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What are you baking these days? September edition, part 1! (2014) [old]

For once I am not at work on a first of the month, which is our busiest time (month closing). So here I am, virtually peering into your oven once again.
The friends who love chocolate are bringing over peach ice cream, and I have some peaches that are very ripe, so instead of the chocolate Valentine's heart from Heavenly Cakes I made the Golden Luxury Butter cake from the Cake Bible. It has chocolate too (white chocolate, shhh...). I just could not see chocolate with peaches. I will just dust it with confectioner's sugar and be done with it. It smells heavenly. Didn't think anyone would be too impressed with a pic of a golden plain cake layer, so no pic.
Enough about me -- what are YOU baking these days?

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  1. Yes! I'm so glad it's finally September and Fall is on it's way. I may have to bake something with pumpkin. Of course I still have a huge bowl of apples from our tree to do something with.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rasputina

      This is my favorite apple cake, and I love that I don't have to take the mixer out.


      Pare and slice thinly 6 small Macintosh apples and mix with ¼ cup cinnamon sugar (do not use any other apple types). Set aside. Butter and flour a bundt pan extremely thoroughly, or use a tube (angel food) pan. (I find the Wilton easy release mixture works very, very well. Heat oven to 350 degrees
      (I make this batter in a single bowl using a whisk. Easy clean up!)
      -Beat 4 large eggs and add 1 ¾ cups of sugar
      Add in:
      -1 cup vegetable oil
      -¼ cup of orange juice
      -1 teaspoon of vanilla
      Then mix in:
      -3 cups of flour
      -3 teaspoons baking powder
      -½ teaspoon of salt.

      Use a little less that one third of the batter and drop by spoonfuls on the bottom of the prepared pan. It should just cover the bottom of the pan. Distribute ½ of the apples over that, and use just enough of the batter to cover the apples. Repeat with the remaining batter/apples, ending with a layer of batter. This batter is very sticky and is best dropped by small spoonfuls over the apples since it doesn’t flow.
      Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
      Let cool completely in the pan before removing, otherwise it is liable to fall apart. Dust well with confectioner’s sugar. This cake improves with age and is best the next day – or even the day after!

      (I have a neighbor who requested this recipe and then made it with melted and cooled butter, which she said was also quite tasty.)

        1. re: roxlet

          Thanks Roxlet, hopefully I'll have some time tomorrow.

      1. I just made a Matcha chocolate chip milk loaf. It doesn't look very pretty on the outside, so I won't post a photo, but maybe it'll look better on the inside :)

        My first time trying to make this type of bread, I used a 10% tangzhong instead of the usual 5%, we'll see what the result is tomorrow morning at breakfast.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Sirrith


          I had no idea what was tangzhong method-thank you for letting me discover this method
          where did you buy the matcha?

          1. re: jpr54_1

            My recipe was similar to that, but I used milk in the tangzhong, and chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder. I bought the matcha at a local supermarket, I live in Hong Kong so it's quite easy to find here.

            1. re: Sirrith

              It is not that difficult to find it here in the U.S.-
              I am a tea drinker and enjoy baozhong. I buy it online from Taiwan or a small distributor in Washington, D.C.

              just an aside-sorry to hear about your voting problems

              1. re: Candy

                Never have made or tasted one! Where is the recipe from?

                1. re: roxlet

                  I used Deborah Madison's recipe from her Seasonal Fruits book. There are a number of recipes on line. They are all pretty similar. For the thickener I used King Arthur's Pie Enhancer which I really like. It is a super fine blend of tapioca, ultra fine sugar and corn starch. I bought it on a whim last winter and have found it very good. I does not substitute for sugar in a recipe.

          1. Thinking that I may make some cheese wafers since I gotta do something with the cheese sitting in the fridge.

            1. I'd like to make this:


              We'll see if I find the time!

              And I have a great apple pie bread that isn't very sweet, but I'll probably wait until Jonathans are available to do my apple baking.

              7 Replies
              1. re: sandylc

                Care to share the apple pie bread recipe? Sounds perfect for a brunch I'm doing next month...thanks.

                1. re: critter101

                  Here you go! As stated above, this bread isn't terribly sweet, just lightly so.

                  APPLE PIE BREAD

                  For the Batter:
                  1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
                  1/4 cup granulated sugar
                  1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
                  1/4 cup buttermilk
                  2 teaspoons baking powder
                  2 eggs
                  1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
                  1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
                  1 cup whole wheat flour
                  1/4 t. cardamom
                  1/4 t. allspice
                  1/4 t. nutmeg
                  1/2 t. cinnamon
                  1/2 teaspoon salt
                  2 cups shredded, peeled apple (about 3)
                  3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
                  1/2 cup dried coconut

                  For the Streusel Topping:
                  1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
                  3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
                  2 tablespoons unsalted butter
                  1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

                  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line it with a parchment sling and spray that, too; set aside.
                  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 30 seconds. Add both sugars and mix until well combined. Add buttermilk and beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; beat again. Combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Fold in apples, pecans and coconut.
                  3. Dump the batter into prepared pan; spread evenly.
                  4. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and flour. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle mixture over the batter, pressing it in gently.
                  5. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean.
                  6. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. I like to slice the loaf and put squares of waxed paper in between the slices, then bag and freeze it; then slices can be removed singly.

                  1. re: sandylc

                    Sounds great sandy, thanks for sharing. I will keep this in mind when I have a few apples to use up! Does it taste like apple pie? I assume so, but had to ask.

                    1. re: nothingswrong

                      Well...the original recipe was named that way, but, no, I don't think it tastes like apple pie. I've changed the recipe quite a lot, but I still think the original creator was taking liberties with their choice of name!

                      EDIT: I've changed the recipe; I should just change the name...

                    2. re: sandylc

                      It will be a delicious addition to my brunch menu. I like the freezing tip, as well. Thanks.

                  2. re: sandylc

                    Yum that crumble recipe looks great!

                  3. Completely cheated and made Slutty Brownies. I had some frozen cookie dough left over from some kid fundraiser, a box of Ghirardelli brownie mix and a package of Cookie Dough Oreos. Perfect!

                    I'll have to make something "realer" next!

                    1. My first effort at pita bread: http://www.farmgirlfare.com/2005/09/p... I'm not super crazy about them - I guess I want even more flavor. Anyone making a pita or similar bread that they are wild about?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: THewat

                        A lot of us here like the James Beard recipe for pita. I'm not sure what you mean about more flavor, though - it is a pretty plain-tasting bread intended for dips, spreads, or fillings.

