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Miscellaneous Baking

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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.

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.

Sweet snack alert. Quick, check the pantry!

Yes, they're just as good at home and you can tune in the game and cheer for who you like. Nothing beats a big, fat, soft, crusty pretzel and a dish of yellow mustard to dunk it in. Use coarse sea salt or coarse kosher salt (the white type vs. the clear type) or even large grain, fleur de sels. These are, like bagels, easily done in a bread machine. These can be baked or boiled or try some one way and some, the other. Offer in squares of wax paper for that street vendor/stadium feel.

Bubka is pure heaven to me - because it strikes the right note of sweet and bready.

This is one of those glossy, rich fudge frostings. It is as good on a Boston Cream Pie cake, or in a layer cake or on either chocolate or vanilla cupcakes.

This is ideal for homemade strudels, hors d’oeuvres, potato knishes, quiche, pies or tarts. It freezes like a dream and you can made a few batches in a food processor in minutes. It is a crisp, tender, buttery dough that is a bit like puff pastry but low tech. You can use yogurt to replace the sour cream but do not use low-fat sour cream (too watery). ONe of my all-time favorites doughs. Oh! Did I tell you it makes sublime rugulah?

These are wonderful with white all-purpose, unbleached flour but you can also toss in some white whole-wheat or the new, ‘white’ spelt, for a sweeter, nuttier taste and added grainy goodness.

This is a velvety custard of a dessert cream sauce that slicks up cheesecake, chocolate tortes and is wonderful drizzled over baked apples or chilled pumpkin cheesecake or pumpkin pie.  Leave out the spices and bourbon for classic crème anglaise

This variation makes for a spicy, mildly meaty spread that turns a small flatbread into something special. Middle Eastern spice stores have all the spices you need. Substitutions are noted. These can be made in advance and reheated. The topping should be applied modestly.
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