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Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Hump Day Snack: The Cherpumple

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

Is your overachieving cousin always trying to out-bake you at the Thanksgiving dessert table? If yes, or if you just want to knock your family’s socks off for your own satisfaction, try a cherpumple on for size. The moniker stems from the ingredients housed inside this sweet behemoth, specifically cherry, pumpkin and apple pies which are each baked into their own cake layer. In other words, it’s the over-stuffed dessert version of a turducken. While admittedly insane, it’s also a rather genius creation for bringing to the biggest feast of the year, and it’s fairly simple to assemble if you use pre-made pies and cake mix.

The three layers usually follow this pattern: a base of cherry pie baked inside chocolate cake, pumpkin pie baked inside spice cake and apple pie baked inside yellow (or white) cake — which is all finally smothered in vanilla frosting. Just be aware that you may require a dolly to wheel this bad boy to the table, as cherpumples are known to weigh between ten and twenty pounds depending on how large the layers are. Get the full instructions for building this sugary stacked monstrosity, and if you’re feeling extra ambitious, bake each layer from scratch with Cooking Channel’s best cherpumple-appropriate recipes:

Cookbook Giveaway: Tate’s Bake Shop

Tate's Peanut Butter Cookies

Tate's Bake Shop CoverMy husband isn’t a sweets person – and it drives me crazy. An admitted chocoholic, I usually avoid keeping cookies and desserts around our apartment because, inevitably, I’m the only one who eats them (all). There are a few exceptions, thankfully, and one of them is cookies from Tate’s Bake Shop. Ever since we were introduced to the bakery on a trip out to visit friends in the Hamptons, he can’t get enough. They’re crispy, crunchy, slightly salty and irresistible.

Fortunately, you don’t need to have a place in Southampton (or nice friends out there) to enjoy Tate’s goodies. The familiar green-and-white packages are sold in gourmet stores, and Tate’s Bake Shop has finally revealed some of baker Kathleen King’s secrets in a new cookbook. Now I can bake cookies I know I won’t have to devour all by myself. Thank you, Kathleen!

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Cookbook Giveaway: The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

Lemon Pie Bars make great take-along treats for all summer get-togethers. Photograph by Squire Fox

My reputation as a baker was on the line a few weeks ago at our office cupcake bake-off. As I was searching and scrambling for a recipe, the cute-as-a-button The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Best Little Bakery in the South caught my eye. A few days later I baked pretty pink Strawberry Cupcakes from the cookbook for the competition – they didn’t win, but they were fantastic (if I do say so myself). In fact, all the recipes in The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook are fresh, homey takes on classics, and I can’t wait to bake more beautiful sweets from this cookbook.

Cheryl and Griffith Day, pictured on the cover, founded the Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah in 2002. They’re both self-taught bakers, with Cheryl baking the sweets and Griffith taking on breads and the bakery’s savory fare. The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook includes all their customers’ favorites, including breakfast treats, quick breads, pies, puddings and cookies, all made with fresh, local ingredients and a good bit of Southern charm.

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A Sweet Cookbook Giveaway: One Girl Cookies

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

The magic of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is the sweet, caramelized fruit on top. One Girl Cookies takes the classic recipe up a notch or two with fresh pineapple and a sprinkle of sea salt.

One Girl Cookies

The story of One Girl Cookies bakery reads like a sweet, modern-day fairy tale. A passionate home baker, Dawn Casale (the one girl), decided to follow her dreams and spread joy with magical mixtures of sugar, flour and butter. She hired a professional baker to help out and, as fortune would have it, they fell in love. As they planned their wedding, they also planned the opening of their little bakery on a quaint street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Now they’re known for their cute cookies, amazing whoopie pies and moist cakes. And with their new cookbook, One Girl Cookies, you don’t have to travel to Brooklyn to taste the happy results of this love story. Dawn Casale and David Crofton are sharing their treasured recipes with home bakers everywhere.

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Shortcut: Milk Bar Cookie Mixes

When I got my hands on a copy of the gorgeous Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook a few months ago, I wanted to dive in right away and bake some of my favorite cookies from the original East Village shop. But I’ll admit: I was intimidated by a few of the ingredients and the multiple components involved, so I never got around to it.

Fortunately for me and my fellow lazy bakers, there’s now an easier way to get Milk Bar goodness at home. Boxed mixes for some of pastry chef Christina Tosi’s most popular cookies recently hit the shelves at Williams-Sonoma.