                        1. re: sandylc

                          Thanks Sandy. I'll try the James Beard recipe next. Every once in a while I have a pita or pita-like flatbread that seems to have some extra personality. Symposium Greek Restaurant in NY serves one. I'd love to be able to make such a thing.

                          1. re: THewat

                            I like it with some whole wheat in it!

                            1. re: THewat

                              Greek pita does seem a bit different from pita from further east. I also find it's softer, richer, and dusted with a little something.

                              1. re: Torina

                                I just made this Greek pita, and I wouldn't say it's the best I've ever had, but it is fast, fast, fast & very satisfying: http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/tradi...

                                1. re: THewat

                                  I've now had the dough in my refrigerator for five days, and I LOVE that I can go from dough to completed pita (or base for mayo & fresh tomato) in under 10 minutes. Brilliant.

                        2. I made zucchini coconut bread out of some frozen, shredded ball squash. Despite some doubts about the squash (looks like pumpkin), the bread is *very* good. Surprised myself! Building up a stockpile for school lunches which start up tomorrow.

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: tcamp

                            Looks delicious! Never occurs to me to use other squash for sweet quick breads.

                              1. re: sandylc

                                Oh, yes. Of course pumpkin bread. I just meant other types of things you'd call "squash," like delicata, butternut, acorn, spaghetti... Do people do that? I'm curious now how they'd turn out in a sweet quick bread. I have seen recipes calling for pureed butternut squash, or shredded yellow crookneck in place of green zucchini, but I wonder if you could just shred up an acorn squash and use it in zucchini bread...?

                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                  I don't see why not. I started baking with shredded butternut after finally confessing to myself that I just don't love it roasted or in soup. Works fine as a substitute for other squash or even apples, depending on recipe specifics.

                                  1. re: tcamp

                                    I don't like most of the winter squashes in savory applications either. I may try this idea out over the next few months.

                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                      While not a bread, if you are looking for baked goods utilizing squash this recipe is amazing. http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/br...
                                      I always use butternut squash. I think I will need to make one of these next month to take to Thanksgiving at my parents place - it is a favourite for me and my mom.

                                      1. re: cheesymama

                                        So does it taste like pumpkin pie? I admit I'm intrigued, but I am famous for my pumpkin pies and am paid to bake dozens around the holidays. My family insists I make at least 2 of them for our 6 person family Thanksgiving and would be in an uproar if I brought something else in its place.

                                        I clicked a link to this recipe and now have parsnips on the mind: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/pa... So curious what this pie tastes like, and the texture of the filling. Will have to try this one soon as an experiment, just not for Thanksgiving.

                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                          Looks like it gets mixed reviews, and not many of them. It sounds interesting though. I'd certainly not follow the crust recipe, and add more sugar!

                                          1. re: roxlet

                                            Right, I was thinking the same thing. Use my own crust and add more sugar to the filling, maybe some other slight changes. I think they'd actually be great in a pie and am wondering why you don't see recipes like this. Perhaps because it's not good, but I'm going to try it and report back!

                                          2. re: nothingswrong

                                            I am not a fan of pumpkin pie, but DH is. The first time I made this pie I was really hoping that we would both like it and I would never have to see another pumpkin pie in my life. Alas, I love it and while he certainly enjoys it it is no substitute for his beloved pumpkin pie. His b-day is on or at least close to Canadian Thanksgiving and he often requests pp over cake.
                                            You can definitely taste the squash and I would say this pie is sweeter than any pp I have ever had and not as much pie spice flavour.

                                            1. re: cheesymama

                                              Sounds interesting. I will give it a shot if I ever have some squash lying around. I'm in your husband's camp, and pumpkin pie is my absolute favorite. When I've tried other similar type pies (like sweet potato for instance) in the past, I am just so unsatisfied because they seem to be lacking something.

                            1. I've had about 30 pounds of Kieffer pears to deal with the past few weeks, and canned most of them in different ways.

                              Yesterday, though, I made a pear crisp, and will do another for our guests tonight. Kieffer pears take a good half hour of simmering to soften up, so I cook them in a skillet with cinnamon, sugar and a little butter till they're tender but not mushy. Add a bit of cornstarch to thicken the sauce, and sprinkle a crumble on top, then bake for about a half hour.
                              Last night's dinner guest had made blueberry muffins, but got distracted while mixing them up, and forgot to put in the sugar. So I told her to bring them along.. I crumbled up the muffins, stirred in a good amount of brown sugar,and topped the pears with that. Baked it while we had dinner, and served it warm with DH's homemade vanilla ice cream from Jeni's recipe.

                              She left the rest of the muffins, so I'm doing the same tonight for another couple who is coming over to play a board game (Avalon Hill's old bookshelf game, 'Acquire', for any vintage board game enthusiasts out there).

                              1. Dearest daughter was drooling over Joanne Chang's sticky sticky buns, so the brioche dough was made last night and the buns were baked this afternoon.

                                I'm not the biggest gooey sweet fan, but I thought they were all right with the brown sugar sauce. The brioche by itself, however, is excellent. There is still half a recipe of it chilling in the freezer and I am looking forward to a nice, plain brioche loaf one of these weekends.

                                I'll be making the brioche dough again for sure and will make the buns again, with sticky sticky sauce on the side.

                                1. Made the purple plum cake mentioned last in last month's thread.. so GOOD! And easy! Why did I wait so long to make it?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: rstuart

                                    Need to go look that up. I have a bag of plums sitting around staring at me.

                                  2. Made the sweet corn cake I wrote about in the last thread for the bf tonight. He was SO HAPPY and asked if I can make it weekly now for him to have with his meals. He even wondered if he could eat it like grits or oatmeal for breakfast.
                                    I licked the serving spoon and it is indeed lovely... sweet, buttery, and so full of corn flavor. Yum.

                                    Awful pic of a scoop in styrofoam, sorry. It's for his lunchbox tomorrow.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                      I used to LOVE that stuff when eating at those pseudo-Mexican-American restaurants in...was it the 80s? 90s?

                                      Guilty secret - some of those restaurants really tasted good - must have been the copious amounts of MSG and gloppy cheese, along with cheap tequila!

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        Lol yes, I haven't eaten at *those* kinds of restaurants since I was a kid, but it was quite tasty after soccer or gymnastics practice.

