Pumpkin Pecan Pie
SUMMARY – Two holiday favorites, pumpkin and pecan pie, together in a contrast of flavor and texture. Great sweet balance. This pie will not disappoint either pumpkin or pecan pie purists.

rolled-crustTo be honest, I was a little concerned about this pie. Especially because opinion on a proper pumpkin pie runs strongly in my house.

placed-crustMy mother makes Mrs. Eisenhower’s pumpkin chiffon pie. So did my maternal grandmother, so did my aunt, so does my cousin, so does my second cousin. It’s light, airy and not baked. Mom layers on the whipped cream and it’s the Cadillac of pumpkin pie.

chopped-pecansHowever, the other members of my household strongly believe that baked pumpkin custard pie is proper pumpkin pie. They will not be dissuaded in their opinion (however wrong it happens to be). I feel sorry for them, sad misguided creatures.

pecan-caramel

The first time I had baked pumpkin pie, I was 5 years old, celebrating Thanksgiving in kindergarten. I looked at this dry, flat, over-baked slice of something vaguely pumpkin tasting, without the proper enveloping blanket of whipped cream, and declared that this wasn’t pumpkin pie. And discovered I was a lone voice of reason in a sea of bland pumpkin pie eaters.

pecan-layer

Sadly, out in the world of other people with different family pie traditions, I continue to be the minority voice in what actually constitutes proper pumpkin pie.

cooking-pumpkin

I will make baked pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, since I am the outvoted minority voice. And because, apparently, pumpkin chiffon pie isn’t actually pie at all, To which, I argue, than what precisely is banana cream or chocolate cream pie? The argument continues …

pumpkin-processingAnyway, I usually bake Rose’s Great Pumpkin Pie recipe from the Pie and Pastry Bible. It’s a good compromise, since the pumpkin is super-smooth, and if you chill it long enough and put enough whipped cream on it, the texture is as close as I can get a custard pumpkin pie to the chiffon pumpkin pie. And it is a proper, baked pie. The sacrifices I make *sniff*.

pie-ready-oven

Now add pecan to this already opinionated crew of pie purists. I was afraid it wouldn’t end well.

pie-baked-1

So I brought the pie to my MS support group on Wednesday, Thanksgiving eve and let them have it.

pie-baked-2

They LOVED it. Lori, the facilitator, wanted to eat the whole pie, she enjoyed it so much. I had a piece and it was really, really good.

pie-finished-1

The pumpkin was creamy and smooth, like the pumpkin in the Great Pumpkin Pie. Almost as light as the chiffon pie. The pecan layer was caramel-ly, crunchy and sticky, like a good pecan pie. The combination was balanced and not cloyingly sweet.

pie-finished-2I brought the rest of the pie home. And, surprise! It was a big hit. It seriously didn’t last. I am partially at fault for that. I didn’t even have a chance to take a picture of a slice.

This pie may make it on the Thanksgiving menu next year. And everyone will be thankful.


This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake-along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

Marble in Reverse Bundt Cake from The Cake Bible - the usual mostly yellow with chocolate marble is flipped on its head in this bundt cake. Heat and convection give it great stripes without marbling the batters together.

Marble in Reverse Bundt Cake-blog-header

SUMMARY – the usual mostly yellow with chocolate marble is flipped on its head in this bundt cake. Heat and convection give it great stripes without marbling the batters together.

From My Big Fat Greek Wedding:

Maria Portokalos: It’s a cake! I know! Thank you! Thank you very, very much.
[whispering to Aunt Freida]
Maria Portokalos: There’s a hole in this cake!

melted-chocolate

I think if Mrs. Miller had brought this cake to the Portokalos house, they might have been more impressed! Of course it may have been overshadowed by the roast lamb on a spit, baklava and ouzo.

wet-ingredientsI certainly liked this cake.

dry-ingredients

The batter was smooth and creamy and tasty both with and without the chocolate.

adding-butter

But was messed me up a bit was the layering.

yellow-batter

I wasn’t clever like Marie and put the pan on the scale to measure out the batter.

adding-chocolate

And it took me forever to spread the different batter layers out.

ready-to-assemble

I got nervous because Rose said to be quick. I wasn’t so quick!

first-batter-layer

I ended up with not enough chocolate batter at the top. Or the bottom?

adding-layersThe cake came out great anyway!

last-layer

The layering was really beautiful – I thought I had messed it up. But it worked!

whole-bundt

I brought some to the neighbors and over to the corner store. Everyone was very appreciative.

piece-of-cake

I will make this again. But I will try these in my mini-bundt pans. I’ll just put the batter in pastry bags.

cut-bundt-cake

This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake-along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

Cookie Strudel

Cookie Strudel - a simple, unsweetened dough and a traditional filling pinwheel into small cookies that aren't too sweet, and are crispy, flaky but still tender. Sophisticated and perfect for company.

