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Miscellaneous Baking

View Our Alphabetical Recipe Index for Miscellaneous Baking
Find a recipe via our alphabetical recipe index or you can also search using our Search bar for recipes by title or by type (in general Categories, muffins, breads, etc.)

This from the Serendipity Parties cookbook, Rizzoli, Universe Publishing, 2008 and is by Stephen Bruce. Russian Tea is a recipe you see around and no one knows where it comes from. It is a lovely spiced, orange and black tea brew.

This is more of a sourdough bread with San Francisco intentions. If you make it in New York, it is SF bread with NY roots. Etc. It is just plain good and gets better with each new batch. Nothing beats a classic sourdough bread and you will perfect your own with each new loaf. Use spring water and unbleached bread flour for best results and relax – this is not a quick bread (it takes a few days of time – not very much of it is hands on but it does take some rise and fermentation time) but it is a leisurely stroll into a fine loaf. You can try the first time with ˝ teaspoon rapid rise yeast to speed things along but this method is about as pure as you get.  Check out the Basic Sourdough Starter for more on baking with sourdough bread, as well as (Almost Levain's) Chocolate Chunk Cookies. What you should know about this recipe is that you are first making a mini-dough that takes prepared sourdough starter. That dough is broken up into pieces and put in another starter (fresh flour and water). This is allow to ferment and then it goes into the final dough. Real sourdough bread is not for sissies or impatient people so beware! It is however, awesome. The real Gold Rush ended but the interest in the Californian inspired sourdough bread has never abated. Find out why.

Why buy these when you can recycle your going-stale-anyway bagels?
This makes awesome, zesty, snappy bagel chips in no time flat. Serve with cream cheese spreads, hummus or any dip you like.

Self Rising flour is a specialty of Southern baking but it's certainly nationally available and a flour homemakers used since the 50's or so (would have to check on that!). It conveniently contains salt and baking powder so a home baker could use it without adding additional salt or baking powder in a recipe. The thing is, some recipes also need baking soda which one would still have to add separately (in an acidic recipe, such as a cocoa based chocolate cake, figure on 1/2 teaspoon baking soda per cup of flour in the recipe). Self rising flour keeps a few months (and then the baking powder starts to lose its oomph).

Don't groan. These are good - chewy, fudgy, and great popped into Passover brownies.

Inspired by the movie, Simply Irresistible (another food dvd you have to rent), these are luscious little éclairs. Make these small enough to serve 2-3 per person.  These are delicate but decadent miniature éclairs, filled with silken pastry cream and a unique caramel topping. Bakeries use either commercial coffee flavored fondant or caramelized sugar. This novel approach gives you the ease of fondant but retains the nice caramel notes that make the whole concept come together.

I like my muffins rustic no matter what and I see them as carriers for nutrition. So I don’t mind scaling back on fat to make a muffin that is ‘skinnier’ and a storehouse of nutritional goodies. But taste is the first criterion. This muffin has it all! You can try this using Splenda if you want to avoid the sugar. You can can also substitute ½ cup of the white flour for white spelt or kamut flour. It will make for a heavier muffin but benefits from the ancient grains.

The health food store near me has this thick, sweet, brownies that use date paste as part of the whole deal. I tried it and voila -  a beautiful brownie with pure gourmet taste and pedigree but with a health food store sensibility. These are dense, sweet and fudgy and best served cold. For goodness sakes, please don't tell your kids these have flax seed and are butter-free or otherwise healthy. The dates are mellow and sweet and being dark in color, they amplify the chocolate bouquet. These are more cake brownies than chewy but they are so dense and dark and served very well chilled, they are almost fudge.

This recipe is just so sweet, including all the favorite flavor notes and textural perks of S’Mores bars, in a quickly assembled ice-box cake that is kid-approved and company perfect. S’mores are messy affairs but this cake serves up in (somewhat) neater slices. It is oh-so-good that I am almost embarrassed it is a no-bake wonder. It is….home-assembled! For nut allergies, do make sure to make these with peanut-free manufactured milk chocolate bars so that your allergy kids and friends can enjoy this too. This recipe is about layering stuff; how you do it doesn’t really much matter as long as you use up all the components.
Do check out the notes for the Ice-Cream S’Mores Bar Cake too, included in this recipe.

These macaroons re-write the genre. They are almost like French Madeleine’s, but dense with almonds and coconut, lightened with egg whites and held together with one creamy can of condensed milk. Bake them in tiny tartlet molds (or a in muffin pan) liberally sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap them tiny and pretty, as gifts, or served them semi-chilled, topped with a glace cherry.

Chewy, sweet, little, satisfying.

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