                                        The bf apparently was obsessed with this stuff from El Pollo Loco but they took it off the menu last year. He would go through the drive thru and get 2 or 3 orders of it and eat it in his car before coming home. I had no idea! He says this version is similar but better, doesn't taste of fake ingredients.

                                    2. I baked good Lemon/Blueberry bread.

                                      1. More bread baking for me, shortcut russenzopf tonight http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

                                        and a loaf of baguette dough shaped into a boule early tomorrow morning, for another fair bread baking competition. I also really want to make the oatmeal muffins from the King Arthur Flour Baking Companion as soon as the weather isn't disgustingly hot and humid. I am going to replace the raisins with dried cranberries because someone that isn't me does not care for raisins.

                                        20 Replies
                                        1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                          What kind of dough are you using for the russenzopf? It looks absolutely delicious.

                                          Good luck with your competition tomorrow!! We're rooting for you!

                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                            I'm using the brioche recipe from RLB's Bread Bible

                                          2. re: zitronenmadchen

                                            Russenzopf out of the oven, I was worried it was going to stick to the spring form pan, but it came out very easily.

                                                1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                  Lovely! How about a shot of the slice you're going to eat?? :D

                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                    Have to wait until it's been judged, but I'll post a picture. Here's the french bread boule, with an H for my last name, or the patron saint of bakers, St. Honore. I like to tell people that of course I share a name with the patron saint of bakers.

                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                          Thanks! I try, I can't wait to see it sliced into so I can see whether I got the large irregular holes or not.

                                                        1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                          Yay, thanks! Love seeing the cross-section. Looks absolutely delicious.

                                                          1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                            Please, please, please may I have some???

                                                              1. Sometime this month I am going to make a Mississippi Mud CAKE.

                                                                Truthfully, the texture is more like a soft chewy brownie than a cake. But it isn't a PIE, and I just think cake sounds better that brownie in the name. :P

                                                                1. Made another batch of Cornmeal-Lime cookies from Flour (I just love 'em and limes have been so cheap around here lately). This time (and maybe those of you who have made these already do this), I chilled the dough before baking, which made a huge difference. The cookies had a much prettier, mounded shape.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: lesliej

                                                                    Cornmeal lime cookies sound really good, I'll have to look for that book at the library

                                                                    1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                      I've made it a bunch. They are fabulous.

                                                                  2. This afternoon I made corn bread from recipe on Quaker yellow cornmeal container. I added a chopped jalapeno pepper and grated medium onion which was not on recipe. I am trying different recipes for cornbread. This one is better than the other I made.

                                                                    1. I have been a sourdough making fool for the past few days - a house of nine adults can go through a LOT of bread. I turned one loaf into Amy Thielen's maple bread by sautéing slices in butter and maple syrup - these toasts are fabulous with strong cheeses and chicken liver pâté, both of which were on hand! Then last night I turned a batch of dough into pizza crusts for individual pizzas on the grill - everyone had a ball stretching and topping their own. Very fun for a group.

                                                                      1. I baked a loaf of challah bread. I usually do them braided but I wanted a loaf for sandwiches. I used KAF recipe this time.

                                                                        1. Made a tried-and-true to bring to my parents tonight. Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake. Old pic, wasn't able to snap one tonight.

                                                                          I devirginized my beautiful new super deep 6" cake pan and it worked out perfectly. I had some batter left over and used a mini Wilton pan (3.5"??) for an individual sized cake too.

                                                                          Both my parents and my perpetually dieting sister had 2 slices each. Success! The mini cake will be the bf's breakfast.

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                            Looks fabulous, Nothingswrong! Would you be willing to share the recipe?

                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                              I've been meaning to make this cake since you posted it back in April or May. I have raspberries that I picked just waiting in the freezer, now to actually get around to making it.

                                                                              1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                Oh Sheesh---it's already posted? I'll search for it. I may already have printed it off but my recipes are still in boxes post-move from house to condo.

                                                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                                                    Yes, that does appear to be it, but I have the amounts written down completely differently for some reason?! I'm so confused as to how that happened... I'm going to have to do some investigating.

                                                                                    EDIT: Okay, now I know... I followed all the changes mentioned in the reviews which stated the batter as written was too thick/dry and didn't fill the pan adequately. So I added the milk and changed some of the quantities (definitely needed more berries). Personally I still think it could use some changes--the raspberries, almonds, and glaze (don't skip it!) are perfection, but something about the texture of the cake bothers me. Others adore it though, and my mom said it reminded her of some French cakes she's had. Maybe others here if they try it can chime in on what it's missing.

                                                                                    Mine is as written:

                                                                                    RASPBERRY ALMOND COFFEE CAKE

                                                                                    -1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
                                                                                    -4 1/2 tbspns. brown sugar

                                                                                    -1 1/2 cups AP flour (I use cake flour)
                                                                                    -1/2 cup sugar
                                                                                    -3/4 teaspoon baking powder
                                                                                    -1/4 teaspoon baking soda
                                                                                    -1/8 teaspoon salt
                                                                                    -3/4 cup sour cream
                                                                                    -3 tbspns melted butter
                                                                                    -2 teaspoons vanilla
                                                                                    -1 egg
                                                                                    -1/4 cup milk

                                                                                    -1/4 cup sliced almonds

                                                                                    For the glaze:
                                                                                    -powdered sugar

                                                                                    Mix raspberries and brown sugar and let sit while you make the batter. Grease an 8" round cake pan and set aside.

                                                                                    Stir together sour cream, butter, vanilla, egg, and milk. Separately, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir together with wet ingredients until just mixed.

                                                                                    Spread 2/3 of batter in prepared pan. Top evenly with berries, then remaining batter. Sprinkle all over with the almonds.

                                                                                    Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Whisk together powdered sugar with water or milk to make a thick white glaze and drizzle liberally over cake.

                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                  That looks perfectly delicious nothingswrong. Sounds wonderful for a breakfast treat! Well done!!

                                                                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                    I want to say that looks genius, but I wonder if they will cook evenly. I'm going to give this a try next time I have that inevitable 1 or 2 muffins' worth of batter leftover that won't fit in the muffin pan. Will be perfect to compare how each has baked up.

                                                                                  2. I cleaned out the fridge after our last summer bbq smoked meats extravaganza and we had some bananas in the freezer so I made banana bread.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                      what recipe did you use for the banana bread?