SUMMARY – a simple, unsweetened dough and a traditional filling pinwheel into small cookies that aren’t too sweet, and are crispy, flaky but still tender. Sophisticated and perfect for company.

mixing-dough

Have you ever seen someone make actual strudel dough? Not on TV but live?

I did when I was in culinary school. We had a guest pastry chef come to school and do a presentation. She was either Austrian or had Austrian parents/grandparents. She used our pastry lab, during our class, to get everything prepped.

dough-ball

It was amazing to watch this lump of dough get stretched out paper thin, filled, rolled and baked.

The taste? It was like nothing I had ever had before or since. Shattering dough, sweet filling, it was so good.

dough-wrapped

I also thought there is no way I am ever going to make strudel dough by hand.

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This cookie is a great reminder of that strudel I had years ago. This dough is a lot easier than stretching dough over a large table without holing it! And you could make this dough without any extra tools.

ready-for-rollingBut it was pretty sticky. Hence the warning to put it in the fridge. And use plastic wrap. It was good to give this some time, so I could stagger the project out over a couple of days and not be overwhelmed.

rolls-ovenI made the dough early yesterday morning before getting ready for work. Then I spent a bunch of extra time looking for my rolling pin sleeve. I literally only used it once. I swear I put it in with some flour. And I couldn’t find the thing. I went through all my flour containers and no dice. I found the pastry cloth that came with it. I do not know where the thing is. So now I have to buy another one. 🙁

logs-bakedI think the only real hard part of this is rolling the dough up into logs for baking. The dough stuck to the plastic wrap and I holed it a little getting it off. But I put that part on the inside of the roll and went ahead.

cookies-slicedThe other thing that worried me was when I took the pan out of the oven to cool, there was melted butter all over the pan. But during cooling I think the logs re-absorbed it, because the pan wasn’t at all wet or greasy this morning when i sliced up the cookies.

slices-1I would seriously make these again. But maybe make a double batch because I have a sneaking suspicion these will disappear fast.

This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake-along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

slices-detail

white chocolate club med bread headerSUMMARY – a soft crumb and crust makes a very light bread. White chocolate chunks lend a subtle sweetness.

dough-started

I need to start with a reminder to myself and anyone else. Don’t leave bread dough in the fridge for a week. Your bread will smell like a brewery when you bake it.

liquid-mixed-together

Why would I leave a batch of bread dough in the fridge? I was sick last week 🙁 Twice!

sprinkled-flour-on-liquid

I haven’t shared this before on this blog. But I have relapsing Multiple Sclerosis. Short version, my symptoms are annoying, not debilitating. Like fatigue, tingling in my hands and feet, nerve pain, minor cognitive issues. So 2 Saturdays ago, my nerve pain started acting up. I can feel the pain shooting through the top of my right leg, and the meds I take don’t touch it. So I was really not feeling better til Sunday evening.

mixing-dough-after-first-riseMonday evening I was (finally!) able to make the dough. I put it in a container and put it in the fridge because it still needed to rise and I couldn’t leave it out overnight.

dough-into-fridgeTuesday at work, I could feel my throat was sore. Around 3 p.m. I was ready to take a nap. And probably had a fever. Came home from work and went to bed. Took 2 days off work.

white-chocolate-layer

I wasn’t able to catch up and actually bake it til Saturday.

