by Emily Lee in Recipes, August 12th, 2015
by Hedy Goldsmith in Recipes, July 10th, 2015
If you’ve ever been to a holiday party, a cookout or a Thanksgiving feast, chances are you know a pie when you see one. But if you were asked to differentiate a cobbler from a crumble, crisp or brown betty, how do you think you’d fare? True, these pie sub-categories are all very similar in that they’re based on the same two ingredients: fruit and dough. But a few key details distinguish one from the other. If you have a strong preference for a crisp and crumbly topping or one made up of soft biscuits — or perhaps something that falls between the two — then these details matter a whole lot. Broaden your knowledge of classic fruit desserts (and find the one that appeals most to your palate) by following this visual guide featuring top recipes for crumbles, crisps and more.
This old-fashioned fruit dessert is the star of many a picnic spread and features a fruit filling (peach is popular, but nectarines and berries work just as well) baked with a crust — either a solid sheet or biscuits “cobbled” together. Usually the crust is placed over the fruit, but it can also go underneath — or, for true crust lovers, on both top and bottom. For a traditional take on this classic dessert, try the Neelys’ Peach Cobbler (pictured at top).
by Hedy Goldsmith in How-to, Recipes, June 5th, 2015
Throughout our culinary history, people have baked fruit in one form of vessel or another. Lots of versions, many contestants and several commonalities: fresh or frozen fruit; some sort of sugar, whether it’s light brown, dark brown, muscovado sugar or molasses, or even honey. Add butter plus some sort of flour and there you have it.
Start with the most common of all baked desserts, the classic cobbler. Many say the cobbler is simply a pie without the crust. Well, that is partially correct. A true cobbler is topped off with individually dropped biscuits. The biscuits are made with heavy cream, adding a real rich flavor and tenderness to the biscuit. Did you know the baked biscuits on top of the cobblers were said to look similar to the cobblestone streets of Boston or Philadelphia? Philly girl here, don’t forget.
Now for the variations:
by Amanda Rettke in Recipes, May 29th, 2015
I am always up for a challenge. That’s exactly why I chose corn as a focus. Baking with something other than fruit, chocolate or the usual sweet ingredients may be new to some and old hat to others.
Let’s talk about corn. It contains natural sweetener, has a buttery and sometimes creamy texture, and is seasonal and local for many of us, even just picked! Sounds like the perfect dessert ingredient.
My love for bread pudding gave me the perfect starting point. Here is a way to make a simple and totally unique corn flavor. Strip away all the husks and silks (give that job to the kids), and toss the kernels and cobs in cream with sugar, salt and vanilla. Simmer until all the sugar is melted and the corn is tender. Steep for 2 1/2 hours to infuse. Remove the cobs and the vanilla bean. In a blender or using a hand immersion blender, puree at high speed and then strain through a fine-mesh screen. Ta-da! You have just made delicious corn cream. Read more
by Ricky Smith in Shows, May 28th, 2015
If you love monkey bread as much as I do, you are not going to want to miss this delicious from-scratch recipe. Imagine the delight and awe of a birthday boy or girl waking up to this delicious and beautiful treat.
You can make this from-scratch monkey bread in the morning or the night before, but if you are planning on making it the morning, be sure to get up early or plan on having it for brunch. When making bread from scratch there is a proofing period in addition to the baking, and this can add considerable time to the process.
If you read through the recipe, one thing you may have noticed is that I used cinnamon extract (commonly found in most grocery stores) in place of cinnamon. This was purely for aesthetic purposes, as I wanted to create a beautifully light and colorful monkey bread. If you are not opposed to a dark brown confetti bread, feel free to omit the extract and substitute 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, May 28th, 2015
In the new series Cake Wars, premiering Monday, June 29th at 8|7c, four expert bakers aim to win their jaw-dropping cake a spot at a major party or special event. With Jonathan Bennett hosting, each of the bakers will bake one-of-a-kind creations with the hopes of impressing well-known pastry chef Ron Ben-Israel, Fonuts co-owner Waylynn Lucas and some very special guest judges. Each week, only one contestant will take the cake to headline the main event, and take home the sweet grand prize of $10,000.
