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Miscellaneous Baking

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This is  a heady confection of milk and white Belgium chocolate, along with some orange-tinted, pumpkin-pie flavoured chocolate that gest (melted and) marbled in. It’s pretty, intriguing, a fine gift and holiday perk, and as gourmet as you please. I use Callebault as well as white chocolate wafers, coloured with orangefood colouring. If you don’t have orange chocolate wafers (mine are from a local bulk food store), tint white chocolate, as it melts with orange food colouring. 

What is more inviting that spice and warmth in a cup? This team blend is a seasonal perk that will make your espresso pot beam. Usually I get my Pumpkin Latte from Montreal's David's Tea or at Starbucks but both places often run out! Shoot. So I invented my own (although in season, you can order it  from www.DavidsTea.com).  If you have a steamer for the milk, that’s super. If not, just simmer the milk and half and half to simmering, so that it shivers with foam. Pumpkin Pie spices are available in the spice section of most supermarkets or make your own, which will guarantee you a pungent, fresh spice mixture to enhance all your baking. If you like this recipe, you'll love White Chocolate Sweet Pumpkin Latte !

I love pumpkin pie, sugar and spice and all things both nutritious and comforting. This bowl of hot cereal has it all. It reheats during the week for quick but staying breakfasts. If you have canned pumpkin on hand (maybe from making pumpkin muffins), it goes to a wonderful cause in this amazing oatmeal.

It’s hard to decide on what makes this one of the best rugulah recipes in the world. Is it the pastry dough that melts in your mouth or the filling of pumpkin, spice and blushing cranberries? These are holiday-wonderful but so much so, they will become part of your regular rugulah. This particular dough is a pure joy to work with.

 

Tim Horton’s is a national Canadian donut chain/treasure, (but now they're in New York City!) renown and adored for their coffee and innovative treats. They constantly promote something new and exciting. In Fall, they have featured a much-touted Pumpkin donut I was keen to try. Alas, each and every day I visited a Tim Horton outlet, they were sold out! So I invented my own quintessential pumpkin spice donut. This recipe is worth its ransom in pumpkin recipes on Google.  But here is Act One, in a Pumpkin Passion Play. These are puffy, pumpkin flavored yeasted donuts, stuffed with fresh vanilla custard and then tossed in spiced sugar (or you can fondant/glaze them).
 

Like Thankgiving but in-the-round, i.e. in a bagel. These are simply amazing bagels –rustic and touched with a kiss of pumpkin spice (and pumpkin!) and a good smattering of dried (or fresh) cranberries. They’re almost decadent and gourmet bagels but considering they are low fat and full of vitamin packed pumpkin puree, they are rather healthy. Feel free to sub some whole-wheat flour if you like.

What is more fitting for Valentine’s Day than a quick and easy Honey Bun Cake. These honey bun cakes turn up everywhere (by that name) and have been around a long time and use a cake mix with some pantry ingredients for a golden cake that slices like coffee cake but tastes like a cinnamon bun. If you prefer a scratch cake, choose any one of the streusel recipe cakes I have but if you’re in a hurry or just like the notion of a mix once in awhile, this ummmm....takes the cake. This is not a BB original recipe - it is a popular recipe that no one seems to have ownership but appears in home recipe boxes, online, on blogs, in cake mix recipe books. It is presented for your viewing. I would hazard a guess it came from Dunkin Hines or Betty Crocker or an inventive housewife from the 50's. This version is similar to the one on www.BettyCrocker.com. I found this cake quite ricih and good. I didn't get quick the layer effect as Betty Crocker seems to but more streusel all over the place. For a more layered cake with that streusel on one level, I suggest my Bubbie Style Yellow Cake from my Jewish Holiday Baking Book (Whitecap Books 2009) which is, of course, a scratch cake. Just use that cake in a 9 by 13 inch pan, layer it with pecan brown sugar streusel, bake and then top with fondant (that's a less rich but to me, better Honey Bun Cake)

We tend to forget how good a great baked apple can be. Douse McIntosh apples with some raspberry syrup; the syrup naturally sweetens the apples just so and brings a light blush to their cheeks.

What do you get when you cross a muffin with a scone? Scuffins! Big, beautiful crusty scones/muffin hybrids, crisp, pastry outsides with cake-like interiors and a cache of raspberry preserves. Whipping cream makes them high-rising and the cache of raspberries are a nice surprise.

This clssic Danish dough makes any sort of Danish you want. It is a superlative (and easy) real, butter, real Danish Dough – the sort delis and bakeries used to make. As family bakeries bit the dust and/or bakers started scrimping and the buttery (and best) part of Danish began to disappear, the need to make it yourself became clear. This is so outstanding. Why? It tastes like the real McCoy(stein), the dough is supple and a pleasure to work with, the taste is incomparable; the fine delicate/bready pastry is addictive.  You can fill this with the sweetened cheese filling called for here or make it with chocolate or cinnamon smear, or prune or apricot filling. (Recipes for the Chocolate or Cinnamon Smear Danish are in the Complete Recipe Archives; prune or apricot fillings also in the archives or you can opt for a quality prepared filling). Aside from this amazing dough, real bakery style Danish calls for a brushing or two of syrup (it’s included in this recipe) as well as (but this part is optional), apricot glaze. This makes the not-too-sweet pastry just a touch sweeter but also keeps it fresher longer and offers that stickiness you are going to have to lick off your hands once the Danish is a memory. I make batches of this dough and freeze it – which you can do or freeze the whole pastry (a large one or smaller ones) and let it rise in the fridge and bake it fresh for a brunch, breakfast or coffee klatch the next day. If you wonder if real Danish is hard to do, don't. It's easy. If you wonder why do it? Because...where are you going to find real Danish, with real butter, anywhere, anymore. Baker's cheese is also called hoop cheese, dry cottage cheese, old-fashioned cottage cheese. If you cannot find it, use ricotta cheese well drained (overnight, cheesecloth/strainer deal).

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