                                                                                    2. That cake is divine. I would use the recipe for any white cake application.

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                          Yes. Why this posted here I'll never know.

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                            If you replied to yourself (as the OP), it went below all the previous posts that were replies to the OP (i.e., most of the posts in the thread).

                                                                                      1. I made the chocolate "petits pots de crème" (that I mentioned last month) again, this time doubling the chocolate as I wanted them more chocolatey. Something interesting happened: this time there was a 1/4"-thick ganache-like layer on the top of the cream; did not happen before. I really enjoyed it. I used a chocolate bar with 85% cocoa, but it was not bitter at all.

                                                                                        This is something I'm definitely going to repeat.

                                                                                        1. I baked four cakes early this morning to take with me to a Drs. appt this afternoon: yellow layer/choc buttercream, sweet potato layer/vanilla buttercream, lemon pound cake/lemon glaze and red velvet layer w/ cream cheese frosting & walnuts.

                                                                                          I love my health care professionals!

                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                            That's a nice variety of flavors. And a lot of work first thing in the morning!

                                                                                            1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                              I had a bout of insomnia so I thought may as well be doing something.

                                                                                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                Four in one morning is impressive. You must have been up VERY early! :)

                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                  Yeah...I messed up when I took a nap in the afternoon so at midnight when I couldn't go to bed like normal folk, I decided to do something constructive. The first two went in at the same time; the last two went in separately. All in all, about three hours of baking time.

                                                                                                  Some of my works before I finished frosting/decorating; pics are not great...

                                                                                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                Wow that's very nice of you! I'm sure they like when you come in.

                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                  They love it :-) They've been recipients of my food for a few years.

                                                                                              2. In the oven now is Chow recipe for moist banana bread.
                                                                                                The recipe was easy to follow-I added dried unsweetened cherries and sprinkled the top with cinnamon.
                                                                                                The house is smelling of bananas and cinnamon-yummy.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                  I took a sample-delicious
                                                                                                  moist not wet and not too sweet

                                                                                                2. I had another go at zucchini bread. My recent efforts only included one savory recipe and my family liked it so much I gave them the half 8I had frozen for us. This time I used the Joy of Cooking version of this recipe as it uses more cheese and cheese is good.
                                                                                                  I gave half to the neighbors who keep us in fresh vegetables and am
                                                                                                  about to try a piece- the extra cheese made it moister but I didn't notice that it was much cheesier.

                                                                                                  1. I had another go at zucchini bread. My recent efforts only included one savory recipe and my family liked it so much I gave them the half 8I had frozen for us. This time I used the Joy of Cooking version of this recipe as it uses more cheese and cheese is good.
                                                                                                    I gave half to the neighbors who keep us in fresh vegetables and am
                                                                                                    about to try a piece.

                                                                                                    1. I have been hearing all the Rhubarb recipes and really wanted to try use this great fruit to prepare something. So, I used it for the first time in my life ever to bake a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie few days back. I took it to work and everyone just loved it :)

                                                                                                      Any other recipe suggestions with Rhubarb?

                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: rbahety

                                                                                                        I love this recipe http://www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com/2013...
                                                                                                        I also love it stewed with a few strawberries thrown in, along with toast it is the perfect breakfast, also great slightly warmed and served over ice cream.

                                                                                                        1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                          Hmmm.....ice cream for breakfast......now that's my kind of brekkie!

                                                                                                        2. re: rbahety

                                                                                                          Cheesymama's recipe that she shares below looks great! I also like this one from Smitten Kitchen:

                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                            I've never really liked rhubarb but I'd like to try this smittenkitchen recipe with frozen tart cherries that I just bought at Costco.

                                                                                                            In the recipe she says other fruit would need a lot less sugar than the rhubarb: for ½ lb of fruit you add ¼ cup of sugar. The tart cherries have no added sugar (I have not opened the pkg, not tasted them yet). Do you think I should add no sugar to this part or maybe 1/8 of a cup?

                                                                                                            1. re: walker

                                                                                                              Hmmm.. my personal opinion is that tart cherries are pretty darn tart.. I'd probably go with the 1/4 cup. But I have a bad sweet tooth!

                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                I like things less sweet. Should I weigh out the cherries, ½ lb like the raw rhubarb? Since I have 3 lbs of cherries, I guess I can make one with 1/8 cup sugar and see if the next one needs more or less sugar.

                                                                                                                Should I thaw the cherries, first?

                                                                                                                1. re: walker

                                                                                                                  I would thaw them, so you can drain them (or pat them) of extra liquid. I'd be worried that throwing them in frozen would cause them to throw off a bunch of water as they heated, making the cake soggy.

                                                                                                        3. For some reason, I've had apples on the mind. I wanted something with gorgeously caramelized apples and a light fluffy cakey topping of some sort.

                                                                                                          I Googled for apple cobbler but wasn't feeling the recipes that came up. In the end, I winged it.

                                                                                                          Tossed chopped apples with sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon, and flour (a la pie filling), then mixed up flour/sugar/baking powder/salt with chunks of butter cut in (this is where things got weird)... I stirred in an egg, then loosened it with some milk mixed with vanilla and poured it over the apples in the pan (a new Le Creuset dish I got as a gift--LOVE!).

                                                                                                          The result is exactly what I wanted. The apples taste of caramel and "burnt" sugar, like a pineapple upside down cake. The cakey topping is fluffy and soft. This shit is good.

                                                                                                          I love when you wing it and it turns out as you intended. Will be serving to the boyfriend later with whipped cream.

                                                                                                          1. Flambee'd banana bread, doesn't look like much, but the rum makes it a bit special.

                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                              looks good-what recipe did you use?

                                                                                                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                I just made things up as I went along pretty much:
                                                                                                                135g flour
                                                                                                                135g blended oats
                                                                                                                80g brown sugar
                                                                                                                8 small bananas (the tiny kind, not the normal kind, should be equal to 2-3 normal bananas)
                                                                                                                25ml coconut oil
                                                                                                                40ml chia gel
                                                                                                                2 eggs
                                                                                                                2 tsp vanilla extract
                                                                                                                80ml dark rum
                                                                                                                120g walnuts (toasted)
                                                                                                                5g baking powder
                                                                                                                1/4 tsp salt

                                                                                                                Toast the walnuts

                                                                                                                Chop bananas into slices, then saute in ghee or butter until they start becoming mushy, add the rum, light it, reduce until thick, let cool

                                                                                                                while cooling, measure out and mix all the dry ingredients except the walnuts

                                                                                                                beat the eggs lightly, add them to the flour mix, add the eggs, oil, and chia gel, add bananas once cool, mix until combined, then add walnuts (if you add the nuts before the liquid, flour can get caught in the crags and not hydrate).