by Maria Russo in Shows, May 9th, 2015
Cookie lovers, rejoice! Mindy Segal’s new cookbook, Cookie Love, is here to fill your life and your kitchen with crunchy, chewy, salty-sweet four-bite treats. Whether you’re craving the crispy, caramelized goodness of Oatmeal Scotchies or the deep chocolate and sweet minty notes of the Black Sabbath sandwich cookies, you’ll find your new favorite cookie bite in the pages of this book. The variety of cookies you’ll find in Cookie Love runs the gamut from classic drop cookies with bold flavors all the way to sweet and salty bar cookies (like the Honey Walnut Bars, which you can make home with the recipe below) and back again. Meringues? It has them. Rugelach? You’re set. Spritz cookies? Look no further. Segal has you covered with fun, innovative flavors and textures no matter what kind of cookie you’re looking to make.
When it comes to baking, it’s no secret that getting it right is all in the details. According to Segal, these are the top three reasons many home cooks struggle with cookie baking. Learn from these notes:
1. They do not read the recipe through and follow the writer’s techniques.
2. They do not use correct room-temperature ingredients.
3. They think they can alter the recipe before they have even made it.
by Hedy Goldsmith in How-to, Recipes, April 15th, 2015
This morning’s brand-new episode of The Kitchen was all about moms. From brunch-ready recipes like baked eggs to pretty, edible gift ideas, the Mother’s Day celebrations were in full effect, especially when it came time to make a treat Mom’s likely known for: the chocolate chip cookie. Katie Lee’s go-to cookie (pictured above) featured brown sugar, which promises a chewy bite. As the cast explained in their go-to guide to chocolate chippers, if you were to leave out the brown sugar, the end result would be a bit crispier.
FN Dish wants to know what the ultimate chocolate chip cookie looks — and tastes — like to you. Do you prefer it a dark-golden color with a crispy, crunchy texture, or do you prefer the cookie with a soft, chewy center? Let us know by voting in the poll below.
by Sara Levine in Holidays, Recipes, April 1st, 2015
Leaving a trail of crumbs helps you find your way.
I joked as a kid that I would need to leave a trail of crumbs into the kitchen so my mom could find her way. She would swear she couldn’t find it. After all, she wanted to turn our kitchen into a library. No one in my family baked. We all had a passion for sweets. The only sweet things baked in my house were brownies from my Easy-Bake Oven. I had zero kitchen training.
My first real attempt at baking started with a classic coffee cake. Read more
by Hedy Goldsmith in How-to, Recipes, March 25th, 2015
Sorry, Francophiles, but in the macaron vs. macaroon debate, I must admit that I prefer the two-O variety. We’re talking the dense coconut kind that will be served at Passover Seders across the country this Friday night. The delicate, jewel-boxed French sandwich cookies (one O) are pretty and all, but for me, the rugged, toasty coconut ones are the stuff of nostalgia. Inexplicably, my grandmother, who was an excellent baker, used to serve the bite-sized macaroons that came in Manischewitz cans. Who knows how many years they’d been in her pantry, but I loved them.
Today, there are few cookies I love more than a well-made macaroon, so it’s just a plus that they’re a Passover-friendly dessert. I devoured an amazing one recently at RareSweets, a charming bakery that opened in Washington, D.C., last fall. Caramelized and crunchy on the outside, moist and chewy within and not too sweet, it was exactly what I want in a macaroon, or any cookie, for that matter. Lucky for us, the bakery’s pastry chef and owner, Meredith Tomason, shared the recipe with FN Dish. She incorporates many family recipes into her menu, and says this one was a staple at various holidays throughout the years.
Pastries cut into bar-shaped pieces never really go out of style. When one food magazine writes a story about bars, every other food magazine fires back with its own take on these simple-yet-delicious bites of happiness. With a handful of recipes for crusts and toppings, you can easily make bar cookies completely interchangeable.
If you find a crust that you like, let’s say a shortbread crust, play around with the topping. Perhaps make a pecan, Key lime or lemon filling, or even a fudgy brownie bar, with an oatmeal brown butter crust.