When I was baking it, someone in the house asked me if I was boiling wine or something. I still couldn’t really smell, but yeah the bread dough was old.

formed-loaf

It actually baked up OK but I didn’t let it rise in the pan long enough. The crust was still really tender and the crumb was very light. The chocolate chunks (I didn’t chop the pieces I just broke them up) did lend a nice sweetness. Some of the largish pieces broke through the outside dough wrap and carmelized. Still good.

baked-loaf

But the bread tasted weird. Like burnt beer. I ended up tossing half of the loaf.

sliced-bread

So the next time I make this dough, I won’t leave it in the fridge for a week!

closeup-slice

This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake-along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

Fudgy Pudgy Brownie Tart

SUMMARY – a chocolately cookie crust envelops a molten three-chocolate nutty brownie. The cookie crust keeps you from missing the brownie’s crispy edges.

Tart-crust-part1I was so excited about making this tart. The name of it sounds like a nursery rhyme so I made one up:

fudgy pudgy brownie in pie
bake it up and don’t ask why
show the picture all say Yay
and we eat it straight away!

And … that is why I bake and not write children’s books.Tart-crust-part-2

However, my excitement about making this tart was tempered by logistics, timing, and life in general.

I will start with …

Chopped-walnutsDAY 0 – Monday

I had Columbus Day off (YAY!) and planned on starting the tart crust that day. I check the recipe and it calls for cold butter. Check the fridge and there is no cold unsalted butter in there. I know I bought some. Where is it? I check the freezer, and there it is. So I pull a stick of frozen butter out and put it in the fridge.

melted-chocolateI had every intention of starting it later on that day. No dice. Life happened. Onto…

DAY 1 – Tuesday

Yes I went to work. Came home, threw together dinner, and made others clean up the kitchen immediately after dinner so I could start making the tart.

start-batterI got the crust all set and in the fridge. Gotta let it sit a while in the fridge to relax the gluten.

I made the brownie batter and put that in the fridge.

At that point I was tired and wasn’t going to be able to finish it. Went to bed.

add-eggsDAY 2 – Wednesday

On Wednesdays, I make dinner for my parents. I’ve been doing it for over a year now. I started doing it after my Dad had a stroke, and my Mom was overwhelmed with dealing with driving Dad around to all his doctors appointments and rehab.

finish-with-walnutsI put the bowl of brownie batter, the tart crust, my rolling mat, pin, tart pan and other square pan in the car to take with me. I figured I could finish it at the rents.

Everything sat in the cool car while I worked all day. The tart crust dough was a good temperature to roll. I rolled out the dough and draped it over the square pan to form it, and put it in the fridge while I made dinner.

the-crustPork tenderloin with roasted broccoli and spaghetti squash. Since their A1C numbers are back up, Mom is watching their carb intake.

After dinner, I finished assembling the tart and (finally!) got it in the oven. I underbaked it (by mistake because I forgot to bring the book with me but remembered the temperature) but it was fine. Brownies, like pork, can be served less than well done.

rolled-crustI wrapped it up in some foil and a towel and drove home with a warm chocolate tart, teasing me on the ride from Latham to Schenectady.

I brought it in the house and unmolded it. I cut it up and it was pretty oozy. Not a problem at all. What, you are supposed to cool it and then put it in the fridge? That so didn’t happen.

form-crustI brought a few pieces over to the convenient store. Walked in … “I have treats!” One of the girls grabbed a piece, stuffed it in her mouth and said “Oh my god it’s still warm!”

The brownies tart was a hit!

Did I write anything? No.

2015-10-14 18.03.14DAY 3 – Thursday

For her birthday present I brought Mom to the Taste of Home Cooking Show up in Saratoga Thursday evening. It ran super late because they had problems with the audio. No blog post got done.

DAY 4 – Friday

This was seriously the longest week ever, even with a day off. Writing did not happen.

2015-10-14 18.05.11DAY 5 – Saturday

Does anyone else have the problem of being busier on weekends than during a work day? Plus, warm cider donuts from the Riverview Orchard. Nuff said.

DAY 6 – Sunday

cooling-tartUnfortunately there are no pictures of the tart in pieces. Because there is no more tart.

It is still early Sunday morning. Hopefully I planned my time better for the White Chocolate Club Med Bread. I do need to get white chocolate. I better finish this up and get going!

2015-10-14 19.11.57

This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake-along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

banana-chiffon-header

SUMMARY – Super light, moist and full of banana flavor. Great plain too!

My roommate Kathy hates bananas. But she really loved this cake! I was starting to work on this post last night when she had another piece.

“Are there any bananas left?” Kathy asks.

