Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Cheesecake is such a guy dessert. My husband's favorite is this cheesecake. Blackberry puree in a swirly pattern.

The crust is a combination of chocolate, graham crackers and gingersnaps. This is my signature cheesecake that is also for sale and demonstrated in private baking classes. I like the texture and tangyness of the cake.

We're visiting family in San Diego. The cake arrived safely. Happy Holiday to all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

For Real Butterscotch

It's the real thing. Along with a couple of gingersnaps and a few dried cranberries.

Baking Club: Tuesdays With Dorie
Baking Host: Spatulas Corkscrews & Suitcases

Monday, December 15, 2008

Is It A Cookie?

We woke up Sunday morning and on went the oven. By noon, the kitchen was an assembly line of cookie production in various phases; dough to decorating. Last week's Snowman Sugar Cookies were back in production. This week's Buttery Jam Cookies were just getting the minced candied ginger added to boost the flavor. Sheet pans and and flour were all over the counter.

Don't get me wrong, I liked these a lot. The apricot flavor, not too sweet. I just think they're more biscuit than cookie. Split, and a scoop of ice cream would be heaven.

And now the big question... What is a cookie? Dorie, Sara Dickerman and David Lebovitz analyze the state of the cookie. It's hand held, portable, sweet and more. Although, I'm not so sure about a profiterole! What to do with all that chocolate sauce?? For more discourse on the topic, check out Slate.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sugar Wonderland

Thanks Ulrike, good choice and Happy Holiday!

Short on time this week. Cookie decorating is so calming.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Who needs Oreo?

Like Dorie, it sounds like I grew up on the same cookie. As a child, I would split it apart and eat the side with the jam, then the other.

The nutty, buttery cookie, along with the jammy sweetness is perfect with a glass of ice cold milk.

At first I was unsure of rolling them out too thick. After trying one, I knew. That's how I remember them. Heaven!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Revolt

Rock Band or Guitar Hero? More about that later.

I was asked to bring dessert. Then I get the 'We don't like pumpkin pie." Is this a trend? I hear others feel the same.

This week's TWD baking club recipe is Thanksgiving Twofer Pie. Contrasting texture with two layers. Crunchy pecan pie sitting on a creamy pumpkin custard base.

To round out the holiday flavors, apple and ginger were missing. My family loves cheesecake so along went the Apple Cheesecake. A creamy and tangy cheesecake with a surprise layer of apples. In case you missed it, It was part of the TWD, Feb. '08 rotation. A ginger jelly glaze was added to the saute of apples and blackberry. Hands down winner. Last year we had pumpkin swirl cheesecake. Next year will there be a pumpkin pie?

It's Thanksgiving and thankful for way too many things to list here...but I just have to ask, Rock Band or Guitar Hero?

Baking Group::Tuesdays With Dorie, TWD
Recipe Host: Vibi from la casserole carree

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rice is Nice

Comfort food. Just a few ingredients; no mixer or oven, just a spoon, pot and a flame. And patience. Almost an hour's worth. Then the chill.

The thing about rice pudding is that it's a great place to start. I've added a cherry or two. It's also presents options on a dessert buffet when served in a small glass.

And did you notice how many rice pudding places have opened up within the last few years? The Upper East Side is bursting with people from Wall Street... any partners out there looking to start a business? We all need some comfort.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sultans of Swing

The Kugelhopf mold came from Bridge Kitchenware, who has since moved to New Jersey. The bread-cake selected by The All-purpose Girl of TWD is baked in a mold with twisted or turban-like ridges.

The batter needs rest, both chilled and on the counter...or in this case a closed unheated oven.

Not too sweet and contrast of texture with a slight buttery crunch.

Cuppa tea please.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dough Re Mi

Rugelach dough is my pretend puff pastry without the wait. TWD's host this week Piggy's Cooking Journal offers Rugelach. It's a half moon shaped, croissant like flaky cookie, filled with mini-sized juicy currents, bittersweet chocolate chips and organic chopped walnuts that provide big flavor. This magical dough puffs when baked. Also, this versatile dough is perfect for cardamom-sugared palmiers or pain au chocolat. Follow the links to the recipe.

Making them is kind of like making a pizza. Roll the chilled dough disk into a flat circle. Add the filling and cover with parchment and press gently into the dough. Divide the dough into 16ths and roll-up starting with the 'crust' into a crescent. Chill. Before baking, brush with egg whites and sprinkle with sugar.

Into the oven they go.

Rugelach is my comfort cookie. Recipes like Dori's are passed down to the next generation. It's always a welcome gift to give. Everyone loves them.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Piece of Cake

These Chocolate-Chocolate cupcakes are a perfect balance of flavors. Moist cocoa mini cakes, dipped in bittersweet chocolate. Layers of flavor.

Scooped out chilled cake is filled in with whipped marshmallow fluff... and butter.

Careful not to overbake these little ones.

After a dip in the glaze, a roll in the sanding sugar adds to the autumn look. Thank you iheartfood4thought for this selection. Check out the other TWD posts this week.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Muffins

With the drop in temperature, I was happy to make Sarabeth's spicy pumpkin muffins. Sarabeth's is THE iconic brunch bakery/restaurant on the Upper West and East Side where the wait is way too long for me. To open a bakery/restaurant, this would be the model. Thanks to Kelly from Sounding My Barbaric Gulp! of TWD, these little jewels are at my fingertips!

Moist pumpkin muffins have just a touch of sweetness.

Finished with sprinkles of sunflower seeds. Very healthy. Half the flour was replaced with whole wheat flour. Nice texture.

Autumn pumpkin treat.


In Italy, there's always biscotti. Dorie picked a winner by including local restaurant Lenox Room's almond and cornmeal biscotti in the Baking: From My Home to Yours book. This special treat is great to dip and sip with Vin Santo, the wine of the saints. The TWD's selection is made by Canela & Comino.

Cornmeal adds the crunch.

Two long logs. To keep from spreading, chill just a bit.

Twice baked and cut on a 45 degree angle.

Drizzle with caramel. Hide a few for yourself.

Lenox Room is now closed. Tony, the owner went nut-free and re-opened as a steakhouse. Biscotti are no longer on the menu. I'll always have Florence.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Caramel Crunch...

With salted peanuts and chocolate too. Caramel is about feeling good. Wee Treats by Tammy from Tuesdays With Dorie assigned this recipe of happiness. Once in a while, everyone indulges in caramel. From dulce de leche to caramel apples and those amazing cubes of salted caramel candy? it's a seductive flavor that melts slowly in the mouth.

This complexity of sweetness, has a few rules of preparation. Patience is the key to success. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, let the sugar absorb the liquid. Well maybe one stir.

Add medium heat. And wait.

Watch for the bubbles. Pay attention.

Once boiled, now swirl the pan and continue to cook for the desired color.

Move the pan off heat and add the butter and cream. Stir.

And, there was a brownie cake beneath all that too. Well, another time for that.