Category Archives: Recipes (Sweet)

Going Goaty, Part II: Angel Biscuits

Baking powder, baking soda, and yes, yeast, are incorporated into these airy biscuits that boast a deep flavor.
Baking powder, baking soda, and yes, yeast, are incorporated into these airy biscuits that boast a deep flavor.

Yeast in bread. Yeast in cinnamon rolls. Yeast in sticky buns.

But yeast in biscuits?

Yes, apparently so.

The unusual “Angel Biscuits” is from “Muffins & Biscuits: 50 Recipes to Start Your Day with a Smile” (Chronicle Books, 2017) by Heidi Gibson, owner of the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco.

These old-fashioned biscuits, Gibson writes in the book, used to be called “Bride’s Biscuits” — OK, yes, in a rather sexist way — because it was thought that not even just-married women new to cooking could screw them up.

That’s because these biscuits have not only baking powder and baking soda in them, but active dry yeast, as well. With three leaveners, it’s nearly guaranteed these puppies will indeed rise.

Read more

Going Goaty, Part I: Strawberry Buttermilk (Or Kefir) Tart

I swapped out raspberries for strawberries, and buttermilk for goat's milk kefir, to make this summery tart.
I swapped out raspberries for strawberries, and buttermilk for goat’s milk kefir, to make this summery tart.

2020 may very well be most remembered for the pandemic, but perhaps also for the Year of the Goat.

Maybe it was the early run on traditional baking and dairy supplies in March and April. Or maybe it’s the fact that with nowhere to go, people branched out in their tastes, longing for a taste of something new to combat the doldrums.

Whatever the case, the country’s two leading goat dairies are reporting a rise in sales. In fact, Meyenberg, the top producer of goat milk that sources from more than two dozen West Coast Dairies, saw its goat butter sales spike by 50 percent from last year. Its sales powdered goat milk also grew by 67 percent this year. Sonoma County’s Redwood Hill Farm also saw increases in sales of its goat yogurt and kefir.

Redwood Hill Farms goat milk kefir and yogurt.
Redwood Hill Farms goat milk kefir and yogurt.

I readily jumped on the goat milk bandwagon when Meyenberg and Redwood Hill Farms sent me some product samples to try.

Read more

A Peachy Keen Peach Tart

A lovely peach tart that's a cinch to make.
A lovely peach tart that’s a cinch to make.

With its fanciful spiral of glossy, syrupy, tender fruit, this peach tart looks impressive yet is fairly effortless to make.

In fact, it’s so easy that it’s ideal to bake on a whim, for those times when unexpected company shows up at your house.

You know, in those good ol’ days, pre-pandemic.

Sigh.

Until life gets back to normal, though, you definitely deserve this wonderful “Peach Tart.” Just because it’s prime peach season. Just because it’s been an unfathomable year. Just because you can.

The recipe is from Food52 Baking: 60 Sensational Treats You Can Pull Off in a Snap” (Ten Speed Press, 2015).

You don’t even need a mixer to whip it up — just a couple bowls, a fork, a spoon, and your own elbow grease.

Read more

Cinnamon-Scented Sweet Tahini Rolls

Beautifully golden rolls swirled with cinnamon sugar and tahini.
Beautifully golden rolls swirled with cinnamon sugar and tahini.

In the early days of shelter-in-place, I felt as if I was living through a “Seinfeld” episode.

Specifically, the one where Elaine is beside herself when she learns her favorite contraceptive sponge is being discontinued. Guarding her precious remaining supply tightly, she’d pick apart any new suitor to determine if they were indeed “sponge-worthy.”

I did the same — only with yeast. Because it was scarce at supermarkets and I had only three packets left, I found myself loathe to try any new recipes using yeast lest they turn out to be disappointing failures.

After all, I simply couldn’t afford to waste those few precious packets. So, I made only tried-and-true recipes that I knew were absolutely, without a doubt, yeast-worthy.

Until now. Three weeks ago, my husband miraculously scored yeast at Whole Foods. Hallelujah!

Now, restocked and raring to go, I couldn’t wait to try some new recipes that used yeast. The first one to catch my eye was “Sweet Tahini Rolls” from the new cookbook, “Falastin: A Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.

The book is by Sami Tamimi, executive chef and founding partner of the Ottolenghi restaurant group, and Tara Wigley, a long-time Ottolenghi recipe writer. They titled the cookbook, “Falastin,” after the Palestinian newspaper that brought diverse people together.

Read more

Big Daddy’s Cake

Bake your father a "Big Daddy's Cake'' this holiday.
Bake your father a “Big Daddy’s Cake” this holiday.

Big cake?

Big yeah!

We’re talking three sticks of butter and six eggs in this baby.

Could there be a more apt treat for Father’s Day than “Big Daddy’s Cake”?

This substantial cake — full of nuts, a “tunnel” of chocolate inside, and glazed with still more chocolate — is from the new cookbook, “Chocolate Is Forever: Classic Cakes, Cookies, Pastries, Pies, Puddings, Candies, Confections, and More” (Little, Brown and Company), of which I received a review copy. It’s by the legendary self-taught baker Maida Heatter, who passed away in 2019, but not before inspiring a legion of bakers, both amateur and professional ones.

This collection of nearly 100 chocolate-centric recipes features everything from “Sour Cherry Chocolate Torte” and “Hungarian Seven-Layer Cake” to “Key West Chocolate Treasures,” “Viennese Chocolate Ice Box Cookies,” and “Chocolate-Chip-Cognac-Coffee Ice Cream.”

This particular cake will bake up to the very top of a regular Bundt pan, so be sure to use a large-sized classic one, not one of the smaller, more fancifully designed ones.

Read more
« Older Entries