View all posts filed under 'Recipes (Sweet)'

Buttermilk Coconut Blondies From the Farm That Supplies the French Laundry with Butter

Wednesday, 12. June 2013 5:25

Moist from buttermilk and shredded coconut, these blondies won't even make you miss the chocolate.

Moist from buttermilk and shredded coconut, these blondies won’t even make you miss the chocolate.


When my Dad was still alive, he loved nothing more than embarking on cruises with my Mom.

He’d return from sailing around places like the Hawaiian islands with a scrapbook full of photos.

Of their room on the ship. Of the breakfast buffet on the ship. Of the fancy dinners on the ship. And of the midnight snacks on the ship.

I used to laugh, wondering if they’d ever stepped foot off the ship at all.

That’s why if he were still alive this Father’s Day, I’d bake him a batch of “Buttermilk Coconut Blondies.”

These oh-so chewy-good bars taste of the tropics, what with its generous load of shredded coconut. I couldn’t help but add a heap of macadamia nuts to the original recipe, too.

The blondies are from the new cookbook, “The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook” (Andrews McMeel), of which I received a review copy.  The book has quite the pedigree, too. It’s by Diane St. Clair who started supplying the French Laundry with its ultra-rich butter when she had all of two cows.  Her Animal Farm in Vermont continues to do so today — with eight cows.

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Category:Chefs, General, Recipes (Sweet), Thomas Keller/French Laundry/Et Al | Comments (9) | Author:

Joanne Chang’s Brown Sugar-Oat Cherry Muffins

Friday, 31. May 2013 5:25

Cherries and oats galore in these hearty muffins by Pastry Chef Joanne Chang.

Cherries and oats galore in these hearty muffins by Pastry Chef Joanne Chang.


These muffins are loaded. With oats, cherries and a whole lot of goodness.

They fill the pan with an avalanche of batter, rising up with bountiful domes.

Joanne Chang, the Harvard grad-turned-baker extraordinare with four Flour bakeries and the Myers + Chang diner, all in Massachusetts, has done it again. If you loved her first cookbook, “Flour” (Chronicle Books), you’re sure to treasure its follow-up, “Flour, Too” “Flour, Too” (Chronicle Books). The second cookbook, of which I received a review copy, includes 100 recipes, not just for sweets, but savories, as well, including apple-wood smoked BLT, “Mama Chang’s Hot and Sour Soup,” and mushroom and leek lasagna.

Of course, having the sweet tooth that I do, I couldn’t resist zeroing in on the pastries first.

FlourTooBook. jpg

“Brown Sugar-Oat Cherry Muffin” is like a nourishing bowl of morning oatmeal — only in muffin form. Which means it’s just a little naughty, as a result.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (10) | Author:

Greek Yogurt Cake

Wednesday, 15. May 2013 5:25

My idea of health food.

My idea of health food.

Yogurt does a body good.

This cake has plenty of yogurt in it.

Ergo, this cake is bona fide health food.

OK, maybe not. But can you blame me for trying? Especially when this “Greek Yogurt Cake” is so moist and tender, with a wonderful tang to it?

The recipe is from the new cookbook, “Mad Hungry Cravings” (Artisan) of which I received a review copy. Lucinda Scala Quinn, executive food editor of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and mother of three, has created comforting dishes sure to appeal to families — everything from chicken chive burgers to “Eggplant Parm Stacks” to banana chocolate chip cookies.

For this cake, I used Nancy’s Organic Greek Yogurt, of which I recently received a sample. The nonfat version is so thick and creamy that it’s hard to believe it’s made with skim milk. What’s more, the company says that each serving contains more than 56 billion active probiotic cultures, which are thought to aid digestion and strengthen the immune system. See, yogurt cake is good for  you. (wink, wink)

Thick and creamy Greek yogurt.

Thick and creamy Greek yogurt.

The yogurt, available in 6-ounce ($2.29) and 24-ounce ($6.69) containers is sold at Albertson’s, Safeway, Whole Foods, Raley’s, Andronico’s, Rainbow Grocery, Real Food, and Mollie Stone’s stores.

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Category:General, Health/Nutrition, New Products, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (19) | Author:

Scandinavian Gold Cake for Easter

Thursday, 28. March 2013 5:25

Pretty enough for Easter.

Pretty enough for Easter.


I admit that when I think of Scandinavia, the first thing that pops into my mind is furniture.

All that blond wood. All those sleek designs. The timelessness of it all.

This cake has similar characteristics. It’s covered in classic white. It has no superfluous flourishes that get in the way. And it’s satisfying in a way that you’ll never tire of.

“Scandinavian Gold Cake” is from the new paperback edition of “The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion”KingArthurCookbook

The sizable book contains more than 350 recipes that span everything from breakfast treats to fried doughs to crackers to Viennoiserie.

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Category:General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (10) | Author:

Jamie Oliver’s Quick Portuguese Custard Tarts for the Lunar New Year

Friday, 8. February 2013 5:25

Eggy, warm custard tar.ts are perfect for the Lunar New Year or any other occasion.

There are many symbolic dishes that will grace the table when folks celebrate Chinese New Year on Feb. 10.

A whole fish and whole chicken for family togetherness. Candied melon seeds as a wish for a sweet new year. And long-life noodles to foster many more years to come of such celebrations.

For me, though, it’s all about the custard tarts.

OK, custard tarts may be more associated with dim sum outings, rather than necessarily any Chinese New Year festivities.

But can you blame me for hankering for them? Who doesn’t love a warm, eggy custard tart with a crust so flaky that shards of pastry cascade all over your clothes when you bite into one?

Leave it to an Englishman to come up with a brilliant version, too.

That would be Jamie Oliver, whose cookbook, “Meals in Minutes” (Hyperion), I received a review copy of last year. The book is set up in a unique style: Recipes are grouped into complete menus that are designed to be cooked and on the table in about 30 minutes. As such, the ingredients are listed all together for all four dishes that make up each menu. And cooking directions have you moving back and forth from one dish to another, just like you would in your own kitchen when preparing a holiday meal made up of many dishes.

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Category:Chefs, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (15) | Author: