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June 2006 Issue - How Sweet It Is! Baking Your Berry Best

Stone fruits like plums and peaches come a bit late; early summer is primo berry season. In this issue, we offer a collection of the best of great berry baking. Choose your flavor! Beyond berries, there’s a superlative Free Recipe for Italian Herb Bread, and a nod to Da Vinci with the Olive Rye Wheat and Black Olive Bread. Enjoy!

Strawberry Shortcake Biscotti
Biscotti batter, stuffed with berries and cream, and then topped with a white fondant. A visual tableau of biscotti with a cream filling and bits of scarlet berries, peaking through. These mega glamorous biscotti that need their own agent.
The flavor of shortcake but no fork required.

Bumble Berry Muffins with Vanilla Streusel
Just awesome – surprised you can’t smell these all the way from the BB Test Kitchen! There is Bumble Berry Pie and now, an outstanding companion recipe in a muffin rendition. Statuesque muffins, replete with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, from the BB Master Baker’s Signature Collection. Btw, nothing makes a better-looking muffin than Wilton’s Advantage muffin pans. The pans clean up like new, feature an extra carrying handle (no more thumbs in hot muffins) and deliver a superb, professionally shaped muffin. We found ours in Winners (like TJ Max). If you can find them – grab at least two. The Avanti line is also a super performer.

Strawberry Bread
Quick breads are just muffins with higher aspirations. This orange-kissed, moist loaf shines with hunks of strawberries gracing its fine crumb. A cream-cheese fondant finishes it off but a dusting of confectioners’ sugar is perfection.

Black Currant Scone Sticks
These are tender pastries that start with scone intentions but resolve into unique pastry sticks that ooze tart-sweet blackberry jam. Raspberry or plum preserves would also work nicely but nothing beats the taste of real black currants, atop a buttery, flaky scone dough. My tango class pronounced these blue ribbon winners.

Summerside Raspberry Pineapple Chunk Blondies
Caramel bars that are rich and dense and broken up with a tropical stash of pineapple and raspberries. Serve chilled, in huge hunks, and follow with pitchers of iced tea and tons of beach volleyball.

Strawberry Oatmeal Cookies
Who’d ever think this recipe would be one of my top 20 downloads? No one seems to get enough of this cookie! There is something about a great, caramel laced oatmeal cookie, playing backdrop to the tang of fresh strawberries that make these explosively good.

Cheskie’s Cinnamon Bubka (and Cheskie’s Famous Rugulah)
Thanks to Ann Harste, one of our test bakers, I made my acquaintanceship with a Montreal bakery I never knew about. Ann sent me this link and photo. Just one look at this special bubka that drew raves from Michael and Jane Stern of Road Food and I was hooked. Got the bubka, ate the bubka, and went home and baked ….the bubka. This is a dense heavyweight coffeecake that is sold by the pound. Each loaf weighs some 3 pounds and is made of some 24 stratas of thinly coiled bubka dough. If you like this, you will love Cheskie’s Rugulah. You can also make this recipe into a Chocolate Bubka.

Da Vinci Code Sticky Gooey Honey Halvah Biscotti
In a mood for blockbuster baking? Celebrate this controversial movie with an uncontested master: this sticky-gooey, honey, walnut and vanilla halvah biscotti is one for the masters. There is no secret code here beyond using great ingredients and finding the secret to diet resolve when faced with a place of these crunchy, sweet, old world biscotti.

Da Vinci Code Wheaty Rye Olive Bread
Summer movie food: A Da Vinci inspired bread. The genesis is a simpler starter that builds to a whole-wheat and rye finale featuring a spectacular encore of calamata olives studding the final work. An inspired moist, and deeply flavored rye bread. Use stoneground dark rye flour for this. Serve with fresh pears, hunks of cheese, and tomato salad. For more Da Vinci code baking, check out

New York Style Strawberry Cheesecake
A high and creamy, old-fashioned cheesecake for big, festive gatherings.
Big apple decadence.

!!! Free!!! Molini Pizzuti “OO” Flour Italian Herb Country Bread
This is a fantastic summer bread. It is good fresh or toasted, made into rolls or as a sandwich bread. It needs a brief starter, which makes all the difference. It is smokin’ with Italian herbs, fresh parsley and a hint of garlic. Bis!

Country Classic Blueberry Pie
What’s summer without this treat?

White Lily Berry Cobbler
Any flour would do but if you can snag yourself some White Lily all-purpose, you would have the most tender, delectable fresh berry cobbler ever.

Double Chocolate Chip Brownies
Berries are fine but chocolate is divine. A fudge brownie that is dense and chewy, and stuffed with dark and white chocolate, finished with a soft whipped ganache. Serve cold, these are hot!


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