Tag: Baking

Confetti Monkey Bread, Because Everything Is Better with Sprinkles

by in Recipes, May 29th, 2015

Confetti Monkey BreadIf 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.

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May the Best Cake Win: Bakers to Battle for $10,000 in a New Series

by in Shows, 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.

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3 Common Baking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, Plus the Only Cookie Guide You Need

by in Books, May 28th, 2015

Honey Walnut BarsCookie 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.

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Chewy vs. Crispy: How Do You Like Your Chocolate Chip Cookies?

by in Shows, May 9th, 2015

Chocolate Chip CookiesThis 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.

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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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