Monthly Archives: May 2011

GF Ratio Rally: Cracked Pepper & Cheese Gougères





If you think that the custard filled, chocolate topped cream puff is the ultimate pâte à choux, then you need a taste of the savory stinky cheese cousin, the gougère,

Ridiculously easy and savory – they can be created in minutes.  If you spot someone coming up the driveway you can almost have them baking in the oven when they ring the doorbell.  Ok. Kidding, but only a little bit. Continue reading

A Cake Tin With Heart: One More Time


birthdayheartcake
three generations of heart and cake


For every family birthday as far back as photographic proof goes, a heart shaped cake was front and center for the celebration.  My mother was a superb baker of many things but cake was not one of them.  She never did master the art of a fluffy crumb.

The batter was beaten until it was standing on its own. Baked at the right temperature and time, it still came out raw in some spots and little chewy in others. Continue reading

Crunchy Carrot Cookies for the Pups



Now?


really? not yet? really?


Lulu and Phoebe would sample their way through the  Farmer’s Market if they could successfully disguise themselves in couture and sunglasses while carrying little market baskets – but sadly, those missing opposable thumbs get them in trouble every time.

Next to croissants (in Paris) and very stinky cheese, Lulu and Phoebe love cookies, vegetables and fruit.  In Paris, 3PM was their favorite time of day for a walk – the sidewalk buffet (as we affectionately named it) called to them.  Parisians had no problem dropping food everywhere during their harried day and the men in green (another story) had not yet showed up to clean the streets.  Our cobblestone Rue behind Lafayette Gourmet had the best smörgåsbord and that is where they learned to especially love all things market fresh and slightly bruised – fruit, veggies, and steamed stinky cheeses.

Continue reading

Canteen Almond Mandelbrot, GF/DF






My introduction to baking began as a toddler when I was scooting around on the floor in my mother’s kitchen.  She usually wore cherry red shoes that were always dusted with flour.   I followed those shoes around the room, and like any savvy small fry, knew where the good crumbs landed when she was baking.

As I grew (read: ridiculously tall child) and could reach the counter, she began to teach me how she baked.  There were no real recipes, just a tutorial handed down from her grandmother, to her mother, to her and then to me. Continue reading

Baking Wrecks: Where’s the Fig?



Today’s baking wreck is brought to you by the Fig.

Fig Newton Newman, actually.

Since the Ginger-O reproduction was successful, I thought it might be time to conquer the Newman Fig Newton (say that 5 times really fast).

Studying various recipes, it was hard to find one single method that seemed just right.  So I went back to one of my old books, Maida Heatter’s Cookies.  The recipe seemed like it ought to convert to GF, but there was that big stumbling block again – volume measures.  I couldn’t really find any source that gave the flour measurement in grams or ounces. Continue reading

Lemon Snickerfools, GF




I ate my first Snickerdoodle when I was a small kid.   It was missing something – probably, chocolate.  And all these years later I still think Snickerdoodles are boring and I still don’t like them much.

The cream of tartar flavor is like eating tooth filling material.  And cinnamon/sugar belongs on toast, I think.  But yet I’ve always been attracted to them for some unexplainable reason.  I really want to like them. Continue reading

Baby Fruit Tarts, GF



One autumn day about two centuries ago, our family gathered in one of those picturesque New England towns for a sibling/cousins weekend.  My job was to bring homemade apple pies.  The pies were made with apples that we’d picked the weekend before.  They were large pies, apples piled up high and perfumed  with cinnamon and nutmeg.  The crusts were golden brown and flaky – the kind of crust that loves vanilla ice cream on the side.  I’m drooling slightly thinking of that memory.

We had yet to venture into GF pie making which is a whole other world.  But when we did, sometimes GF pies rocked and other times they were slightly off and never as good as the old days.  The fillings were always tasty, but the crust was either like dust or more chewy than jerky. Continue reading