Cookie of the Month: Comforting with softness and sprinkles

Nearly every grocery store I’ve ever entered has had some version of a Lofthouse cookie. It seems to be standard to carry these ultra-soft, ultra-sweet vanilla cookies topped with fluffy frosting in an array of pastel colors, embellished with a finish of sprinkles.

I’ll admit that I’m neither much of a frosting nor . . . → Read More: Cookie of the Month: Comforting with softness and sprinkles

Bread of the Month: Oiling up an herb-y scone

Sometimes, all the planets (or ingredients and time of the year) align in order to make the right recipe. I was recently thumbing through my original favorite scone book, “Biscuits and Scones,” (Clarkson N. Potter; 1988) by Elizabeth Alston. You would think I had made every recipe in the book, but far . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Oiling up an herb-y scone

Cookie of the Month: Snazzing up the snickerdoodle

My first snickerdoodle was given to me by a primary schoolmate, not much older than I. The cookie was pale golden perfection, much like its baker,  who was, despite her young years, full of enviable poise, confidence and beauty (who later in high school became, of course, quite popular, a cheerleader and homecoming . . . → Read More: Cookie of the Month: Snazzing up the snickerdoodle

Cookie of the Month: Imagining carrots in more than cake

There are many mystery recipes in my mom’s little cedar recipe box. The sources of many of the handwritten cards remain unnamed, although I know that if my mom took the time to write down a recipe, it came from someone. More than that mystery, I don’t have a firm recollection of her . . . → Read More: Cookie of the Month: Imagining carrots in more than cake

Bread of the Month: Growing a garden-topped focaccia

During the last year or so, new kinds of gardens began appearing all over food social media. These garden-scapes have continued to grow and blossom, many of them becoming beautiful works of art. They are all edible…and their foundation? A bed of delicious, moist, dimpled, oily and flavorful focaccia, a favorite type of . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Growing a garden-topped focaccia

Cookie of the Month: Taking lemon bars to tart level

Lemon bars bring up good memories…they were among the first treats I ever prepared and took to share with others. I was a freshman in high school, in Latin class (yes, Latin…do they teach it anymore?), and since we were (surprisingly) a small group, we often got permission to bring and share goodies, . . . → Read More: Cookie of the Month: Taking lemon bars to tart level

Bread of the Month: Tossing strawberries into muffins

One would assume my April making of Strawberry Banana Muffins came out of a seasonal bent. Strawberries, though found year-round, are often on the docket of spring-to-summer baking projects, coming into prominence as early as April in California. But, to be honest, my muffins came almost completely from a need to use up . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Tossing strawberries into muffins

Bread of the Month: Hopping away with cuteness

For me, the whole “back-of-the-bunny” (aka “bunny butt”) concept came early, at the kitchen table in marathon Easter egg coloring sessions the day before the big bunny arrived. We had our cups and bowls full of Paas egg dye and crayons to create the wax designs on some of the eggs. Our mom’s . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Hopping away with cuteness

Cookie of the Month: Fulfilling Hamantaschen

Hamantaschen, another cookie with Jewish heritage, also falls into the “cookie pastry” category. I would dare say that these little tri-cornered pockets, filled with preserves or homemade fillings, almost seem of their own type of “cookie tart” and could find their place rightfully in that role on any teatime table.

I first tasted . . . → Read More: Cookie of the Month: Fulfilling Hamantaschen

Bread of the Month: Crowning cinnamon rolls

My mother’s basic yeast roll recipe, I knew, had the potential for versatility. From it, she herself made lofty loaves, giant fluffy dinner rolls, gooey cinnamon rolls and those irregularly shaped little planks — cut with a sharp knife from a huge bowlful of raised dough and deep-fried — that she called “skunks,” . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Crowning cinnamon rolls