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Miscellaneous Baking

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French pastry chefs let nothing go to waste. Leftover croissants (make sure you use great ones) filled with an almond butter paste, and rebaked, are sublime.  This is a pastry and hotel school staple and something you can expect to see in many a French pastry shop window. They are puffy, buttery, extremely easy but unique treats that will make you say, 'Oh shut up. Too good!"   If you like this recipe, you'll also love 1,2,3, Croissant Cronuts and Butter Flakey Doughnuts (not quite Cronuts)

Like New York Black and White Cookies, these are big, crisp and gorgeous butter sugar cookies. One side is white fondant and the other side is red – very Cupid does Yin Yang. These are, fondant and love notwithstanding, the best sugar cookies on the planet.

 

A delectable (dare we say, manly?) Devils Food Grooms cake complete with red food coloring for a Devilish crumb.

Red Velvet Cake done up in a waffle dress – just in time for breakfast, brunch or as a fabulous dessert.  I serve this just as often with strawberries, ice-cream and fudge sauce as I do cream cheese drizzle. What’s nice about this recipe aside from it being high concept baking, is that it uses more chocolate flavor than the usual red velvet recipe to get a rich chocolate-y taste. These are also sublime as Red Velvet Pancakes.

Not to be confused with crème caramel (where the crackling sugar is on the bottom) creme brulee features the luscious, toffeed sugar on the bottom. Pairing it with rhubarb is a fine marriage of tart and sweet. You can make this ahead, chill it and microwave or warm in a water bath in a 250 F oven.

This chilled dessert is similar to frozen whipped yogurt. Garnish with fresh strawberries.


This is a new spin on something old but still ambrosial - stewed rhubarb with extra perks. Rhubarb marries well with oranges (who also do their best to tint the rhubarb a deep rose colour) but any oranges you have on hand are just as perfect.

Rhubarb is a favorite food of mine but now it's finding mainstream fans. Blood oranges seem to be the kiwi of the 21st Century. Together, they are a perfect union. This is a new spin on something old but ambrosial: stewed rhubarb of oven compote. Rhubarb marries well with sweet blood oranges (who also do their best to tint the rhubarb a deep rose colour). A touch of brown and white sugar and pomegranate molasses (honey is a fine substitute) make this rustic and sophisticated all at once. Serve over ice-cream, pound cake, with scones, or on with yogurt or Scottish oatmeal for a sweet, tart banquet. I tend to slice two of the blood oranges called for and grind up the last one but just slicing all three is fine.

Italian sausage, pepperoni, provolone, mozzarella, marinara, spices and diced peppers all rolled up in a chewy/thin/crisp pizza dough. Bravo! Slice it hot or serve it at room temperature with a huge green salad - This is perfect picnic fare too.

Aside from the inspired fruit medley, there is one other trick in this rosy, delicious rendition of baked apples. It's sweet kosher wine (but you can also use black cherry soda). It makes the whole thing a baked apple extravaganza. Serve these in the prettiest crystal dessert dishes you can fine or white ceramic ramekins. Good warm or cold; sometimes simplicity, especially in a new year, is best.

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