                                                                                                                pour into a 9x5 or 10x4 loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes at 180C or until a skewer comes out clean.

                                                                                                              2. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                                Do you flambée the bananas or the bread?

                                                                                                                .........sorry for the groaner...couldn't help myself! ;)

                                                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                  I would like to try flambee'ing the bread, but I guess that would only work for individual slices or small muffin type ones!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                                    You could use it to make bread pudding and flambée that, using rum.

                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                      I'm somehow just picturing bananas Foster. I wonder if it would work with little cubes of the banana bread in place of the banana slices. That was my mom's favorite dessert and I remember watching her on occasion from across the kitchen in awe at the flambé action.

                                                                                                              3. Joy the baker's browned butter chocolate chip cookies.

                                                                                                                1. Another batch of browned butter shortbread cookies with bittersweet chocolate and toasted pecans. The texture was the best so far in this iteration - the hubby thinks I've nailed it this time around.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                    Would you share the recipe for these cookies?

                                                                                                                    1. re: sgschef

                                                                                                                      They are still maybe a work in progress, as they are somewhat crumbly, an unfortunate side effect of browning the butter. But this is the best version so far!

                                                                                                                      Salty Chocolate-Pecan Browned Butter Shortbread

                                                                                                                      1 cup (2 sticks, 8 oz., 227 grams) unsalted butter, divided use
                                                                                                                      3/4 cup (160 grams, 5 5/8 oz) granulated sugar
                                                                                                                      1 teaspoon water
                                                                                                                      2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                                                                                                                      8 oz (230 grams) unbleached AP flour
                                                                                                                      1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                                                                                      1/2 t. kosher salt
                                                                                                                      1/2 cup (50 grams) well-toasted pecans, chopped
                                                                                                                      1.65 oz. 72% dark chocolate (one small TJs bar), chopped
                                                                                                                      additional granulated sugar for rolling

                                                                                                                      1. Cut up 1/2 stick of the butter and place it in a medium bowl with the sugar and the water.
                                                                                                                      2. Brown 1-1/2 sticks of the butter, then pour it over the butter/sugar mixture. Stir until the butter is melted, then add the vanilla. Allow mixture to cool before proceeding.
                                                                                                                      3. Mix together the flour, BP, and salt, then stir them into the butter/sugar mixture.
                                                                                                                      4. Stir in the pecans and chocolate.
                                                                                                                      5. Form the dough into balls of desired size and roll them in the additional granulated sugar.
                                                                                                                      6. Place on the baking sheet and flatten them to 1/3-inch thick with your palm.
                                                                                                                      7. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes, depending upon size. Be sure to allow cookies to brown a bit around the edges for best results.

                                                                                                                  2. So a BBQ I'm going to tomorrow has now turned into a Bday party. I was assigned dessert and was going to do individual pavlovas. But now I've been told the Bday girl loves vanilla cupcakes with pink frosting and sprinkles (it's an adult!).

                                                                                                                    So I was thinking the CI white cake recipe with strawberry frosting. I'd love some advice on how to achieve a great strawberry frosting.

                                                                                                                    I'm partial to cooked flour frosting, and I found this recipe http://chasingsomebluesky.blogspot.co... which has ground dehydrated strawberries mixed in. Or I was thinking adding some strawberry preserves during the cooking process. Any idea which would work better? Or any other ideas or recipes?

                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: aimeekm

                                                                                                                      I use fruit jam or preserves to flavor cooked flour frosting, and it works great. Don't add them during the cooking process, add them at the end. I make up the frosting as normal but without vanilla or other flavoring, and after it's all whipped, I beat in the preserves by the spoonful, tasting as I go, until the flavor is where I want it. For strawberry, you might want to go with jam over preserves for texture, or if you have preserves with real chunks of fruit, just blend it smooth before adding it.

                                                                                                                      1. re: aimeekm

                                                                                                                        The best: mash and add fresh or frozen thawed strawberries to a saucepan with some lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced by half. You can puree or strain this mixture, but don't have to.

                                                                                                                        Then make your favorite regular frosting (I do buttercream but I think the cooked flour would work as well) and beat the strawberry reduction into it at the end.

                                                                                                                        I've made this stuff numerous times and people are always taken aback at its flavor. It tastes like the sweetest fresh strawberry you've ever had. It's just delightful and worth the extra effort versus stirring in jam or jelly IMO.

                                                                                                                        1. re: aimeekm

                                                                                                                          You can just add fresh fruit. I do that all the time with raspberries in buttercream frosting.

                                                                                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                            Thanks for all the replies. I think I'll go with nothingswrong's method. I have frozen strawberries at home, so not needing to pick up extra ingredients is a bonus. I'm also anticipating being able to achieve a pretty pink color!

                                                                                                                            1. re: aimeekm

                                                                                                                              Frozen work great. Just thaw or microwave til soft and continue with the "recipe." I forgot you probably can do without adding sugar to the berries as they cook, since your frosting will be plenty sweet I'm sure. I like to add a bit of lemon juice to the berries though.

                                                                                                                              The color is a lovely light pink. I'll see if I can dig up a photo.

                                                                                                                              ETA: photo is a little washed out, was taken with cell phone!

                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                The frosting turned out amazingly delicious. All kinds of compliments on how flavorful it was, but not too sweet or rich.

                                                                                                                                Sorry my decorating skills are about that of a second grader!

                                                                                                                                1. re: aimeekm

                                                                                                                                  That is exactly how I'd describe that frosting: very flavorful but not too sweet or rich.

                                                                                                                                  They look lovely!

                                                                                                                        2. It's raining and overcast and 60 degrees, feels like early fall so I decided to bake pumpkin bread. I'm using the ATK recipe from their Family Baking cookbook, not the one where they want you to cook canned pumpkin a second time. It's been my go to recipe for a long time.

                                                                                                                          1. I'm making zucchini bread with my last bits of zucchini coming out of the garden.

                                                                                                                            Apples are mostly in poor shape, so I'm not bothering with applesauce this year. But sure would love a nice apple pie

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: JacknNick

                                                                                                                              Your own apples? I just bought honey crisp at the farmers market and they are spectacular.

