Baking Up A Storm


So since I've been a SAHM, I've been baking a lot. I've always been a baker, but I'm trying to up my game a little bit and move into new terrain recently, and I've come across a few recipes that I love (as do my favorite folks to bake for, Mark's lab). Since I know I have some bakers reading, I thought I'd share some I'm particularly liking:

1. Dessert Bible/Christopher Kimball Blondies

I've never liked blondies before, but I love these. They are so rich and buttery and good. I can't find the recipe online, but this how you do it:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablesepoons (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (I replace this with chunked up dark chocolate)
3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and put the rack in the center position. Butter a 9X13 pan and line it with parchment, or use baking spray.

2. Whisk or sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. Beat the butter in an electric mixer for a minute or so, then add the sugar and beat for 3 or so more minutes, until it's light and fluffy.

4. Add the egg one at a time, mixing after each.

5. Beat in the vanilla.

6. Add the flour mixture and beat on the lowest speed until almost completely mixed.

7. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and mix on low or fold with a spatula until incorporated.

8. Spread the batter in the pan.

9. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is shiny and cracked and feels firm.

10. Cool on rack. Cool completely before cutting.

2. Smitten Kitchen/Grammercy Tavern Gingerbread

I probably made this a half dozen times in December--it's that good. One note I'd add is not to try to make it in a tube pan; the bundt pan really is a necessity.

3. Levain Bakery Ginger Valrhona Cookies

I've been making these for a couple of years, and they're always really popular. I don't make them quite as large or quite as raw as the recipe indicates, and generally use Trader Joe's chocolate rather than Valrhona, but otherwise follow it pretty faithfully. 

4. Nutella Brownies

I love Nutella. I love brownies. And I love these brownies. I'm generally a <gasp!> box brownies girl (Ghiradelli FTW!), but these are worth doing it from scratch.

5. Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

This is another one I've been making for a couple of years, and it's just amazing. I double the topping to make sure mine are extra sticky and caramel-y. These are great to make and freeze unbaked, too--then you can thaw/rise overnight and bake them fresh for breakfast!

I have a Pinterest board full of other recipes I want to try. How about you? Baked anything great lately?

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The basic artisan bread in five minutes a day -- LOVE. I also make their granola recipe. My daughter eats that nearly every morning. So healthy, so much cheaper, so goooood.

I've been making these "healthy" chocolate chip cookies a lot.

Mark bittman's brownie recipe is another that is totally worth doing from is delicious! And lately I've been digging this pumpkin bread.

As a side note, you might consider not providing the full recipe for the blondies. If it's not online, that is likely by design, and you know, intellectual property and all that. .

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