“I started baking with cookie and cake mixes, before I branched out into making my own recipes, so having a line of cookie mixes has always been near and dear to my start as a home baker,” explains Christina. It took “months and months” of testing to get the mixes just right, and as a result, the Compost cookies I made at home tasted pretty spot-on. Williams-Sonoma is also stocking Blueberry & Cream and Corn cookie mixes, which a couple of my fellow Cooking Channel colleagues tested out.

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Spiced Cookies From Michelle Branch

Gear up for holiday baking with Cooking Channel. Your favorite celebrities, chefs & Food People have opened their kitchens to share their best cookie recipes. From Cookie Monster’s sugar cookies to Kelsey’s Peppermint Meltaways, we’ll keep you baking all season. Visit our All-Star Cookie Swap, then head over to FoodNetwork.com for great takes on holiday baking from Food Network chefs.

I still know all of the lyrics from Michelle Branch‘s “Everywhere” from her 2001 platinum selling album, The Spirit Room. She followed up that release with her 2003 album, Hotel Paper. When she and Nashville singer/songwriter Jessica Harp decided to part ways after forming the country music duo The Wreckers, Michelle released a personal EP, Everything Comes and Goes, in August 2010.

While she’s currently in the studio in Los Angeles working on an album, I suspect she’s also finding time to make her delicious Spiced Mexican Wedding Cookies.

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Craving: Holiday Cookies

Christmas Cookie Recipes on Cooking Channel
Gear up for holiday baking with Cooking Channel. Your favorite celebrities, chefs & Food People have opened their kitchens to share their best cookie recipes. From Cookie Monster’s sugar cookies to Kelsey’s Peppermint Meltaways, we’ll keep you baking all season. Visit our All-Star Cookie Swap, then head over to FoodNetwork.com for great takes on holiday baking from Food Network chefs.

I have to admit, I have quite the sweet tooth. And while Thanksgiving had plenty of pies and other fall desserts, it’s Christmas cookies I’ve been craving since early November.

And from your favorite Cooking Channel chefs’ recipes to the sweet treats of all-star celebrities, Cooking Channel has the holiday cookie recipes to keep you baking all season long. Here are the ones I’m adding to my December baking agenda (and you should, too):

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Cookbook Giveaway: Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe

From-scratch Banana Pudding is a simple, classic Southern dessert. Photographs by Karen Mordechai.


You don’t have to be a Southerner to appreciate the iconic desserts served up at the Nashville landmark, The Loveless Cafe, and highlighted in the new cookbook, Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe. The café opened in 1951 and became popular for fried chicken and biscuits, but in 2004 it was expanded and reopened with a dessert menu developed by the cafe’s new pastry chef, Culinary Institute of America graduate Alisa Huntsman. These are nostalgic, classic desserts like pies, puddings, cakes and cobblers – simple, easy and elegant, just like Mama (or someone’s “mama”) used to make.

This is the cookbook of my dreams: Every recipe looks beautiful and delicious, yet simple enough to throw together on a weeknight or on short notice. You can give a few sample recipes a spin with these Southern crowd-pleasers:

  • Loveless Banana Pudding – The base of this Southern classic is a simple from-scratch vanilla pudding that comes together in only 15 minutes.
  • Red Velvet Cake – A good amount of cocoa powder gives this cake a distinct chocolate flavor, but the festive red color makes it the perfect cake for holiday celebrations.

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Ace of Cakes Takes on Harry Potter Movie Premiere

Ace of Cakes

When Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows premiered last night, there was plenty of magic in the air. But most impressive of all may have been the wizardry behind the Ace of Cakes crew’s latest intricate concoction.

Chef Duff Goldman and his Charm City Cakes gang crafted a half-battered, wholly amazing replica of Hogwartz for the premiere, replete with lighting effects and all.

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How to Write on a Cake Like a Pro

How to Write Happy Birthday on a Cake

Happy Birthday, Cooking Channel!

For many happy occasions you’ll want to write a special sentiment on a cake. The problem is not what to say, but how to make it both legible and gorgeous. Everyone has had a good chuckle over the cakes on Cake Wrecks, but we want to avoid having our efforts resemble those mishaps. With a few tricks of the trade and a bit of practice, anyone can write on a cake like a pro.

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