrong-when-you-double happen. Nice save.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Why do these things happen only for guests, rather than when you're throwing it together fast for your household?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                          Nice save, sous-chef!

                                                                                                                                                                                          You know, it's funny sometimes when you totally mess up recipes how they will still turn out. I've had this happen when accidentally doubling the milk in a cake recipe (I had halved the remaining ingredients and forgot to halve the milk). I stood there in front of a bowl of very liquidy batter and figured I'd just stick it in the oven and cross my fingers.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Lo and behold it turned out beautifully, rose fine, baked fine, only took 5-10 more minutes than the recipe called for.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I guess when you think about it, 90% of baking recipes call for the same basic ingredients (flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs, etc.) in different proportions to get different results, so why *wouldn't* it work out?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                            Now that's something to remember for future reference :)

                                                                                                                                                                              2. I haven't done this much baking in years-
                                                                                                                                                                                made cornbread this past as well as zucchini bead.
                                                                                                                                                                                Now I am ready for another quick bread- I haven't eaten them both-put some of the 2 in the freezer.
                                                                                                                                                                                I have 2 more zucchini and I will make this bread next
                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.onceuponachef.com/2013/07/...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. In anticipation of having our son and family visit I have been baking. Also planning to visit a friend who is a terrific gardener and cook but is on bed rest until the blessed event so zucchini baking seemed like the way to go. I did make Toddler muffins in the picture, a savory young kid banana oatmeal muffin that is also good frozen for teething kids. They actually taste good too. After asking for help on this board I have made the highly recommended Healthy Chocolate Zucchini muffins, both minis and regular, and a less healthy but more traditional sweet muffin recipe from Simply Recipes. I also found a savory recipe for cheese zucchini bread using buttermilk on Foodily and have a loaf of that to cut up. We are holding off tasting until later as we have a chest freezer to store these in. The family doesn't arrive until Monday but I have a big Pot Luck to cook for Friday and Saturday. When it rains it pours. :) Can't wait to meet our new grand daughter who will not be eating anything for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I finally made baked oatmeal - hubby needed something quick and filling for this morning, so I make it last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I used a simple recipe, but reduced the sugar and added blueberries and pecans.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, that stuff is good. It is a great granola alternative. The only downside is the sugar, which I'll mess with further the next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                      Are there any savory baked oatmeal recipes out there? I recently discovered savory oatmeal, and I love it, a little olive oil and parmesan cheese, or horseradish and smoked paprika, delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't see why it couldn't be done. Just take the basic oats/eggs/milk thing and fly with it!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                          I love this thread on savory oatmeal. I'm sure you could adapt any of the recipes to bake:

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/330978

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                          That sounds so good. I've never done a baked oatmeal. I wonder if there's a way to do just a single serving at a time (in ramekins?) for the bf's breakfasts.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ooh, that sounds like it would be fun to play with. I bet you could prep a bunch of ramekins and freeze them, then pop one into the oven (or toaster oven if you have one) frozen on a lower temp. Or you could pull one out the night before you want to bake it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                              I know, this has got me all excited to try something out soon... The bf would prefer to eat cookies for breakfast, but hey.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I was wondering about freezing but I may get all crazy and try to come up with a recipe that literally just makes one ramekin's worth. We shall see.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                I ate it out of the fridge this morning - it's good cold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                    We love all kind of oats cold. A lot of mornings, it's "overnight oats" (soak in milk in the fridge) without heating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They're even good plain and raw thrown onto yogurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. We got cable installed today. This is my first time ever having cable TV since moving out of my parents' house many many years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The dogs were a mess, and the cable guy needed access to every area of my small home and the yard. So the big dog got put in the bathroom with a cow bone and the little yippy one was quarantined in the kitchen. Unfortunately every time I tried to walk away, she started with her high-pitched yapping and so I had to keep her company for 2 hours. And the oven started calling me...

                                                                                                                                                                                            All that to say, today I baked carrot muffins.

                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                              Ha, I've always wondered if a rubber band on the muzzle would work (no, just kidding - I am a dog lover).