                                                                                                                            2. Brown butter pear bars are in the oven. I realized as I was making it (found the recipe on a blog that I follow) that it was a variation of the Bon Appetit brown butter raspberry tart, so I was a bit irritated that she didn't acknowledge that. But this variation does look good..

                                                                                                                              1. Nutella Banana Oat Muffins are a great way to satisfy random Nutella cravings without eating a whole jar =)

                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Lorry13

                                                                                                                                  Did you use the 'Chef in Training" recipe? I found two on line and this one is simpler.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                    Yup that's the one I made! I have previously made the Nutella banana bread recipe from that site and it was good too =)

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Lorry13

                                                                                                                                    Those look great; I have a half jar of nutella in the pantry and a new box of oatmeal, I'll have to try these!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Lorry13

                                                                                                                                      I wonder if that would work with Biscoff instead of Nutella? Maybe with some chocolate chips mixed in? We have a jar of the former that kids won't eat and instead of tossing it....

                                                                                                                                      Also, what happened to the naked muffin lower right? :-0

                                                                                                                                      1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                        Here is another suggestion for your unused biscoff spread. My kids aren't fans of the spread on it's own but they love these cookies. In fact I think I will make a batch today! Lovely flavours and spices for this fall day.

                                                                                                                                        Oops, here's the link http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/bis...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                            Your welcome. Mine just came out of the oven. I just baked one tray and am freezing the rest of the dough. Fresh baked cookies are the best!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                                                              That is one of my favourite cookie recipes...

                                                                                                                                          2. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                                                            Love these cookies too...yet I have never managed to get a Biscoff chocolate chip cookie recipe to turn out right!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                                                              I made these last night and they were absolutely fantastic. Into the lunch boxes today after both kids previewed and raved. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                Glad they were at hit at your house. They are in my kids' lunchboxes today too!

                                                                                                                                            2. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                              Yup Biscoff should work as well, I sometimes add Biscoff to my many archived Nutella recipes rather than try a Biscoff specific recipe...

                                                                                                                                              Haha the naked muffin on the lower right was my guide to know if the muffins were done! I tend to underbake things (specially Nutella recipes!) assuming the Nutella is supposed to make the end result gooey!

                                                                                                                                          3. After a long summer vacation in the US and settling my son into his new boarding school, I've now returned to the land of heat and humidity that's known as Dubai. Quite sad to realize this will be year #7 of missing out the glorious autumn of farmer's markets and fall produce and the fabulous American apple crop.

                                                                                                                                            But I did make the classic purple plum torte from Smitten Kitchen (and from a famous NYTimes recipe). Baking the plums does enhance its flavor in a lovely way, so even mediocre imported plums from Spain magically turns into tart, translucent gems nestled in a sweet cake batter.

                                                                                                                                            I did speculate on the ways of improving the recipe - not that it needs improvement but sometimes it's fun to do so. Perhaps substituting some of the flour with ground almonds and dusting the finished torte with a light coating of confectioner's sugar? Just a light coating, mind you, and it'd go well with the tart baked plums.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                                                              I know of life in those dry, dusty places, and I wish all the best in everything you can find to make delicious food! It must be difficult to be apart from you son, but perhaps he can absorb all the autumn for you!

                                                                                                                                            2. Hello baking friends. I'm looking for recommendations for baking books with lots of pictures. I've started a dedicated thread here:


                                                                                                                                              I'd sincerely appreciate your feedback. Thanks!!

                                                                                                                                              1. Made Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Swirl Buns: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/0...

                                                                                                                                                This is the 4th time I've made them. I'm not sure if something's wrong with the recipe or I'm being punished for not baking them in muffin tins, but they NEVER rise as much as they seem to in her photos. They get puffy and spread rather than rise..? The dough is very sticky and seems like it could use another cup of flour, which I don't add. Not sure if that's what it is.

                                                                                                                                                Regardless they are light, fluffy, and the filling is so delicious. The boyfriend has eaten 4 since last night!

                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                  Could be a combo of not being in muffin tins and being too wet. Have you tried baking them in a cake pan where they can rise against each other?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                    I have tried that in the past but they still sort of mushed into each other. Maybe I should just give in and bake them in the muffin tin but they look very dark and tough in the photo. The first time I made these, I baked them to a deep golden brown like hers and they were awfully over baked and the texture suffered a lot. I have a note next to the recipe to pull them just when they're starting to turn golden.

                                                                                                                                                    I think the dough just needs more flour. As you can see, they cut VERY sloppily. The dough is literally like batter after mixing and even after a long knead. Filling and rolling them is a serious exercise of patience. I hate to add a lot of flour, as I don't want them to get tough or dense, but I'm going to try it next time. I can't imagine a recipe for sweet rolls should be so wet and hard to handle. She does say it will be a sticky dough, but this one is kind of ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                      Batter-like doesn't sound right at all. Have you tried refrigerating the dough before rolling it out? Brioche dough can be unmercifully sticky, but chilling the dough makes it much easier to handle.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                        I know, the dough absolutely does not feel right once it's mixed and kneaded.

                                                                                                                                                        I have not tried chilling the dough before rolling, since the recipe doesn't call for it. Her recipes are usually pretty spot on.

                                                                                                                                                        In reading the comments, I see mixed reviews... everyone thinks they're delicious but some say their dough was waaaaay too wet, while others say theirs was rather dry. So who knows?!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                      The recipe calls for 2 cups/250 g of flour. Mine came in at 2 cups/148 g so that is pretty close. I used another 1/4 cup at least to make the dough workable on the counter.

                                                                                                                                                      The only thing not weighed in the recipe was the "one large egg." Mine are "large" according to the supermarket, and even if they were larger than hers, I can't imagine that could possibly be enough to make the dough unmanageable.

                                                                                                                                                  2. For sometime I've been craving comfort foods like pot pies and pasta and even tamales but didnt have all the ingredients for either and decided to work with what's on hand. So This week I made a Chicken Kale and Mushroom with Cornbread topping. It was fun because it was the first time i had tried and worked with kale. Made a base with the veggies and made a sauce with stock and cornstarch. The recipe on the box of Albers is good but I like to use half the amount of flour and a little less of the milk and a tablespoon of italian seasoning for a crunchier topping and flavor. My family and friends enjoyed it

                                                                                                                                                    1. French Apple Pie. While I love pumpkin mania, nothing says fall to me like apple pie. I haven't made one since last winter!

