Tag: Baking

Bakers’ Dozens: Perfect Crumb Cake

by in How-to, Recipes, April 15th, 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

Next-Level Macaroons for Passover

by in Holidays, Recipes, April 1st, 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.

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Bakers’ Dozens: Raising the Bar

by in How-to, Recipes, March 25th, 2015

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.

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Bake Your Heart Out for a Sweet Cause

by in Events, March 24th, 2015

Bake Sale for No Kid HungryIf fans’ support for Kids Baking Championship, Duff Till Dawn and Holiday Baking Championship are any indication, many a Food Network viewer has a sweet tooth. This spring, Share Our Strength is giving fans the opportunity to bake their hearts out for a worthy cause: their annual Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry. Now in its 13th year, this annual nationwide fundraiser has raised more than $10 million to help end childhood hunger in America, and so far more than 1.4 million people from coast to coast have participated in selling their sweetest treats.

This year’s challenge weekend is from April 17 through 19, and while bakers are encouraged to host their sales on those days in an effort to blanket the country in bake sales all at once, they can be held anywhere at any time. As you look ahead to spring, consider setting up shop with your most-decadent desserts for sale outside a supermarket, at your local town’s festival, or at your school or workplace. Each baker who raises at least $1,000 will be inducted into the Bake Sale Rock Star Club.

For more details and to sign up to host a bake sale, visit here.

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Fluffy and Sweet: The Best-Ever Buttercream Frostings

by in Recipes, March 18th, 2015

Buttercream FrostingsSure, cakes without frostings exist, but it’s that sweet, fluffy topping that takes the everyday dessert to the next indulgent level. If fondant is the fanciest option and glaze is the most-basic, buttercream is in the sweet spot of the frosting world: a go-to, multipurpose smear that’s ideal atop any treat and easy to prepare with ingredients you already have on hand.

There are just two key elements to a buttercream: butter and sugar. Beyond that, you can dress up the mixture with vanilla extract, chopped chocolate or your favorite colors for special occasions. Read on below to get Food Network’s recipes for the best-ever buttercreams — both chocolate and vanilla — and learn how to recreate top bakery tastes in your own kitchen.

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The Best It’s-Almost-Spring-Let’s-Celebrate-with-Cake Recipes

by in Recipes, March 13th, 2015

Strawberry Poke CakeWe’ve nearly made it to spring, and after the treacherous winter seen from coast to coast this year, it’s about time to celebrate with a piece — or two? — of cake. While springtime cakes surely are indulgent, they’re not heavy like the meaty chilis and casseroles of winter, and each is packed with refreshing colors and flavors. Go ahead, treat yourself to a weekend of dessert decadence with these best-ever takes on cake from Ina Garten, The Pioneer Woman and more of your favorite Food Network chefs.

Strawberry Poke Cake — True to its name, this buttermilk-laced cake (pictured above) boasts plenty of poked holes in the top so the ruby-red strawberry gelatin can gently seep into it. After chilling the cake in the refrigerator, “let it sit out to warm up a bit while you whip the cream for the topping,” explain the chefs in our Food Network Kitchen.

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Bakers’ Dozens: Into the Deep … Freeze

by in How-to, Recipes, February 27th, 2015

Have you ever given any thought to taking your desserts into another zone? The below-32-degrees zone?

Almost nothing is off-limits when I bake. I let my mind go in many places and see where it lands. Often, it’s in the freezer.

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Frost by Numbers — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 22nd, 2015

Frost by Numbers: How to Make Frosting ColorsSo, you’ve baked the cake and now it’s time to frost it. While you could opt for the traditional white or chocolate variety, a special occasion — or, perhaps, just a chilly snow day — calls for a pop of color. That’s where this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week comes in.

Thanks to Food Network Magazine’s handy guide to DIY frosting colors, it’s now possible to tint your topping with more than just the usual red, yellow, green and blue dyes. Follow the easy system to know just how many drops of coloring it takes to turn out an entire rainbow of frosting colors, including Orange Soda (bright orange), Bubble Gum (hot pink) and Grasshopper Pie (a cool mint green).

For more baking inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake board on Pinterest.

Get the Details: Frost by Numbers: How to Make Frosting Colors from Food Network Magazine

Cream Cheese Frosting — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 1st, 2015

Cream Cheese FrostingWhen you’re building your recipe repertoire, it’s best to look for the tried-and-true how-tos that you know are going to work well, those culinary workhorses that are easy to prepare and serve more than one purpose. That’s what this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is all about. For a go-to frosting recipe you’ll want to have in your back pocket, look no further than Food Network Kitchen’s quick-fix Cream Cheese Frosting (pictured above). It is made with only a few basic ingredients, turns out soft and fluffy every time, and shines atop cakes and cupcakes.

For more sweet ideas, visit Food Network’s Let’s Bake board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon-Lime Pound Cake — The Weekender

by in Recipes, January 29th, 2015

Lemon-Lime Pound CakeThis time of the year, when the days are short and bone-chillingly cold, I turn to citrus to help brighten my mood. I bring home clementines by the bagful, order boxes of sweet-tart Meyer lemons direct from California and peel myself at least one red grapefruit every afternoon as a snack.

Most of the time, my citrus consumption feels spare and virtuous, but occasionally I put a few lemons and limes to work in a less austere manner. I have a small, dense lemon loaf recipe that I adore. Lemon curd happens at least once a season in my kitchen. And this year, I’m having a hard time keeping myself away from Ree Drummond’s Lemon-Lime Pound Cake.

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