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm a dog lover too sandy, but at some point enough is enough. I love my little yipper to death but her barks have been known to upset people more than nails on a chalkboard. The only way I could get her to stop for even a second was to keep feeding her carrots and Milkbones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm convinced these "pets" are just constantly laughing at us on the inside... they have us trained, that's for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I just made a batch of pistachio cookies. They are going to be topped with white chocolate and more chopped pistachios.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Well, I hadn't baked anything in the longest time until today, and it was boring, old ccc cookies since my son's friends were visiting. It's their favorite, and these were the boys who my son went to Europe with and who ate in chain Chinese restaurants from Paris to Rome to Berlin. Yes, chicken with pineapple eaten across the continent. And then the go with their other traveling companion -- who is actually Chinese, I might add -- to China, and yes, they managed to find crappy faux Chinese food in China too. OK, rant over. So they love my CCC, and that is what I made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lol, rox! Creatures of habit. So I guess it's great you make a good CCC. As far as I'm concerned, CCCs are always welcome. I would gladly eat one every day for the rest of my life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Why fight something that's perfect? (They didn't find any Chinese street food they liked?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They are just completely unadventurous in their eating. They live across the street from Dean & Deluca in Manhattan, yet come here to the burbs and buy packaged bagels! And they live a short distance from Chinatown, and come to an Asian restaurant here to eat dumplings. It's weird. All throughout Europe, they tried nothing unfamiliar. Steak, when they could get it, and pasta with "meat sauce," cheese on the side, and the aforementioned chain Chinese restaurants. My son is a real CH, and he was humiliated by their eating habits. He would often go off on his own. But, yes, I make great CCC, which everyone loves, and they put away quite a few.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hello Roxlet, Can you share your CCC recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is just a variation of the Toll House Recipe with the following changes:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I cup of dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white (instead of 3/4 & 3/4 cups)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          A good tablespoon of vanilla instead of the teaspoon or so

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Two very heaping cups of chocolate chips (so closer to 3 cups than 2)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I bake them one cookie sheet at a time, switching back to front at 6 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: smfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also mix them by hand, which I think makes them flatter since less air is incorporated into the dough...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. My first bake with the same swirl bundt pan that JoanN has. Mocha rum cake. Baked yesterday for tasting on Saturday, since rum cakes mellow out nicely after a couple of days. Considering just dusting it with a bit of powdered sugar. Or I might play with the crushed pearl powder that a friend is bringing. I wonder if it will show up on a cake surface?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Used this recipe:

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But upped the rum to 1 cup and used 1 1/3 cup espresso instead. Note that this recipe makes a huge amount of batter. It's meant for a 12-cup bundt pan, which the heritage pan is not. So I also got a 4" loaf cake out of it as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This was also my first time using Wilton's cake release. Woohoo! I'm a fan. I was worried about not losing any of the beautiful swirl edges on the cake, but no problems at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm curious -- do any of you ever trim the bottom of your bundt cake before turning out? This one rose so much out of the pan that the swirl starts about an inch and a half above the plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                    27 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Looks lovely! I have that pan too, and my only complaint is that it's tough to glaze. But it does turn out a gorgeous cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                        It looks beautiful. I think powdered sugar would look nice on top, though I'm not familiar with the pearl powder... Is it just an iridescent topping?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I sometimes will trim Bundts that rise too much. If you use a nice sharp serrated knife, they usually cut fine. I'd be worried about inverting that beautiful swirl at this point though, and possibly cracking or denting it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a big fan of Wilton's Cake Release, too. Your cake is gorgeous. I've got the same pan and I've made Elvis' favorite pound cake twice. First time was perfect but second one wasn't as browned as it should have been. Toothpick came out clean but I could not tell it was not browned enough until I turned it out of the pan. Any advice

