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: 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: 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

Cookie of the Month: Seeking peace, via chocolate

In a year like the last, in a month like the last, what is (still)  really needed is some kind of peace. Something to settle us, even momentarily, into a state of calm and content, lifting our worries and maybe even providing a bit of hopeful bliss.

Enter Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies, . . . → Read More: Cookie of the Month: Seeking peace, via chocolate

Rounding up a variety plate of fudge

My late Grandma Mae was the first and one of the only people I knew who made fudge from scratch. She was more known and revered for her peanut brittle (see my blog post of December 2010), but along with her famed peanut confection,  laid out in dishes every year were also samplings . . . → Read More: Rounding up a variety plate of fudge

Cookie of the Month: Looking to THE cookie

I first learned of black and white cookies the way many Americans who don’t live in New York (where the cookie is well-known), learned about the black and white cookie — from a “Seinfeld” episode. Jerry Seinfeld, waiting with his friend Elaine on her quest for a chocolate babka at a bakery, gets . . . → Read More: Cookie of the Month: Looking to THE cookie

Scone of the Month: Befriending figs and pistachios

Amid the dominating voices (and recipes) screaming  “PUMPKIN SPICE!” and “APPLES!” this fall are the softer whispers of two other seasonal flavors: figs and pistachios. I’m seeing a lot of fresh fig recipes as figs come into their full ripening, and pistachios, too, are an early fall crop. The two are found all . . . → Read More: Scone of the Month: Befriending figs and pistachios