Baking For Others

Coffee Granita

Posted by on Wednesday May 21st, 2014

Natalie of Good Girl Style is back today to share a summer dessert you’ll love if one of the following applies to you: you don’t eat dairy, you don’t eat gluten, you don’t have an ice cream maker, and you don’t love eating crazy rich desserts during bikini season. Natalie joins us each month to share incredible desserts with Big Girls, Small Kitchen readers–desserts that are entirely gluten-free, but not like obviously gluten-free. That means no specialty flours or hard-to-find ingredients, just good old-fashioned butter, sugar, chocolate, cream, and almonds. Don’t miss her most recent posts, about Lemon Bars and Almond Horns.

Coffee granita is one of my go-to summer desserts. It sounds impressive but couldn’t be easier to make. However it might leave you wondering what in the world a granita actually IS! It is similar to a fancy slushie or a flavored, grainy ice–like Italian ice. While some liquids lose flavor when frozen, this coffee flavor actually intensifies. Frozen coffee slushie with whipped cream to end a cookout on a warm night? Nothing more refreshing.

Chocolate-Dipped Almond Horns

Posted by on Friday May 16th, 2014

Natalie of Good Girl Style is back today to share a cookie that’s one of her favorites, and one of mine: the almond horn. Oh yeah, and it’s chocolate dipped. Natalie joins us each month to share incredible desserts with Big Girls, Small Kitchen readers–desserts that are entirely gluten-free, but not like obviously gluten-free. That means no specialty flours or hard-to-find ingredients, just good old-fashioned butter, sugar, chocolate, cream, and almonds. Don’t miss her most recent posts, about Lemon Bars and Peanut Butter Eggs.

You’ve probably enjoyed these fancy treats at your favorite (expensive) bakery.

But you can make them at home for a fraction of the price. Almond paste off the shelf is quite pricey (and most likely not gluten-free), but grab a 1 ½ cup bag of blanched slivered almonds from the baking aisle for under $3, and you can easily make your own. And, don’t let that little DIY scare you off! These delightful almond cookies have a few steps, yes, but they come together easily and are worth the extra bit of effort. Plus, you’ll be able to say you made almond paste and almond horns from scratch…your friends are sure to be impressed!

Creamy Mango Pudding

Posted by on Wednesday May 14th, 2014

I’ve been thinking a lot about summer, ever since the first warm day lifted my spirits a few weeks ago. I’ve also been thinking about our seasonal amnesia, though, where we can’t quite remember what we used to do and eat (and wear!) in seasons beside the one we’re currently in. Does that happen to you?

And so, in trying to come up with a dessert that would delight us all, all summer long, I had to really sit back and think. I scratched my head. I drank some chocolate milk. I curled up in the chair in our bedroom, whose excessive and uncontrollable heat resembles the weather in the tropics.

And then, in my mind, I went to Mexico. Oaxaca, circa 2002. It was hot. After a morning at the market, eating fried squash flowers, my family and I followed Susana Trilling, author of Seasons of My Heart, to her house, for a cooking class. I remember toasting pumpkin seeds on the comal and making mole from them. And I remember a mango trifle that ended the meal in the most delicious, abundant, surprising fashion. I hadn’t expected to see something as British as a trifle appear in the Mexican countryside.

Natalie of Good Girl Style is back today to share a really lovely sweet for Mother’s Day–eternal classic, Lemon Bars, gone gluten-free. Natalie joins us each month to share incredible desserts with Big Girls, Small Kitchen readers–desserts that are entirely gluten-free, but not like obviously gluten-free. That means no specialty flours or hard-to-find ingredients, just good old-fashioned butter, sugar, chocolate, cream, and rich, creamy peanut butter. Don’t miss her most recent posts, about Strawberry Mousse and Peanut Butter Eggs.

Oh, lemon. It’s one of my favorite dessert flavors, which puts lemon bars at the top of the list, too.

This version is even more delicious because the almond crust holds its own against the filling and offers a wonderful texture switch from gooey to crunchy. Using an already cooked lemon curd instead of a liquid filling that bakes fully in the oven allows the crust to remain crisp and the filling to remain firm. Re-baking the lemon curd firms it up, though, creating a smooth and cheerful bright-yellow filling.

Though this recipe takes a bit of effort, the resulting treats are perfect to bring to a baby shower or Mother’s Day brunch.

Hot Fudge Crumble Bars

Posted by on Wednesday Apr 2nd, 2014

There’s no one who objects when hot fudge takes the places of fruit. Too bold? I don’t know, maybe. But take a chocolate-covered strawberry. If you had to choose between elements, would you take the chocolate or the berry? I would take the chocolate.

And so, I took my old recipe for Raspberry Crumble Bars, and I turned it into a recipe for Hot Fudge Crumble Bars. A victory for chocoholics everywhere.

Most of my whimsical decisions, like subbing in chocolate for what would ordinarily be jam, do not materialize out of nowhere. Often, they’re the product of necessity, also …

Are you ready to hold in your virtual hands a brand shiny new eCookbook, one that delivers both instant gratification and dairy-free sweets? Have you ever visited this old, dreary dairy-free desserts page as Passover approached or thought disastrously about substituting olive oil in for butter in brownies when hosting your newly dairy-free friend?

Then A Baker’s Dairy-Free Dozen: Desserts for Every Sweet Day of the Year is for you!

WHERE TO BUY

In its pages, you’ll find inspiration for simple, natural, and tasty dairy-free sweets that work every time. Beyond its pages, you’ll receive a free signed postcard for every eCookbook you buy, so you’ll have something to hold in your real hands (besides dozens of Crackly Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies) after all.

I’m so happy to share a couple of the layouts from the book below. There’s much more goodness inside, and I really hope you like it!

If you squint at the Table of Contents, you’ll make out recipes like Chocolate Mousse and Summer Pudding, Iced Carrot Cake and Glazed Orange Marmalade Muffins, plus essential resources about baking and dairy-free ingredients. (The actual book is high-res and zoomable and perfectly suited to swiping through on your iPad.) You can find out more about the recipes and the eCookbook format by visiting the new A Baker’s Dairy-Free Dozen page.

There’s an early-bird 15 percent discount from now ’til the stroke of midnight on Saturday. If you’re craving delicious, dairy-free sweets, you should give in right now by clicking here. If you like butter but your friends, cousins, or colleagues are lactose-intolerant or kosher, I’d love if you pass on the eCookbook news to them.

Thanks for your support, and happy baking!

Look up to your right, past the lemons and almonds and eggs. Yesterday I added a tab to the main menu: new! eCookbook. It was a sort of muffled announcement of something exciting, I’ve got a brand new BGSK eCookbook coming your way in just a few weeks. The title is A Baker’s Dairy Free Dozen: Desserts for Every Sweet Day of the Year, and its pages contain perfectly tested, ridiculously delicious, simple-to-make dairy-free treats that don’t use a lot of strange ingredients.

To make a long story, a lot of ingredients (pictured), and so much baking fit into one little sentence: I decided to work on a special issue dedicated to one type of eater, the dairy-free sweets lover. I hope this is the first of many pieces of focused, premium content I can offer to you guys in the future, whether you’re eager to see more vegetarian main courses or pages upon pages of breakfast inspiration.

This eCookbook launches in two weeks, on March 7, 2014. We’ll be offering 15 percent off for the first 48 hours, so mark your calendars and sign up for the newsletter to be sure you don’t miss the discount. And, so that you have an object to hold in your hands in addition to all the eStuff, we’ll be shipping real signed postcards to everyone who purchases the book (til we run out of postcards).