                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Re posting photos: what am I doing wrong? How come TorontoJo's photo came out so much bigger than mine?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                              If your post is a reply to the OP, the first photo you upload will be the large one at the top, and any others will be thumbnails you have to click to enlarge, but if you reply to someone else's post, the photos are all thumbnails. In other words, you didn't do anything wrong, that's just how it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm simply in love with this pan. It makes any cake look stunning. I love pound cake, and will have to try it in this bundt pan. I love the idea of extra crispy edges to nibble on!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Is Cake Release noticeably better than PAM Baking? I absolutely detest the PAM Baking, so I guess it can't really be any worse, can it? Regular PAM sprays just fine. The baking one, though, comes out all "globby" and I have to get out my silicone brush and spread it around better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Really?? I love Baking Pam. I don't find it globby and I swear it has never once failed me with baked goods sticking. I ran out recently and couldn't find any at the store so I used regular Pam for a week and every single thing I baked stuck so badly to the pans that they were ruined.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The PAM is always a disaster. Instead of coming out in a nice fine mist, it comes out in a globby stream. I would like it to nicely/evenly coat my pans and it never does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I will say, though, that once I get it spread out evenly (either with the pastry brush or a paper towel), it works great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't use regular PAM for baking because somehow it seems too "savory". I know I'm being completely ridiculous, but in my mind, regular PAM is for sautéing, scrambled eggs, grilled veggies, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also have the butter one. Amazing that I am such as sucker that I'll pony up for three different types!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No, I totally agree with you about the regular PAM. I use it only for spraying the tops of dinner rolls (to try and cut back on "unnecessary" butter use) or things like scrambled eggs, etc. I won't use it for baking sweets. What's funny is that when I was growing up, there was only regular Pam in existence and my mother ALWAYS used it to grease her baking dishes and cake pans. And it was always fine, you couldn't taste it. Now that I've used Baking Pam I can't bring myself to use regular for any sweets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I bought the Butter Pam when my store was out of Baking. It is like neon yellow and smelled really funky, like movie theater popcorn butter. I was in a pinch and used it anyway to grease a very large cake pan (12") for a birthday cake I was making. The second pan got a spray of the last of the Baking Pam. The Butter flavored one browned a lot (LOT) more and pieces of the center stuck to the pan. I had to piece it back together in the center with frosting. The Baking Pam one baked perfectly and released perfectly. So those are my (not) scientific experiment results, lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I find you do have to spray the Baking Pam from a distance to get it to coat thoroughly and evenly but I don't mind. It has really made baking for me so much easier and I consider it one of my kitchen staples.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like the butter one with scrambled eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For the baking, I hate to spray at too far of a distance. Then I end up with a gummy mess all over my counter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh...the challenges!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Put the pan you are spraying on the opened door of the dishwasher and spray it there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lol, real first-world problems we are having!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I do as roxlet says and spray over/in front of the dishwasher or the sink. It's stainless steel and extra-wide so it catches any overspray and wipes up clean quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A friend borrowed my kitchen once and sprayed Baking Pam in the middle of the kitchen... I literally slipped and fell after he'd left from all the Pam on the tile floor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Baking spray (have used Pam, Baker's Joy, Spectrum variously) has been my go-to for years and is still my usual, however Wilton Cake Release is absolutely superior for fancy pans with a lot of detail. I actually bought it before using the heritage bundt pan TorontoJo used for the first time, and it has made a huge difference in how cleanly cakes release from my few detailed pans (not to mention how much easier it is to get them clean after baking).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do agree that the baking spray coats more evenly if you hold it a distance from the pan, but it's also true that you get a much thinner coating after brushing on the Cake Release.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good to know Caitlin, thanks. I have never seen Cake Release around, but if I see it I will pick some up and give it a try. It is becoming harder and harder to find Baking Pam for some reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Michael's craft stores that have a cake/candy supply section carry it (every one I've been to, but I recall on a previous thread that you said your local one doesn't), and perhaps other places with lots of Wilton. And naturally, you can get it through Amazon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I sometimes have had to hunt for the flour/oil sprays, and generally buy whichever brand I find (they're pretty equivalent in my experience).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I did end up finding the cake supplies at my local Michaels. It is pretty poorly stocked though. Lots of canned frostings/icings and sugar flowers and what not but few things I actually want to buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm an Amazon addict so that will probably be better anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've only used the cake release this one time, so don't have a huge sample to judge from. I do like that it's easier to control than Pam Baking or Baker's Joy, because you just squirt a blob into the pan and use a pastry brush to spread a thin layer in the pan. There's no dripping or foamy bits or over-spray (I particularly like that part).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love the Cake Release, but my only caveat is that I don't love the way it smells.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have you tried replacing cake release with baker's grease?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 part each (volume) of flour, oil, and shortening, well mixed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nope, I've not done that because I am extremely lazy! :) I know about it though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cake release comes in a spray now too. I think the liquid one is a bit better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Good to know. The store where I usually would buy it has moved, and I haven't been to the new location yet. I'll have to make a point of checking it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For dark cakes in that pan, I think a light sprinkle of powdered sugar highlights its shape really well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another reliable spray is Bak-klene which I buy at Williams-Sonoma. It's a bit pricy, however, so I may try the Wilton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. This morning, I am making double chocolate zucchini bread

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.onceuponachef.com/2013/07/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My kitchen smells sooo good from the chocolate-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            surprisingly I am not a chocaholic but the the recipe and pictures looked tempting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Quite a lot of hounds baking chocolate zucchini bread or muffins! I just made a similar recipe for muffins after several recs and mine used white whole wheat flour and honey instead of brown sugar so we're calling them the healthy ones. My husband was not happy when I popped them in the freezer 'for company".