Tag: Baking

Sweet and Savory Trend: Monkey Bread

by in Recipes, November 19th, 2013

Overnight Monkey BreadLast week we noticed how much Food Network fans loved our monkey bread post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. So to keep this delicious shareable treat trending, we rounded up three more monkey bread recipes for you to snack on, starting with Alton’s Overnight Monkey Bread. Alton makes his buttermilk yeast dough from scratch and slathers it with a buttery brown sugar mixture that’s flecked with rosemary and raisins. Prep this sweet and savory stunner the night before a big holiday brunch and you’ll have a stress-free and satisfying pastry ready in no time the next morning.

Sticky Monkey Bread: Food Network Magazine’s recipe boasts a thick homemade caramel sauce that oozes between each ball of dough. Spiked with dark rum, the caramel sauce forms a crackly outer crust and mingles perfectly with a layer of toasted nuts.

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How to Make Candy Corn Hi-Hat Cupcakes for Halloween

by in Holidays, October 15th, 2013

Candy Corn Hi-Hat CupcakesHi-hat cupcakes are one of the most beautiful and decadent ways to enjoy a cupcake; while they can seem intimidating, they are actually very easy to make.

I am a big fan of surprise-inside treats and my cupcakes are no exception. These hat cupcakes hide a sweet fall-inspired surprise that replicates the colors of candy corn.

Find out what you’ll need to make these cupcakes

Switch Your Nutmeg

by in Food Network Magazine, October 1st, 2013

nutmeg
Ground spices lose flavor after about six months, but you probably won’t use a full jar of nutmeg that quickly. Buy whole nutmeg instead (it stays potent for two years) and grate just the amount you need each time. Use a fine grater and add the nutmeg sparingly — it will taste stronger than the pre-grated kind.

Pre-Crack Your Eggs

by in Food Network Magazine, September 24th, 2013

cracked egg

When frying eggs, crack them one at a time into a cup or small bowl — not directly into the pan. If the yolk breaks, you can save that egg for another dish. We pre-crack eggs for cookies and cakes, too, so we can pick out any bits of shell before they end up in the batter.

Summer Fruit Pie and Tart Recipes — The Only Reason to Turn on Your Oven This Season

by in Recipes, July 29th, 2013

Fruit CrostataThere aren’t many reasons to turn on the oven during summer, especially in the middle of a heat wave. But if there ever was a reason, it would be to bake a seasonal fruit pie or tart. Summer is the time to bake with beautiful fruits like blueberries, raspberries, peaches, cherries, strawberries, plums and more because that’s when these fruits are in their prime.

FN Dish has put together a great selection of 10 pie and tart recipes to bake this summer, along with tips for making the best pie yet. If you can take the heat for a couple of hours (with the a/c turned on high), then make one of these amazing pies.

Get the Recipes and the Most Important Things to Know About Pie

Easy As Pie — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in How-to, July 23rd, 2013

Easy As PieSome of my must-have travel items include three types of flour, two types of sugar and a collection of ground spices. Not your average vacation packing list, I know, but essential for me when hunkering down at the beach for two weeks. As my Instagram feed filled with photos of sugo, breakfast bread puddings and homemade pies, someone commented “don’t forget you’re on vacation.” But here’s the catch: I love cooking, and it never feels like a chore or something I want to take an extended break from doing.

My life as a recipe developer is driven by two goals. First and foremost is flavor, but a close second is creating recipes with easy techniques, so that people can see just how enjoyable cooking can be. Vacation inspires a lot of creativity in the kitchen, too. I found myself surrounded with super-sweet berries out on the North Fork of Long Island, and suddenly my mind was filled with thoughts of homemade pie. My go-to recipe is made using a food processor, as well as cornmeal and vinegar — three things I didn’t have at the house I was renting. Necessity being the mother of invention, I gave some more thought to my original recipe.

Keep reading for the recipe

Mardi Gras Hi-Hat Cupcakes for the Entire Family

by in Holidays, February 9th, 2013

Mardi Gras Hi-Hat CupcakesThere is something so appealing about a hi-hat cupcake. It brings me back to childhood summers when we would sit outside the ice cream shop and desperately try to lick up the ice cream as it melted down our arms. Cherry-dip was always my favorite, but I was always outnumbered by the chocolate lovers.

With Mardi Gras around the corner, I thought I’d bake up something the whole family can enjoy. New Orleans is known for many institutional cocktails, but these sweets will allow the little ones to participate in the fun too. You can’t go wrong with a delectable yellow cupcake covered in sweet clouds of frosting and gently dipped in chocolate. That first bite is transcendent, the second so satisfying.

Get the recipe

Salted vs. Unsalted Butter and Self-Rising Flours — Your Baking Questions Answered (Part 1)

by in How-to, January 15th, 2013

Baking 101Home bakers often ask, “Why can’t I use salted butter in a recipe that calls for unsalted butter, especially when salt is listed as a separate ingredient?” Right? I totally get the question. Why wouldn’t you just use salted butter and call it a day?

First, let me say that I never use salted butter. Not to bake with, on my toast in the morning or for any recipe that calls for butter.

Call me a control freak; however, the reason is that the salt added to salted butter varies depending on the brand you buy. All salted butters are not created equal. So why take your chances when baking? Just buy unsalted butter and start with a clean slate.

This leads me to the next most-asked question:

“Why can’t I use self-rising flour for all baking?” I totally comprehend this question too. It sure would eliminate buying a variety of flours, right?

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Baking Ahead to 2013

by in How-to, January 1st, 2013

Red Velvet TwinkiesThis has been a magical year for me. I wrote my first cookbook, Baking Out Loud, received a James Beard award nomination for Outstanding Pastry Chef, created seasonal recipes for the Cooking Channel, was featured on Season 3 of Unique Sweets, appeared on the TODAY show and most importantly, experienced having the love and support of so many people I’ve met along the way.

Some of my favorite FN Dish blog posts of 2012 included Baking in Jars and Food Tastes Better on a Stick. Both of these articles were inspired by my real-life job as Executive Pastry Chef for Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami. The restaurant is always busy, so necessity has been the mother of invention; and putting pies in jars allowed me to be creative and eliminate storage issues, while dessert on sticks helps keep people on the go.

With all of that said, here are some things I’m most excited about for 2013:

• Baking with olive oil
• Pickling fruits
• Smoking honeys, nuts and flours
• Continuing to develop portable baked goods

Learn how to make a cake-in-a-box

Baking for a Claus: A Tribute to Childhood

by in Holidays, December 23rd, 2012

Christmas CookiesFall has finally given way to winter. Driveways are being shoveled, snow tires are mounted onto cars and steaming mugs of hot chocolate warm our souls. I, however, sit on a snowy-white beach contemplating what to bake for Santa’s annual visit, a tradition my mom started when I was very young.

Fast-forward to today: As one who works with flour, sugar and eggs, I bring joy year-round (to the many sweet tooths out there), but never a more important time than at holidays. This time of year, I bake for a “claus.”

I like to deliver tasty treats to my local police and fire stations as my way of saying thank you for saving lives. All of this leads me to sharing some of my fun holiday traditions. Some are past favorites, some are newer ideas soon to become classics.

Cookies left on a plate for Santa maybe very traditional, but who says it has to be boring? Invite the neighbors, family and friends over for a decorating party.

Find out how I set up my decorating party