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August 2006 - Vital Signs ….. A Circle of Wheat; A Never Ending Mystery…


A Passion for Baking, Holiday Style
Baking Our Favorite Things…Shortbread!

You take the high road and I’ll take the shortcut to the best shortbread cookies possible. Yes, there are butter cookies, and spice, drop cookies and spritz but nothing is as easy and gourmet, nor versatile as shortbread. Hartstone Pottery, just newly launched, was renown (and will be again) for the best shortbread molds. But you can sleuth them out on Ebay, as well as find other shortbread molds from Brown Bag Cookie Art, Sassafras and King Arthur Flour. Cast Iron molds are out there (you gotta look) and there is the nonstick square pan from Nordicware. Crafts and antique stores are another place to check out wonderful vintage and heirloom molds for this wonderful cookie. Rycraft (who stocks amazing Chanukah motifs) and House on the Hill are sources for beautiful cookie molds and stamps. If you get baked out, there is always the incomparable For gorgeous, nested, Star of David cutters for Chanukah, head to Sweet Celebrations. For the best shortbread recipes, just stay put! We got that covered.

BB’s Famous Carrot Cake Fruitcake ©
Hold the phone! Everything you love about carrot cake, re-configured in a fruitcake texture and longevity. No candied fruits but just the right balance of fruit, nuts and carrot cake flavor appeal. This recipe makes one large or several gift cakes. It is good an hour after baking and gets better each day, with or without its unique orange soaking syrup, and special cream cheese fondant overcoat. One more new tradition. Frankly, this is simply one of the most fabulous cakes to exit the test kitchen in a full decade of baking.

Free!! Butter and Cream Shortbread Cookies
Indescribable and one of my favorite ‘mistakes’. There is no finer tasting, more luxurious cookie to be had.

Fleur De Sel Shortbread Cookies
Why do we forget that simple things are simply the best? And we also tend to forget that balancing sugar with salt, married with a bit of butter, creates the most outstanding shortbread possible. These are outrageous. Our testers made successive batches because they ate each one to the last crumb. “Somebody stop me’ was the plea. Make these in a mold, or shortbread fingers or use any holiday cut out you like.

Fleur de Sel Chocolate Shortbread
Nothing brings out the bittersweet lusciousness of a chocolate-butter bouquet than fleur de sel. Here is a contender for 2006 Recipe of the Year.

Shortbread Mix in a Jar
Vanilla kissed shortbread mixes up in a thrice. Pack it in a jar with instructions and a shortbread mold. Hey, who’s your baker now?

Moravanian Butter Cookies
You know those Pringle-style tubes of Moravian sugar cookies? They come in walnut, orange, chocolate, spice and plain butter? Wafer thin, mouthwatering cookies? These are dem, those sweet, buttery taste of ultra thin butter cookies. Stack them high!

Czech Butter and Jam Cookies
Another sort of shortbread you can’t resist. Crumbly, butter cookie bars with a slick of jam. Bake them up by the panful.

The Chanukah Recipe Collection

!!!Free!!! World’s Best Potato Latkes
10 Years online, over 5600 served. As a potato pancake goes, this one still is climbing the charts. If you haven’t switched to the new way of making these, what are you waiting for? Cue the Cola Brisket.

Chanukah’s Special Mock Cheese Danish
A rich, cream cheese scone dough makes mini cheese Danish that is delicate, flaky but fuss free. You can add raisins and a touch of cinnamon to these but the pastry and sweet cheese Danish filling is all you really need.

Montreal Cheese Bagels
Just in time for Chanukah away from home. The unique Montreal specialty is easy as 1,2,3.

Maccabee Brothers Layered Rugulah
A lazy baker triggers a brainstorm of an idea. An easy route to incredible rugulah that spells success for eight nights. Instead of rolling crescents, this ingenious, delicious recipe creates a rugulah lasagna you bake up by the batch. Perfect for hosting a crowd but just amazing in its own right. A new tradition is born.

Big’N Delicious Old-Fashioned Jelly Doughnuts
Big or small, hole doughnuts or soufganiot style, these are the main event once the latkes are done.

More Festive Treats

White Chocolate Mousse Cake
Deck the halls and ring the bells, this cake is a triumph – a real clip-and-save recipe you will enjoy for special occasions, holidays, or when asked to ‘bring the dessert’. A creamy, rich white chocolate mousse is anchored by layers of moist, golden, almond and vanilla scent layer cake and finished with a white chocolate ganache glaze. Trim with a white rose or store-bought marzipan flower and you’re good-to-go.

Cashmere Sticky Toffee Cheesecake
Chill out. Cashmere is in. what’s a hot trend in sweaters is an even hotter trend in the kitchen. An amazing, unique sticky toffee brown sugar crust, topped with a mellow vanilla batter, served with warm lashings of special sticky toffee sauce.

Black Forest Biscotti
Deep chocolate, holiday biscotti with a ribbon of cherry preserves, spiked with Cherry Herring or Kirsch, all coated in a special white ‘snow’ or set ‘whipped cream’ for the full Black Forest Cake effect…but with a crunch.

Little Italy or La Motta Chocolate Cake
Perfect chocolate finale for the holidays or a New Year’s bash, my famed La Motta, aka Little Italy’s Too Tall Chocolate Cake is now available. Moist, dramatically high and chocolaty, this is scrumptious.

Egg Nog Bundt Cake
A mellow, moist, spice cake that suits the season. You gotta have one slicing cake on hand.

New Zealand Gingernut Cookies
Hard, crunchy, powerful nuggets of ginger cookies that are totally addictive. These are unbelievable –even if you think you hate ginger. Adapted from a treasured recipe from our tester in New Zealand who warns you dunk these or head for the dentist.

Golden Almond Stollen
European sweet bread, with a sweet almond core.

Fresh Apple Fritters with Vermont Maple Syrup
Touch of spice makes these golden, batter coated apples awesome. Serve with warmed caramel sauce or pure maple syrup. Winter hospitality at its finest.

Chevre Cheesecake with Sundried Tomatoes - Trend of the Year!!
Formidable, n’est pas? A savory, sophisticated cheesecake to serve as an appetizer. All it needs is hunks of sourdough bread and an assortment of olives.  A cheesecake statement. If you love this, you also like

Californian Baked Brie in Filo with Cranberry Chutney
Add a touch of fresh, tangy cranberry sauce to this appetizer classic. It just takes minutes to create a buttery bundle, filled with oozing, warm Brie (or Camembert) cheese, with a scarlet dash of cranberries. You could substitute Major Grey Chutney if you like or leave this classic: Brie, filo, butter. Provide pear wedges or crusts of bread for dipping. [rl:1939] Southern Style Sweet Potato Filo Bundles Perk up that holiday meal with fussy sweet potatoes.


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