Category Archives: Recipes (Sweet)

Zingerman’s Gingerbread Coffee Cake

The ultimate gingerbread cake.
The ultimate gingerbread cake.

It may be called “Gingerbread Coffee Cake,” but it boasts no mountain of crunchy streusel on top like you might imagine.

Instead, this coffee cake actually has brewed coffee in it.

Along with a bountiful array of invigorating spices.

So much so, you won’t even miss the absence of a crumb topping.

This cake is so extraordinary that when Zingerman’s Bakery made the decision not to include it in its first cookbook, “Zingerman’s Bakehouse” (Chronicle Books, 2017), regulars were aghast.

Fortunately, the beloved 30-year-oled, Ann Arbor, MI bakery rectified that omission by featuring it in its newest cookbook, “Zingerman’s Bakehouse’s Celebrate Every Day” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy.

The book is a collaborative project by the team at Zingerman’s that includes managing partner Amy Emberling, marketer Lindsay-Jean Hard, editor Lee Vedder, and marketing manager and food photographer Corynn Coscia.

The idea for this cookbook grew out of the pandemic, when people were eating out less, and desiring to cook and bake more at home. The Zingerman’s staff used that time to write down more of its best-loved recipes to share.

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Greening Up the Holidays With Grey Salt, White Chocolate Matcha Blondies

Matcha not only gives these blondies great color, but tempers the sweetness of the white chocolate in them.
Matcha not only gives these blondies great color, but tempers the sweetness of the white chocolate in them.

With twinkling, decorated-to-the-hilt trees everywhere at this time of year, why not add a bit of that festive green to your cookie plate, too?

“Grey Salt, White Chocolate Matcha Blondies” will do the job deliciously.

These bar cookies get their hue, of course, from Japanese powdered ceremonial green tea. The matcha also adds a nice grassy astringency from its natural tannins to balance out the sweetness of the white chocolate chunks.

This cookie recipe is from “Love Is A Pink Cake” (W.W. Norton), of which I received a review copy.

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The Holiday Taste of Cranberries in Florentine Bars

Get your cranberry fix with these sweet florentine bar cookies.
Get your cranberry fix with these sweet florentine bar cookies.

Two treats in one.

Like cookie meets candy.

Like buttery, chewy, sweet, and nutty all at once.

That’s what “Florentine Bars” are like. Plus they have the festive sweet-tart taste of dried cranberries that we call can’t get enough of at this time of year.

This recipe is from “Baking School” (W.W. Norton, 2022), of which I received a review copy, by the King Arthur Baking School.

The book is filled with the time-honored recipes that the Vermont cooking school has been teaching students for more than 20 years. They include the likes of “Perfectly Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls,” “Raisin Pecan Bread,” “Kouign Amann,” “Dark Chocolate Cake,” and all manner of pie crusts and fillings to mix and match.

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Light and Bright Dot’s Lemon Sponge Pie

This lemon pie is just what your taste buds need after a big heavy holiday meal.
This lemon pie is just what your taste buds need after a big heavy holiday meal.

Anyone who knows me knows that I turn up my nose at pumpkin pie.

Yes, that may be sacrilege at this time of year.

But before you think me a pie snob, it’s just that pumpkin filling is too one-note for me. Instead, I prefer a pie with a little more spunk and personality.

Something exactly along the lines of “Dot’s Lemon Sponge Pie.”

This lovely pie with its light and bright character is just what you want to reset the palate after all that heavy turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.

The recipe is from “Pie is Messy” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.

It’s by pie doyenne Rebecca Grasley, with an assist from food writer Willy Blackmore.

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Sponsored Post: Baked Frangipane Apples with Pazazz

The holiday season was made for these beautiful baked apples with a center of nutty frangipane.
The holiday season was made for these beautiful baked apples with a center of nutty frangipane.

I’m the type of person who bakes when I’m happy.

Or sad.

Or stressed.

Or curious about a particular recipe.

Or simply want to spoil myself or others with something joyfully indulgent.

And at this time of year, when I bake with samples of fresh Pazazz apples, I get especially giddy because they are a natural mood booster.

Yes, apples are loaded with antioxidants that fuel neurotransmitters in the brain that trigger the release of dopamine that elevates the feelings of pleasure, contentment, and motivation.

This mighty fruit also helps lower cholesterol, decreases the risk of diabetes, aids in weight loss, promotes good digestion, and boasts anti-inflammatory properties.

Now's the time to get your hand on some Pazazz apples.
Now’s the time to get your hand on some Pazazz apples.

Of course, they are mighty delicious, too. Ruby red with yellow-green striations, Pazazz are super snappy and full of sweet, tangy, quenching juice.

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