Category Archives: Recipes (Sweet)

Chocolate-Chip Hot Cross Buns

My favored hot cross buns for Easter.
My favored hot cross buns for Easter.

I have a confession to make: I love hot cross buns.

But the neon red, green and yellow dried fruit inside?

Not so much.

As an avowed carb lover, I always felt painfully left out at Easter, simply because I couldn’t bring myself to buy these holiday buns only to pick out and discard the bits of dried fruit so wastefully.

Now, however, I’ve found a delicious solution to my dilemma: “Chocolate-Chip Hot Cross Buns.”

Because if there’s one thing I love even more than bread, it’s chocolate.

This fabulous recipe is from “Just Desserts: Good Things Come to Those Who Bake” (Running Press), of which I received a review copy. This compact tome of 30 recipes is the first cookbook by Charlotte Ree, an Australia-based recipe developer and avid home baker.

This fun little book full of cheeky quotes will have you running to your kitchen to try your hand at such delights as “Nutella Thumbprint Cookies,” “Tiramisu Swiss Roll,” and “Vanilla Cake with Ricotta Frosting and Roasted Peaches.”

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Baked Goods With A Twist, Part III: The Out-Of-The-Norm Blueberry Crumb Cake

This isn't your ordinary blueberry cake -- not with whole wheat flour, plus a most unexpected ingredient.
This isn’t your ordinary blueberry cake — not with whole wheat flour, plus a most unexpected ingredient.

Blueberry cake is always a welcome guest.

But it’s the blueberry cake with a miso crumb topping that makes for a guest with gusto whom you won’t soon forget.

This unusual take on a classic spring treat incorporates mild — yet still salty and ever so fermented and funky — white miso into the mix.

“Blueberry-Miso Crumb Cake” is a recipe from Chef Chris Morocco for Bon Appetit magazine, published in the September 2020 issue.

Yes, it's white miso.
Yes, it’s white miso.

The cake is made with whole wheat flour, which gives it a hearty and nutty taste. Plus, it adds a healthful aspect, even if you are still eating cake. Or so you can con yourself.

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Baked Goods With A Twist, Part II: A Lemon Cake To Be Reckoned With

A simple, lemon-scented cake. But it's the topping where things get interesting.
A simple, lemon-scented cake. But it’s the topping where things get interesting.

I’ve baked many a cake with Meyer lemons and Eureka lemons.

But never with preserved lemons.

Yes, the salted ones typically used in savory Moroccan dishes.

That is, until I spotted this recipe for “Preserved Lemon Sheet Cake” in the new cookbook, “Time to Eat: Delicious Meals for Busy Lives” (Clarkson Potter).

It’s by Nadiya Hussain, the 2015 winner of “The Great British Baking Show” and star of Netflix’s “Nadiya Bakes.” The collection of recipes is ideal for busy families like her own. The breezy recipes include everything from “Peanut Butter and Jelly Sheetpan Pancake” and “Crustless Spinach Quiche” to “Honey Mustard Chow Mein” and “Pizza Parathas.”

My homemade preserved lemons. A new jar in the making, plus a lemon from a batch made earlier.
My homemade preserved lemons. A new jar in the making, plus a lemon from a batch made earlier.

Let me state at the get-go that this cake might not be everyone’s cup of tea. You have to be willing to take your taste buds on a bit of an adventurous ride.

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Baked Goods With A Twist, Part I: Not Your Usual Brownies

These incredible brownies have an ingredient that's hard to believe.
These incredible brownies have an ingredient that’s hard to believe.

Deep, dark and rich, these irresistible brownies are gluten-free, as they’re made with almond meal.

They also sport a very unlikely ingredient.

Soy sauce.

Before you scratch your head in complete disbelief, consider that soy sauce actually amplifies the chocolate even more, in much the same way that a little espresso does.

Only in this case, the soy sauce imparts a subtle salted caramel note.

If that doesn’t make you a believer, one taste surely will.

Yup, soy sauce, of all things.
Yup, soy sauce, of all things.

This genius recipe comes from food writer and best-selling cookbook author Hetty McKinnon, who started a community salad delivery business in Sydney, Australia, before moving with her family to Brooklyn in 2015.

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Irresistible Cherry Almond Cookies

Studded with dried cherries and made with almond flour, these divine cookies are also gluten-free.
Studded with dried cherries and made with almond flour, these divine cookies are also gluten-free.

There are people who lean toward crisp cookies. Others who go for cakey ones. And some who favor chewy all the way.

Count me in that latter category. And these “Cherry Almond Cookies” have chewiness in spades.

The recipe is from “Cook with Me: 150 Recipes for the Home Cook” (Clarkson Potter) by Alex Guarnaschelli, executive chef of Butter Restaurant in New York, and a regular judge on the Food Network’s “Chopped.”

The book is all about fun, homey dishes, including some that her mother and father used to make.

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