Category Archives: Recipes (Sweet)

Sugar and Spice, And Apricot-Ginger Cookies That Are Oh-So-Nice

Start your ovens, people. It's cookie time.

Start your ovens, people. It’s cookie time.

 

Say good-bye to turkey, and hello to cookies.

With Thanksgiving over, it’s now the serious start of cookie baking season.

What better treat to get you in the mood, too, than “Big Chewy Apricot and Ginger Cookies”?

Nothing says winter holidays quite like the fragrance of cinnamon, ginger and molasses wafting from the kitchen. And this cookie has ginger in spades. Three kinds: ground, fresh, and crystallized. It’s ideal for a ginger fanatic like myself.

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Honey Pie For the Holidays

Imagine this on the Thanksgiving table.

Imagine this on the Thanksgiving table.

 

Call this the antidote to pecan pie.

Or at the very least, a most worthy alternative.

“Olivia’s Honey Pie” is plenty sweet and nutty. But not as dense and heavy as pecan pie. It also the added bonus of tasting gloriously of buttery, caramelized honey.

The recipe is from the new “The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook” (Little, Brown and Company) by Chris Fischer, of which I received a review copy.

Spanning five acres on Martha’s Vineyard, Beetlebung Farm is run by Fischer, who took it over when his grandfather passed away.

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Fischer is both a farmer and a cook. And what a cook, indeed. He was a sous chef at Mario Batali’s Babbo in New York City, and previously had stints at Fergus Henderson’s St. John Bread & Wine, and at the River Cafe in London. Fischer hosted dinners cooked over an open-fire at the farm before becoming head chef at Beach Plum Inn & Restaurant.

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Prepare Yourself For Guittard’s Luscious Chocolate Banana Blondies

Brownies? Or blondies? Whatever you call them, they are the bomb!

Brownies? Or blondies? Whatever you call them, they are the bomb!

 

What’s in a name? Well, would you believe these are blondies?

In my world, just by appearance alone, these are brownies.

But in the first cookbook by Burlingame’s bean-to-bar chocolatier Guittard, these are indeed blondies. “Chocolate Banana Blondies” to be exact.

No matter how you refer to them, you will be calling them ravishingly good after one bite.

“Guittard Chocolate Cookbook” (Chronicle Books) was written by Amy Guittard. We should all be so lucky as to have born into a chocolate dynasty. Her great-great-grandfather founded the Guittard Chocolate Company in 1868. It is America’s oldest continuously family-run chocolate company.

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You probably know its baking products from store shelves. If you’re a See’s Candies fan, you also know Guittard because it supplies the chocolate that goes into all those homespun bonbons.

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White Lily Introduces Its First New Flours In Over A Century

Individual cakes made with dessert wine, whole grapes, and a new red grapeseed flour blend.

Individual cakes made with dessert wine, whole grapes, and a new red grapeseed flour blend.

 

You probably know the name White Lily as the go-to flour Southerners swear by for the most tender biscuits.

Now that Southern institution has introduced its first new flours in 130 years.

Partnering with Shepherd’s Grain, a group of wheat growers in the Pacific Northwest, White Lily has created three new flours: Wheat and Red Grapeseed Flour Blend, Wheat and White Grape Seed Flour Blend, and All-Purpose Wheat.

The non-GMO wheat is grown sustainably. You can even plug in a code printed on each bag of flour into the Web site to find out information about the farmers who grew the wheat for your specific bag of flour. For instance, I tried a sample of the Wheat and Red Grapeseed Flour Blend, which was made with wheat grown by Cherry Creek Ranch in Washington, Spokane Hutterian Brethren Inc. in Washington, and RattleSnake Ranches in Idaho., all of whom have operated for generations.

Grapeseed flour is gluten-free, but of course not when it’s mixed with all-purpose flour, as is the case with these blends. But what’s great about the blends is that they have been formulated so that you can use them 1:1 in place of regular all-purpose flour in any recipe. Grapeseed flour also is purported to be high in antioxidants.

I was most eager to try out the Wheat and Red Grapeseed Flour Blend because of its subtle purple color.

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The Wisdom of Pumpkin, Sage, and Browned Butter Cake

Fresh sage adds a flavor profile twist to this pumpkin bread.

Fresh sage adds a flavor profile twist to this pumpkin bread.

 

When it comes to sage, I immediately think of Thanksgiving stuffing or browned butter sauces for tender raviolis.

But cake?

Not at all.

Until I spied Martha Stewart’s recipe for “Pumpkin, Sage, and Browned Butter Cake.”

It’s not a new recipe. In fact, it appears in her 2013 book, “Martha Stewart’s Cakes” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy when it was first published.

The cookbook is stored in a prominent place on my bookshelf, because I find myself reaching for it again and again. The 150-plus recipes — for everything from Bundts to cheesecakes to cakes with fruit to layer cakes — are unfussy. They’re cakes you don’t have to think twice about attempting.

I had bookmarked this one long ago, but just never found time to try it. Until now.

It’s a simple pumpkin loaf cake that’s just so right at this time of year.

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