                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Susangria

                                                                                                                                                        Looks great. Is that oatmeal in the topping?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Susangria

                                                                                                                                                          I've always heard this called "Dutch apple pie." I made one last year just before all the pumpkin pie baking for Thanksgiving and it was so delicious and easy.

                                                                                                                                                          Rox, the topping is usually oats mixed with sugar and butter, like a streusel. It's like an apple crisp and apple pie in one--best of both worlds!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                            I've never made a streusel topping with oats. Must have a nice, crunchy texture.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                              The top bits might get a little texture, but not like actual granola.

                                                                                                                                                              Have you ever made an apple crisp with oats in it? That's what it would be like. They still stay gooey but chewy on the "under sides" where oats meet apples.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                Very crunchy. I used the thicker rolled oats along with irish butter, demerara sugar, cake flour, some kosher salt. The oats hold it together a bit better, I think.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Damson Plum and Almond Pudding

                                                                                                                                                            After picking up several pounds of Damson Plums at a farm stand I found myself in need of inspiration. EYB yielded a number of interesting recipes from a cookbook I haven't used before, Cooking with Vegetables and Fruits In Season by Sarah Raven. The recipe held particular appeal because the plums are used unpitted.

                                                                                                                                                            The preparation was a bit unconventional as well. The washed fruit is topped with a sugar mixture and the dollops of a butter/flour/ground almond mixture are placed atop.

                                                                                                                                                            I just pulled it out of the oven so time will tell if it's tasty. I'll keep you posted.

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                              Thought those were grapes before reading the post! Looks delicious, like a cobbler of sorts.

                                                                                                                                                              I'm intrigued by the recipe... what happens to the pits? Do you just eat around them?? Please do report back!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                Just a quick report back on this now we've eaten it. While the flavours of the pudding are wonderful, I must say the pits are a PITA and really detract from the dish. I'l likely do it with larger plums next time and remove the pits before baking. The juices create a lovely tart syrup. Needless to say this dish was terrific with a dollop of vanilla ice cream!! I also think warm custard would by yummy.

                                                                                                                                                              2. I have a recipe request if anyone can help. All suggestions are welcome, even you lurkers :)

                                                                                                                                                                I've been craving a cookie, something crisp, something with cinnamon, but light and airy. Not sure I want oats in it. Just something simple and not too sweet or heavy or chewy.

                                                                                                                                                                I'm imagining almost a wafer, but don't want it to be saturated with butter.

                                                                                                                                                                Any ideas/recipes?? Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                  Snickerdoodles sound just right for your craving. King Arthur Flour has a few different recipes, some with all butter, some with shortening, and I think one with a combination of the two.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                    I feel like I recently saw a recipe for cinnamon crisps or cinnamon tuilles that would fit the bill - in fact, I think I saw it on one of these monthly baking threads. I'd try a search here and see what you can come up with. Otherwise, zitronemadchen's snickerdoodle suggestion is great, or you could probably find a tuille recipe to tweak to your satisfaction.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                      Mmm, cinnamon crisps or tuilles sound exactly like what I was craving.

                                                                                                                                                                      Alas, I settled on an Alton Brown recipe for "vanilla wafers." They were somewhat disappointing... kind of bland and dry. So after the first sheet pan, I rolled the remaining dough liberally in sprinkles (nonpareils and King Arthur real chocolate sprinkles) which made them much better. They are strangely addictive but I will probably not make again.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds like you want a homemade graham cracker!

                                                                                                                                                                      Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe. But I can attest that friends have made them and they are SO good homemade.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Torina

                                                                                                                                                                        What a wonderful idea! I love graham crackers but have never done homemade. I've heard the same thing--that they are amazing. I am definitely going to do this soon. I already know they'll be perfect for me. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                          Let us know if you find a good recipe; now I'm intrigued.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                            Hmmm.. I think that Smitten kitchen has one? Or maybe it was Joy the Baker..

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                          Try googling Digestive Biscuits. I think there's one on the KAF website. Just add cinnamon.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. Made these apple cream cheese bars today. I halved the recipe and baked them in a 8x8 pan, ended up with nice thick bars. I used Galas instead of Granny Smith, because that's what I had and I prefer an apple that cooks down. I had a small taste while they are still warm. I will serve them later, cooled, after dinner. Based on the warm bars next time I would add cinnamon to the topping, in addition to what is in the apples and also add another tablespoon of sugar to the cream cheese mixture.
                                                                                                                                                                          They are very yummy and I will be making them again.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                                                                                            I think I'll just follow you around and copy whatever it is you are baking, ok?

                                                                                                                                                                            I was voluntold to bring a snack for marching band fundraiser on Saturday and these bars look like just the ticket.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                              Sounds good to me!
                                                                                                                                                                              Since you are thinking of making them, based on my experience yesterday I would suggest chopping the apples fairly small (1/2 inch dice) and mixing them into the cream cheese mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. I made cranberry pecan oatmeal muffins this afternoon from the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. The original recipe was for oatmeal muffins with raisins, but my other half doesn't like raisins, at all, so I substituted half the amount of raisins with craisins and the other half was toasted pecans. I also added two teaspoons of vanilla extract, no respecter of recipes, I. The batter was very gloopy, and hard to get neatly into the muffin pan. I like oatmeal, I do, but when it's gloopy, all I can think about is Ramona and the fruit flies, thanks a lot Beverly Cleary.

                                                                                                                                                                            I wish they had been more specific about the size of the muffins, the book said 12 generous sized muffins, I got 18 muffins from a regular muffin pan.

                                                                                                                                                                            All that said, they were quite tasty, and I would definitely make them again. Not too sweet at all, nice and hearty, like good oatmeal should be. I did grease the muffin liners, which ended up being pretty good foresight on my part, since the few spots where I didn't get the spray, the muffins did stick, a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. I baked the Summer Peach Cake from Cook's Illustrated (in just the nick of time as we had a smaller than usual supply of peaches due to the hard winter). As it is a CI recipe it did involve a couple of extra steps, but I thought they were worth it as it is a very nice cake. And the peaches don't need to be peeled. This link has good notes along with the recipe:

                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Alright, oven is finally off for the day.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight we are going to my parents' house for a farewell dinner for my little sister. She requested my yeasted coffee cake, so I baked a gigantic pan for her. It's packed in a bakery box and ready to go. Recipe here: http://thecarboholic.com/2014/01/21/m...

