At first glance, you might think this lovely lemon loaf cake also has poppy seeds.
But those tiny dark red specs are actually ground sumac berries.
Yes, the Middle Eastern spice that’s typically used in savory preparations goes for a sweet spin here instead.
And to great effect.
“Chunky Lemon Cornmeal Cake” is from the one and only Dorie Greenspan, the James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and baker extraordinaire. It’s from her latest cookbook, “Baking with Dorie” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021), of which I received a review copy.
Pick up a copy and no doubt you’ll be running to turn on the oven to bake temptations such as “Miso-Maple Loaf,” “Lemon Meringue Layer Cake,” “Lick-the-Pot Chocolate Pudding Pie,” and “Coffee Shortbread.”
With its tangy, floral, and citrusy notes, sumac is a natural for baking, so it’s a wonder that it’s not widely used that way already.
If you adore fruit baked into your biscuits or even biscuits slathered with fruity jam, then you will go bonkers for “Biscuit Berry Nests.”
Because a jumble of fresh berries is baked into an actual hole punched into each biscuit. Not only that, but those “holes” are also baked, creating regular biscuits, too.
It’s like donuts plus donut holes — but in biscuit form.
This fun little recipe is from “Hot Little Suppers” (Harper Horizon, 2021), of which I received a review copy.
It was written by Carrie Morey, founder of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, a South Carolina business based on her mom’s from-scratch biscuits that has now grown to encompass eateries, a food truck, and mail-order items.
Of course, you’ll find biscuit recipes galore inside, including “Cinnamon Biscuits” and “Whipping Cream Biscuits,” plus accompaniments such as “Savory Thyme Butter,” along with clever ways to use up leftover biscuits (does that ever happen?) in dishes such as “Toasted Maple Biscuit Casserole.” Since one can’t live on biscuits alone, there are also entree recipes such as “Lemony Crab Pasta” and “Salty Sticky Sweet Pot Roast.”
When I saw the photo of these clever biscuit nests in the book, I knew I had to make them. They didn’t disappoint, though, I did have to tweak the recipe in a number of areas.
Like the best Easter confections that tempt at this time of year, these cookies are adorable, colorful, and sport a surprise filling sure to delight.
What’s more, “Raspberry Amaretti Cookies” are also gluten-free.
Made with almond meal, egg whites, and sugar, its dough gets fruity tang and a smidge of pink from pulverized freeze-dried raspberries mixed in. And at the center of each cookie hides a single fresh raspberry that you don’t see until you take a bite.
This fun recipe is from “Nadiya Bakes” (Clarkson Potter, 2020), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Nadiya Hussain, the season 6 winner of “The Great British Baking Show.” The cookbook is a companion to her BBC and Netflix series of the same name.
The U.K.-based baker emphatically calls baking her true first love. This book includes both sweet and savory treats. Her recipes take influence from both her Bangladeshi heritage and her British upbringing in creations such as “Matcha and Kiwi Hurricane Roll,” “Scotch Creme Eggs,” “Rainbow Veg Pakora Picnic Pie,” and “Cherry Chelsea Buns.”
In a world where opposites increasingly butt heads in conflict, these live in complete harmony.
Two doughs of completely different colors combine to create something far more impressive together.
These are not New York black-and-white cookies, but French ones.
“Parisian Black-and-White Cookies” draw your gaze immediately. They deliver that classic snappy, sandy texture and buttery taste that never go out of fashion.
This fanciful cookie recipe is from “World Food Paris” (Ten Speed Press, 2021), of which I received a review copy, by James Oseland, award-winning cookbook author and former editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine, with writer Jenna Leigh Evans.
This book picks you up and sets you down in the heart of Paris, with its evocative photos of lush city parks, bistro life, stately chateaux, and proud cooks and bakers displaying their delectable handiwork.