May 2008 Baker's Recipe Stash
May 2008 Baker’s Stash
Something for mom or you and the gals or anyone who drops by. This is buttery, sweet, yet light, quick, easy, different, spring and summery. Say what? This is not dessert. This is your soulmate. No wonder this recipe has been downloaded 787 times. Some of you know a good thing when you see it.
(Don’t forget May is a sign on month. You can Subscribe for May, June, and July on the To Subscribe page)
Welcome to the merry month of May – a month that is somehow a flurry of things that are about spring and a school year ending and summer not here. Who doesn’t love May? For me, in particular, it is a month of varied baking – mostly I think of the food of May in terms of tea breaks and girlie girl leisure time. Perhaps it is because it is Mother’s Day month (and my own birthday). I tend to think of May as a salute to women, in particularly my own friends (and extended friends via the BB network) versus a Hallmark holiday. It also reminds me how hard we all work and for all our femininity, we are…how shall I put I, macho stuff. Nothing frilly about the goddesses of substance in my corner of the world. Being bakers, that figures – did the sourdough spirit not settle our frontiers?
Speaking of machismo, you need to know that before I had a digital camera, there was no need to make picture perfect recipes. Now that I can point a camera, and better yet, upload a shot, I seem to be glued to the lens (which are always greasy. Note to self, don’t hold a camera using oven mitts). I am never out of my office or test kitchen! I’ve cancelled dates due to having to wait for sunshine or sunlight or sunrise or a crevice of time when my kitchen table captures a daylight mood. Who knew photography was so precise? On the other hand, I realize – gee – my recipes look awfully nice! Can you imagine what a real photographer might be able to do? I also discovered I need more backdrops, more dishes and props and some sort of lighting thingie. Instead however, I think I’ll get new tango shoes and a new perfume (I’m thinking Chanel or Hanae Morie or vintage Caline) because baker girls who are all work and no play make rather dull chefs. I like to think it’s the sugar and spice of life, outside the kitchen, that gives my food its flair.
Don’t forget to check out www.gaylea.com for a new free recipe from me (May is a humdinger but it is the folks over at Gay Lea who host the free recipe) and also the beautiful scents at www.sweetgrassfarms.com and the pottery we used in food styling, at www.emmabridgewater.com. I am also testing some incredible cookware from Viking (two words: the best), more scents from www.NewDirections.com and L’Occitane and even software from Microsoft. (I work on both Apple and PC’s but nothing beats Word, even Word for Mac, for writers).
With warm wishes on a beautiful day in the merry month of May,
Editor & Master Baker
The May 2008 Baker’s Stash Recipes
Shortcake by any other name, in any guise. Heavens ! This is so/so/so good! Berries and a coating of Swiss chocolate on a buttery scone, aka rich, buttery shortcake base. This recipe is the bomb which explains why it is downloaded constantly. It has shades of country fair crossed with Black Forest Cake - Nothing but nothing is as fresh, decadent, and easy or crowd-pleasing as this cake. It makes two small ones or a double decker one. You can make the cake part a day ahead and then assemble minutes before serving or up to 3-4 hours (and refrigerate). You can top this with warm fudge sauce.
I’ve tweaked this great cake to perfection. How do I know? No matter who I gave a hunk of this cake to, they all said: this is your best cake ever!!!!!
It is golden, moist cake, with a river of cheesecake in it, and strawberries. You get to finish it au naturel simply with confectioners’ sugar), or a glaze or a drizzle – it’s up to you. It’s strawberry shortcake but not a last minute sort of shortcake. It is ready (and keeps) whenever you are. It also slices pretty neat.
These huge, exciting muffins are rich, delectable single coffee-cakes more than they are muffins. Brightened with chunks of garden rhubarb and fresh berries, they are crowned with a halo of shortbread-cookie streusel (you can make your own shortbread or storebought, quality shortbread is fine in this recipe). These were also tested with diced apples and fresh raspberries and both batches were gone in less time than it took to bake them.
Fresh Strawberry Bread with Cream Cheese Drizzle
No yeast, fresh berries, a bright, tangy taste by the slice. This quick bread is perfect spring baking – it is a jaunty quick bread, with a moist crumb, bejeweled with chopped strawberries which dart through it. A gorgeous cream cheese fondant drizzle crowns it (but it is fine without it
Skinny Carrot Cake Cookies
We brought you the Original Skinny Cookie and now it is The Skinny Cookie, Part Deux: spicy Carrot Cake version. Equally awesome, equally healthy.
I love this because it is easy, elegant, Spring-like, and looks like a fine European pastry. It reminds me why I love baking.
This is a great film I still encourage you to see, Wedding for Bella, starring Scott Baio features Encirco’s biscotti bakery in Pittsburg. This biscotti, like the biscotti in the film, makes huge, sweet, crunchy sticks. This is a treasure of a recipe only a few of our visitors seem to know of – time to share it again. The biscotti are huge, thick – nothing like the flimsy café biscotti you see. These are almost manly.
Hot Buttered Sticky Toffee Caramel Latte FREE!!
If you love divine, velvety, warm, potions, this recipe is for you. Double up ingredients, as required to serve more takers. The marshmallows melt and cream a slight froth; if you have a mini-whipped, that would also create more volume.
Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote Coulis FREE!!
Nothing beats a smooth, creamy, bread pudding which is updated with a piquant side sauce of strawberries and fresh rhubarb. This is a bliss dessert.
Hungarian Walnut Strudel
This easy, very traditional recipe will surprise you - once it is finished you will realize that in no time flat, you have made something you never thought you could. You can! It looks like it came out of a European pastry store window. On the first day, this strudel seems quite light and yeasty but as it matures, it becomes a delightfully dense and moist pastry roll that lasts for a week or so, well-wrapped.
Mellow and sweet, this is as old-fashioned as chocolate cake gets. Like most great chocolate cakes, this is equally good as a layer cake or 9 by 13 inch sheet cake. The exclusive use of brown sugar offers a subtle caramel afterglow to this moist, hunk of a cake but the piece de resistance is the ½ inch of meltingly divine, real fudge frosting (but not to worry – no candy thermometer required – this is a unique, quick ‘easy fudge that sets on the cake). Can you have too many chocolate cakes in your repertoire? Can a baker have too much flour?
Philadelphia Giant Sticky Buns
Call them Cinnamon Buns, or Philadelphia Sticky Buns, they're heaven in a pan. Similar to the German schnecken pastry, these buns probably originated with Pennsylvania Dutch settlers. Why Philadephia Sticky Buns now? Because.....the Montreal Canadiens hockey team is in playoffs with the fine hockey sons of freedom. Go Habs ! (but bake up some Philadelphia Sticky buns). These do not, taste like hockey pucks.
Drive Thru Chicken Crunch Tenders
In the old days, pioneers would have breaded these in ground up, hard Tack or the predecessor of soda crackers - sea biscuits. These are fabulous, extra crisp/crunchy tenders, regardless of era.
[rl:909] !! FREE!!
Who doesn’t like this? A perfect Mother’s Day brunch dish.
Layered what you have in the fridge – substitutions are welcome. Just make it colorful and don’t forget the drink-it-with-a-straw Toasted Sesame Ginger Garlic Vinaigrette that seeps through the many layers of goodness. Glass bowl, a bargain from Ikea; all things thinly cleavered by a Cutco Chinese cleaver.