Cookie of the Month: Marveling at madeleines

My first bite of madeleine, a yummy little shell-shaped pound cake/cookie, did not release a flood of remembrances, as it did Marcel Proust in his writing about the bakery treat in “In Search of Lost Time” (1913):

“…my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not . . . → Read More: Cookie of the Month: Marveling at madeleines

Going ‘green’ with an invisible ingredient

I’d read the recipes, been intrigued by the videos and even heard out the positive proclamations by a co-worker, but there was still no real way I could be sure that any avocado, of any kind, could be turned into chocolate pudding.

A chocolate-y paste maybe, but certainly nothing to match the chocolate . . . → Read More: Going ‘green’ with an invisible ingredient

Waiting out a summer pudding

Summer pudding has long been on my “to-make” list. A well-known dessert among the British, I don’t know that too many are aware of it here, although it has been featured on cooking shows and in magazines. I’ve seen just enough about this simple, but unique dessert that I knew I wanted to . . . → Read More: Waiting out a summer pudding

Cookie of the Month: Shooting for the stars

The Fourth of July has always had even my reclusive nature upended, getting into the spirit of potlucks and family or community gatherings. For the last several years, I’ve trotted out some dessert recipes with Independence Day flair and ventured out of my house for a neighborhood potluck, resplendently held in the beautiful . . . → Read More: Cookie of the Month: Shooting for the stars

Scone of the Month: Topping blueberries with streusel

Give me coffeecake — or anything streusel — if I’m given a choice of cakes. Granted, I don’t usually make coffeecake as my birthday cake (it’s not “festive” enough), but if there was only one cake I could have, that would be it.

Buttery vanilla cake, laced with layers of cinnamon-y filling . . . → Read More: Scone of the Month: Topping blueberries with streusel

Cookie of the Month: Calming up shortbread

Shortbread is pretty much my favorite cookie. Just a few ingredients (usually a basic blend of butter, sugar flour and salt), it’s easy to make and despite its simplicity, rewards with rich flavor and isn’t too terribly sweet. It’s virtually fail-proof, too. I’d say over-baking is the biggest risk to good shortbread, which . . . → Read More: Cookie of the Month: Calming up shortbread

Riffing on a mother’s love for rhubarb

Of all the things my mother loved, high on her list was (of all things!)  rhubarb. She grew the stuff herself ( of course), and the huge plants seemed to inhabit a planetary space of their own in the garden. The long pinkish-red stalks, the dark-green, flouncing elephant ear-sized leaves, seemed to . . . → Read More: Riffing on a mother’s love for rhubarb

Scone of the Month: Sheltering with whole wheat, ‘nutty’ oats

Earlier this month, I celebrated Ireland through a molasses biscuit/cookie recipe I found in “The Little Irish Baking Book” (St. Martin’s Press; 1995), a charming work by the late Ruth Isabel Ross. 

Sometimes you fall under the spell of someone at the right time. Though I’d had Ross’s cookbook for a few years . . . → Read More: Scone of the Month: Sheltering with whole wheat, ‘nutty’ oats

Paying cabbage its due

On the list (which is long) of vegetables that are underrated, we come to one with whom I’ve had a long relationship. The lowly cabbage, the stuff of children’s stories and children’s toys, the butt of many a “bubble-and-squeak” joke, the bad guy (growing up) for many years merely boiled to bulk up . . . → Read More: Paying cabbage its due

Cookie of the Month: Hunting an Irish ‘biscuit’

I can certainly be accused of “procrastibaking” that “practice” of baking when you should (“should”?) be doing something else (I’m also guilty of its flipside — procrastinating on getting baking projects done). But in that same vein, I also fall under the spell of what I call “escape baking” or “esca-baking” (you heard . . . → Read More: Cookie of the Month: Hunting an Irish ‘biscuit’