“There’s two left,” I say.

“Great! You can make another one!” she says.

I may have unleashed a new household banana trend.

ingredient-mise-en-place

The first time I made a cake with separated eggs, I was a kid. And it didn’t turn out great. I had some previous baking success and wanted to try something harder. It was a hot mess. Luckily my mom wasn’t mad that I wasted a bunch of eggs, but it scared me off egg whites for a long time.

separated-eggs

Years later, I decided to try another egg white levened cake. It was the Kahlua-Almond Torte with Dark Mocha Glaze from Molly Katzen’s Still Life with Menu cookbook. Its another chiffon cake with ground nuts instead of flour. That cake went a little better!

bananas-wet-ingredientsI do like chiffon cakes a lot. It’s the best of both an angel food cake (the lightness) and a regular butter cake (the moistness and flavor). Angel food cakes are pretty bland unless you put some strawberries or something on top. Then it’s more like a shortcake.

At least with this cake, I only need to figure out what to do with three egg yolks and not 10!

added-yolkswet-ingredients-combineddry-ingredients-mixed

dry-added-wet

 

 

 

 

 

batter-ready-for-whiteswhipped-whites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything came together really nicely, in spite of the fact that I don’t have an extra Kitchenaid bowl (it’s on my Amazon wishlist *hint hint*!)

I learned a trick in baking class that helps with folding in egg whites. And there was a lot of egg whites to fold here.

whites-third-add

You add about a third of the egg whites to the batter first. Just stir them in really good.

folding-in-whites

Then you will have an easier time folding in the rest of the whites.

finished-batter

Works like a charm, even with the huge amount of whites. You don’t lose the loft 😉

batter-in-pan2

Into the pan … takes a lot of room! The cake really expanded. I had to bake it a little longer than the recipe called for. Probably because I used too small of a pan.

pan-overflow1

cooling2

Off to cool. The hole in my pan is a little small and the only thing that fit was a bottle of fish sauce. And trying to fit a bottle top into a little hole, upside down and hot, I punctured the top (or the bottom?) of the cake. I’m glad I had to turn it over.

unmolded2

It’s not the prettiest cake ever. But it smelled really good!

sliced1

Of course the look of it didn’t prevent my roommate Bill and me from having it for breakfast.

cake-for-breakfast

It has egg and banana in it! It’s fine for breakfast! Or a snack. Or dessert.

off-to-work

I was even nice and brought some to work.

I am looking forward to the brownie tart! I showed pictures of it in the cookbook and the drooling commenced.


This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself from your favorite book seller, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

mud-pie-header

SUMMARY – two layers, pecan and chocolate ganache, balance out the sweetness of this pie. Neither is overwhelming, but both are distinct and delicious.

When I was making this pie, I was thinking about a story my friend Lori told last week about the adventures of her Russian tortoise.

russian-tortoise

Lori has a tortoise named Michael that she lets out in her yard to walk around in a semi-natural habitat. One day on one of his outings, Lori gets distracted and Michael disappears. How a tortoise runs away I have no idea. She puts signs up around the neighborhood in search of her tortoise.

crust-ready-for-rolling

Months later she gets a call that someone in the neighborhood found a turtle. She goes to get it, and Michael seems to have gotten bigger. He looks like the same tortoise though, so she brings him home. Mystery solved … so Lori thinks.

2015-09-27 08.58.32

A few more months later, she gets another call that someone completely different had found a turtle. It can’t be Michael because he is home safe. Lori goes out anyway, since she is the official “crazy neighborhood reptile lady” and that’s how she rolls.

2015-09-27 15.38.42

She heads to the other neighbor’s yard, and there is another Michael. This time, the right size. Lori brings Michael II home and puts him in with the bigger Michael.

pecan-layer

Needless to say, she soon found out that the bigger Michael is really a Michelle, because smaller Michael gets amorous with her.

finished-pie

Now, Michael and Michelle have their own, separate, inside homes, and are only allowed out with a strict chaperone. My pie shows Michael on the left, and Michelle’s little tail on the right, after she burrows down to get away from her love-struck housemate.

slice-of-pie

I will call this pie Russian Tortoise Pie from now on, in honor of Michelle and Michael.

I wonder if I will hear another story this week for the Banana Split Chiffon Cake?


