There’s a lovely wholesome taste to these chewy-soft fruit bars, which is not surprising, given that the recipe hails from a baker who got his start selling farmhouse-baked treats out of an old red truck.
In his previous career as the art director at the Washington Post and Smithsonian magazines, he would spend his free time baking pies and breads at his Virginia Piedmont farmhouse, which he sold from that vintage red truck that he bought from none other than designer Tommy Hilfiger.
Noyes now operates two Red Truck bakeries, both in historic buildings, and has fans in Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama.
As the name implies, her newest book features more than 50 baked treats perfect for celebrations, including “Nutella Star Bread,” “Coffee-Cardamom Monkey Bread,” “Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Irish Cream,” and “Coconut-Cardamom Cupcakes.”
Imagine your favorite thumbprint cookie, but blown up to the size of a tender, crumbly scone.
That’s what these pastries basically are. They also boast the unlikely name of “Thugs-‘n’-Harmony.”
They’re from the new cookbook, “The Sugar Cube” (Chronicle Books), of which I recently received a review copy.
Author and baker Kir Jensen gave up her fine-dining career path to sell her handmade treats out of a food truck called the Sugar Cube in Portland, Ore. instead.
Jensen, who worked at Trio in Chicago and Florio Bakery in Portland, offers up 50 recipes for cupcakes, cookies, tarts, muffins and candies. Her treats are homespun meets kick-ass. They’re familiar, but given newfangled spins, as well as playful names such as “Twisted Toll House” cookies and “Beta Believe It” smoothie.
You can make these scones as simple wedges. But why, when you can make over-sized thumbprints instead? Fill them with your favorite jam or lemon curd, as I did.
And the gregarious jock with the shy, bookish girl next-door.
Plain and simple, opposites attract.
Why? Because in the immortal words of Tom Cruise to Rene Zellweger in “Jerry Maguire,” they complete one another.
The same can be said about the best baked goods. If there’s soft, there ought to be crunchy, as well, to provide added contrast and greater interest.
When I decided to bake a batch of muffins the other week, using summer apricots fresh from the farmers market, I knew I wanted the tender treats to sport not only a crunchy top, but one that was both a little sweet and a bit salty.
You all know by now that I have a thing for ginger.
So when I spied this recipe for “Ginger Scones” in the Los Angeles Times’ food section last year, it was only a matter of time before I made these lovelies.
They tempted me with their 1 cup of diced crystallized ginger, and their 1/2 pound — yes, you read that correctly — of fresh ginger.
Just how much fresh ginger is that exactly? See that pile below? All of that — yes, indeedie — went into making a mere 10 scones.
Don’t let that scare you. It may seem like a lot of ginger, but I promise that your throat will not be ablaze. This is no four-alarm bowl of chili. This is far more nuanced and measured. It’s subtle heat that merely tickles.
The scones bake up crisp on the outside. The interiors are not crumbly like traditional scones, but more tender, moist and cakey in texture. Bite into one, and you get the sugary-tingling hits of candied ginger immediately, followed by a warm, soothing, noticeable yet surprisingly moderated burn of fresh ginger at the every end.