                                                                                                                                                                                    Also had some pears on the counter that needed to be used, so I baked a caramel upside down pear cake. I put half the batter in my favorite new 6" deep cake pan, and split the remaining batter in two 4" Wilton pans. Homemade caramel and pear slices go on the bottom. It worked out wonderfully, though I didn't have room for pretty fanned pears on the mini cakes. Will bring the 6" to the family, and keeping the mini ones here for us. It smells soooo good, can't wait to dig in. Recipe here: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/ca...

                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, agree! And that pear upside cake looks fab..

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                          Just reporting back on the pear upside down cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                          It is fabulous. Definitely going in the "keeper" pile.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The pears have a wonderful flavor. I wish I had cut them at least to 1/4" like the recipe states; I accidentally cut them a bit thinner and they really shrink up during baking. But they definitely taste like deep, deliciously caramelized fresh pears, yum. The cake itself has a beautiful texture. I enjoyed some cold from the fridge 24 hours later and it was not dry in the least.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The flavor of the cake has that "je ne sais quoi" that had everyone who tasted it ask what was inside. The "secret" ingredient is some ground ginger. I was a little lighthanded and it was perfect IMO. Just beautifully flavored and textured. Happy to have a new entertaining dessert to keep on hand!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                            I love pears.. and since they can go from rock-hard to over-ripe in the blink of an eye, it's good to have options for using them up!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I made George Lang's potato bread from Beard on Bread for the umpteenth time last weekend -- what a swell recipe. I used KA bread flour and the loaves came out enormous. I'm fixing to have a grilled cheese on it for solo dinner tonight (himself teaches Wednesday evenings and forages for himself when he gets home).

                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                        I just saw a Barefoot Contessa episode where she makes BLTs on enormous slices of bread. I have that book but have never baked from it. Must look.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                          Potato bread sounds great. My mother makes potato rolls that I adore (possibly because of all of the butter).

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                            I used to make (& love) the Rustic Potato Loaves from Baking with Julia. You wouldn't be able to compare, by any chance? I should branch out...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll have to try them. This is a totally non-sweetened, tangy bread with caraway seed in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I baked Apple Butter Challah breads today recipe from the Kitchn http://www.thekitchn.com/rosh-hashana...

                                                                                                                                                                                            Boy did it come out great. I used apples from my tree and I substituted butter for the oil in the recipe. I also added flour because either I didn't measure correctly ( I really prefer weight measures) or this recipe is very soft. Even adding 2 more cups of flour it never formed a ball in my mixer. Not sure what happened there. I've made challah lots of times and never had this wet of a dough recipe. I did have to cover with foil after the first 25 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Anyway, it's a keeper.

                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                              I LOVE challah bread but never had one which contained fruit - I bet it would make incredible french toast. Looks delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lesliej

                                                                                                                                                                                                raisin challah is delicious-

                                                                                                                                                                                                challah does make great french toast

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My mother still makes challah French toast every Christmas morning for any of us "kids" that are home to celebrate. She mounds 2 lbs of cooked bacon in the center of the table and a huge platter of the warm FT with maple syrup and butter. So good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's a carbon-copy of our Christmas morning breakfast!

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Lemon blueberry cottage cheese cake. I wanted to do a yoghurt cake initially, but fancied trying it with cottage cheese instead to get some extra protein. It is in the oven now, smelling fantastic already, and will see in about 45 minutes what the result is like!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Hoping to make the following tomorrow and maybe purchase one of his cookbooks eventually:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I'm trying Dorie Greenspan morning cinnamon rolls with raisin and pastry cream. They're in the oven and it's an agonizing 35 minute wait!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Nevy

                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's funny, I have French apple cake in the oven from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table. It smells really good, and my stomach is grumbling at the wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I heard that is a fantastic recipe! It's been on my list to make. That and the one Food52.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Nevy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe I'll give it a whirl, I have new apples.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I made Madeleines for the first time. Just a basic recipe flavored with a little lemon zest and vanilla. They came out okay. First batch under filled and over baked. I really didn't want that "hump" from over filling but I under filled. Second batch filled perfectly but I under baked by about a minute I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I recently bought the Chicago Metallic Madeleine pan which worked great. Used butter and dusted with flour and they literally spilled right out of the molds, no sticking. Would like to try some flavored ones, maybe orange and/or chocolate.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've always thought of the hump as being essential to madeleines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree! The hump is not from overfilling, it is characteristic of a true madeleine. In fact, there are numerous discussions on how to obtain a larger hump.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                                                                                                                                              My chocolate madeleines have a larger hump than the orange ones (I add melted chocolate to the orange recipe; none of that fake cocoa stuff).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Made some lemon sablés last weekend. I had the hardest time rolling a round log. I have no idea what my problem was. I honestly felt like an idiot. :) Fortunately, they are tasty little guys, even if they aren't the flashiest of cookies. I picked up the recipe from someone here on CH some years ago and only now got around to trying them. Definitely a keeper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also made these pistachio financiers from Saveur:


                                                                                                                                                                                                          I first tried doubling the recipe, but mucked it up badly. I think I forgot to double the eggs, and I realized after mixing all the ingredients that I had left the baking powder out. Added it at the end, but I don't think it mixed in very well. And because this was my first time trying the recipe, I didn't know how much the batter would rise and I ended up overfilling the tins. By a lot. Oops. Total, utter fail. I basically ended up with an entire layer of financier on top of my mini muffin pan. Fortunately, they made for very tasty "cookies" after separating them from the little cakes underneath and breaking them apart. Kind of like a giant crispy muffin top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          So I tackled the recipe again this weekend. I made a double recipe again, but made them separately just in case this is one of those recipes that doesn't double well. This time they come out very nicely. Whew! Brown butter and pistachios are really made for each other.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, that's super helpful, thank you!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I baked the NY Time plum cake that was discussed in last month's thread. My husband couldn't find prune plums when he went out shopping, so I wound up using some large plums that I had in the house. They weren't terribly juicy, so I will definitely be serving this with whipped cream.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Beautiful! Reminds me of galleygirl's pear cake. Which reminds me that I need to make that again soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Good eye, TJo. That is because they are almost the exact same recipe, which I discovered when I made the NY Times plum tart myself last year. (If roxlet did make the Marian Burros recipe). http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9153...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Was that the marion burros one? Now I want to make it again..