This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

honey-cake-header

SUMMARY – a unique combination of flavors ensures that butter isn’t missed. Moist and better the next day when the flavors meld.

alternate loaf and mini bundt pansI have a new fascination for small, shareable baked goods. Like cookies, brownies, cupcakes, small pies and cakes. I think it is for a few reasons. One: small baked treats are more easily shared with the neighbors. Two: portion control. Three: sharing a piece of something larger is offering up leftovers and is therefore not cool. I am also an odd person 😉

I looked at this honey cake recipe, and looked at the picture. It seemed like a big cake and not logistically as shareable. So sorry Rose, but I broke out the loaf pan and the mini bundt cake pan for this one.

This was an easy cake to put together. If I say it’s a pantry cake, does that mean I have too many baking ingredients in the house? I did substitute ground allspice for the ground cloves. I ground cloves for the pepparkakors and my grinder still smells like clove oil. And since I used the mini pans and a glass loaf pan, I skipped the cake pan strips. I also didn’t want to make a separate trip to the market for superfine sugar.

The wet part of thewet ingredients batter was a little off-putting. I wasn’t just the color. I had to stir up the sugar quite a bit. My own fault. It also smelled very unappetizing. Like a hangover hair-of-the-dog-that-bit-you breakfast. Whiskey, coffee, orange juice and eggs. I had a minor flashback to my misspent youth. I also started to worry about the flavor of the rest of the cake!

Adding the dry ingredients helped. The batter looked more like a spice cake. And it did smell better too.

filled-pansAnd it did make a LOT of batter. There was no problem filling up the pans. Looking back, I could have used 2 smaller loaf pans and it would have been fine.

I did have a little spillage from the loaf pan. And the batter popped up over the mini-bundt pan, making a nice crusty base of the cake.

Plus I had to bake the loaf twice as long as the small bundt cakes. The spillage was a minor bonus because it made little batter cookies which I cleaned up (ate to hide the evidence).

mini-bundt-cakesAfter I got the bundts out of the pan, two of them didn’t last 5 minutes. One went to the neighbor, still hot. The other went into the mouth of the cook. The cake was still warm. It was yummy and tasted nothing like a bad breakfast. My worries were laid to rest. The flavors weren’t as pronounced on day one.

The next day, the cake was even better. The flavors bloomed and I tasted the whiskey essence. It was still moist and I didn’t miss the butter.

mini-bundts-cooling

I brought half the loaf to work along with some fresh raspberries and whipped cream. I was so nice on a Monday morning!

I would make this cake again, but maybe I would use melted butter instead of oil.

loaf-mini-bundtsI’m looking forward to the next project! I probably won’t miniaturize the Mud Turtle Pie. Maybe I’ll just serve it during football on Sunday instead. I will let you know!


This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

Pepparkakor-headerSUMMARY – With warm spices and a surprise ingredient, ground black pepper, this exotic cookie is a tasty, upscale and Scandinavian interpretation of gingersnaps.

Here is another cookie, like the Kourambiethes, that (a) I have never had, and (b) would never think of making. Why would I when my friends and family have their favorites, like chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal or Italian cookies?

But if I get a request for gingersnaps, I will make these instead. They have the spicyness of a good gingersnap, plus the kick of the pepper to make them extra snappy.

I started this project around 9 p.m. Saturday night. Good thing I read the recipe and realized the dough needed an overnight rest in the freezer! Or else I would be baking on Monday and frantically writing about it so I didn’t miss the deadline!

grinding-clovesTo start, I broke out the spice grinder for the pepper and cloves. I didn’t want to stand over a bowl with my battery-operated pepper grinder and wait, and burn out the batteries. And I didn’t have ground cloves, but I had whole cloves for pickle-making.

The kitchen smelled pretty good post-grinding!dry-ingredients

Weighed the dry ingredients out and poured on the ground spices. I used ground ginger from Grenada. One of my coworkers took a cruise down there and brought back a spice box as a gift. The ginger still had some zing to it.

I creamed the butter, sugar and molasses. I added the dry ingredients starting with stirring manually with the paddle. I put it back on, and finished stirring.

The dough came out good, but not exactly the texture of frosting. More like the texture and smell of a molasses cookie.

dough-coolingI used regular molasses, because I still had the jar from the molasses cakelettes when I couldn’t find light molasses.

