Bites from other Blogs

  • Although panettone is a traditional Christmas dessert and we’re a bit past it at the moment, that doesn’t mean that you have to wait until next Christmas to enjoy one. Andrea’s Recipes has a recipe for Slow Rise Panettone that can be enjoyed all year long. The bread is time consuming and takes about 24 hours to make. Fortunately, most of the time is inactive. The finished bread is cake-like and tender, high-rising and loaded with plump, juicy raisins that have been soaked in just a bit of rum.
  • Coffee and Vanilla‘s Chocolate Peanut Butter Triple Layer Cake with Pistachios and Hint of Orange. The cake is a tall, impressive looking layer cake that starts with chocolate cake rounds that have just a hint of orange to them. The cake is layered with peanut butter and cream cheese frosting, then covered with chopped pistachios. The green pistachios really make this cake look unusual and unique, but they serve to add some contrast to the very creamy and sweet frosting. This looks like a good candidate for a plain cream cheese frosting, too.
  • Gingerbread should be dark and spicy, with lots of flavor. It should not just be a bread or cake that has a bit of ground ginger added to it. In fact, it should really be something like the Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread that Smitten Kitchen made recently. The bundt cake is “dark and sticky and chewy and heavy and spicy,” packed with molasses, dark beer, spices and brown sugar. It also tastes better the longer you keep it around and allow the flavors to develop.
  • Galettes Bretonnes are simple, but distinctive, French cookies (from Brittany, actually) that are somewhere between a butter cookie and shortbread in flavor and texture. As Just Hungry points out, their defining characteristic is that they feature the salted butter that the area is famous for. The butter is flecked with fairly large pieces of sea salt, which contribute to this little cookie’s salty-sweet finish.
  • A cute hand-sized meat pie – pastry filled with an almost stew-like meat mixture – makes a great snack or lunch any time (especially with ketchup or chili sauce as far as I’m concerned). The grown-up version of a meat pie is a Tourtièrre. Seriously Good‘s version of this dish was baked for Christmas dinner – and was like an entire holiday meal baked into one pastry. The filling used beef, pork, potatoes, onions and lots of seasoning, as well as some beef broth and an egg to hold everything together inside the rich, tender pastry. Puff pasty or pie pastry can both work, but the texture of this crust will fall somewhere between the two.
  • When I was a kid, I always went for either the old-fashioned cake donuts or the raised donuts that had been rolled in sugar. Raised donuts, when they’re at their best, have a very slightly crisp outside and an impossibly light, tender inside. Erin Cooks (along with her mom) made some Raised Doughnuts that look like they could complete head on with any donut shop’s recipe. They are light and fluffy, and the dough can be made either by hand or in a bread machine. A donut cutter will give you the best finished shape, but all you really need are two round cookie cutters to get the job done.

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