I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. And then proceeded to pull the cardboard rolls out of the two rolls of paper towels currently in “use” around the house. I wonder how annoyed everyone (including myself) will be when the roll is near the end? I think I’ll make it a surprise. Aren’t I a wonderful roommate?

unstuffed-doughAnyway, after the rest in the fridge I divided up the dough and got ready to wrestle with plastic wrap. My dough, at least, probably because of the darker molasses, reminded me of … well, you will get the idea.

I got over my 4 year old giggling self and started stuffing wrapped dough into the purloined paper towel cardboard. I used the end of my big whisk to squish it in. Which worked. I put the packed rolls in the freezer and went to bed.

sliced-dough Sunday morning, I was up at  6 a.m., bringing my roommate to work. He works at the mart that doesn’t begin with K. AKA Wally-world. And the bus that goes down there doesn’t run on Sundays or holidays. If it’s a Sunday or holiday, there’s a good chance I am up earlier than I am during the week. So it’s a good time to bake!

My slices weren’t the most round slices. I think if I make a sliced dough cookie again, I’ll use the paper towel roll trick. It really worked. Plus I don’t have to buy PVC pipe to do this. I have this aversion to vinyl from my days working at an environmental nonprofit. (Don’t start in about vinyl Aimee!)

I also didn’t grease the pan, because I didn’t want to have burnt sugar crystals from the sugar sprinkles. I used my nonstick “paper”. It is a lot easier to wash than a pan. And the crystals don’t stick to it.

These smelled really good when I opened the oven to spin the pan. Like Christmas at my hypothetical Swedish grandmother’s house.

finished-cookies-cooling

Here they are! The ones I sliced a little thinner were on the overdone side. I ate those to hide the evidence. They were good. I ate one warm. Of course a warm cookie is the best! I ate one cooled. Still good, with just a hint of softness. I ate one or two cooled. Crunchy with a tiny bit of softness. Really good with coffee. I didn’t dip them in the coffee but that would be really good too. Like adult graham crackers and milk.

And a back heat. Not bad! But I am glad I used a mix of black and white peppercorns. I didn’t want to go full-pepper monty on everyone.

Like the description in the recipe says, these would be good with goat cheese. I think they would be even better sandwiching cream cheese and honey.

cookies-plated

I was even inspired to do a real bit of plating for a Pinterest-worthy picture! A little NSFW food porn; don’t share it with your coworkers/family/friends as they may want to try these little spicy cookie gems.

plated-cookies-napkinHoney cake next week. Happy Rosh Hashana!


This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

SUMMARY – three different apple varieties, cider and cream cheese crust made several very luscious apple pies.

4-apple-piesI would have had finished done earlier, but I took a semi-spontaneous trip to Cape Cod this week. Part of the reason it was semi-spontaneous was that I had to finish this project!

I thought that I could finish the post in the motel, and I even downloaded WordPress and Dropbox to my tablet. But the free motel wi-fi was terrible, and I couldn’t get Dropbox to cooperate with WordPress on my tablet. I love it when technology refuses to cooperate. Here it is, a few days late.

mini-pie-makerI made small pies, because we picked up a display model mini-pie maker for $4.00. I don’t normally buy single-use appliances like this, but it was a total deal.

It was also interesting assembling the pies. Homemade crust is not the best crust for the pie maker, since it’s very fragile. You are trying to get the crust into a hot surface, and then patch the holes that you will make!

Break out the premade pie dough for this thing, but if you don’t mind potentially burnt fingers, use the homemade crust. The pies were really good! And very cute.

cooling-apple-piesSo after making these, my roommate and I decided to leave them for the boys, who weren’t going.

We could have packed them and ate them on the road, but we were going to the ocean!

cut-apple-mini-pieWe did split one and ate it for breakfast. It was pretty good. But since the little pies were only cooked for 10 minutes, the apples were a little al dente. I didn’t mind it but it made it a little crisper than normal.

Seagull-beach-cape-codBy the way, if you live in the northeast or New England, the Cape is the place to be after Labor Day. No kids, the water is warm, the shops are still open, and there’s lot of sales.

Since I won’t be sitting on the beach this weekend, hopefully the Pepparkakor won’t be late.


This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.