Tag Archives: Almonds

Magically Moist Almond Cake

Magically Moist Almond Cake

It’s funny. Of all the cookbooks, blogs, and cooking shows, sometimes the best recipe is on the box, staring right at you.

In my last post, I vowed to use my cookbooks more often.  Well, here I am, extolling the recipe on the Bob’s Red Mill package.  In fairness, though, as recipe-testing goes, a company’s own recipe must undergo a fairly thorough testing procedure.

A cookbook may have dozens, if not hundreds, of recipes.  Product packaging will have one or two recipes in which to tout Continue reading

Cajun Spiced Almonds

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As I noted last month, Caitlin painstakingly prepared a beautiful array of signs, favors, and gifts for the guests of our wedding.  Among the items, she created over twenty-five welcome bags, each adorned with a hand-painted welcome tag and boasting a sixteen-page booklet of our favorite recipes.

The booklet featured line drawings of several photos from this blog, and guided our guests through meaningful recipes that the two of us had shared.  Among the recipes, there was one for Gooey Butter Cake, a St. Louis original, and an ode to the city where we first met; Lemon Yogurt Cake, a recipe that featured that lemon flavor I love; Sea Salt Caramels, a reminder of our trip to San Francisco together; White Peach Italian Ice, a summer treat that capped the end to a barbeque Caitlin and I hosted, and a tribute to an ice served by one of my favorite dessert shops growing up; and this recipe Continue reading

Almond-Raisin and Chocolate-Nutella Rugelach

Rugelach

Rugelach was always one of those desserts that I wanted to try to make.  For whatever reason, there seemed to be some mystery to it, some complexity locked within its spiral shape.  At the bakery or deli, I always peered through the glass cases with equal parts wonder and admiration.  How did they get that perfect spiral shape?  How did they get the filling so evenly distributed?

In bakeries with rugelach, I always felt tempted to try one.  What was an ordinary, cookie or brownie, when there was rugelach.  What was a simple circle or square when there was a dough-filled spiral?  Indeed, each bakery Continue reading

Russian Cigarettes

Whenever I opened a variety box of Pepperidge Farm cookies, I always reached for the same cookie first.  Among the Milanos, the Chessman, the Bordeaux, and the Brussels, I made my bee-line for the cigarettes.  I loved the crunchy, yet sweet delicateness in each bite.  I loved the color and texture.  But, more than anything else, I think I just loved the fun shape.  For some inexplicable reason, I loved the idea of a tube cookie!

These cigarettes and the Pepperidge Farm variety share a common ancestry, but these lack some of the crunchiness Continue reading

Almond and Sugar Powder

This powder can be found in many European cookies.  As a result, you may want to make it in a large batch.  It can easily be stored for up to one month in an airtight container at room Continue reading

Baklava

Baklava stresses me out.

As soon as I open the plastic packaging and roll out the cold sheets of phyllo dough, I feel like I’m in a race against time.  I can picture the sand streaming down the hour glass, announcing the moment that the phyllo dough will become parched and unworkable, as if your potter’s wheel could only spin for so long.  Time is of the essence, but working quickly is not necessarily the solution.  Move too carelessly and too quickly, and the thin sheets will tear and break into equally unworkable pieces.

I’ve tried covering the sheets with cold towels, or keeping half the sheets in the refrigerator, but have not noticed any real difference.  If I am going to work with phyllo dough, I am going to have to work quickly and carefully.  And that stresses me out.  Continue reading

Quinoa Meal

Relationships are like cooking.  Just as recipes often require staple ingredients, so too are relationships built on certain foundational elements.  But, beyond the basics, the thrill of cooking resides for me in the unexpected combination of ingredients.  The way a sprinkling of cayenne pepper intensifies chocolate with its smoky spice.

Charles and I share many ingredients between us: a love of writing and cooking (and a sometimes bossy attitude in the kitchen!), a creative eye, an interest in obscure documentaries, the desire to wander new cities by foot, and the legal profession.  And while I cherish our similarities, my life has been enriched by our unique ingredients.  Charles was raised Jewish in New Orleans and with several siblings, whereas I grew up in Washington, D.C. as an only child from an Irish Catholic family.  Together, we’ve incorporated these traditions, yielding a flavor that is complex, new, and wonderful.

Last March, we tried our hand at hamantaschen in honor of Purim.  In December, amidst law school final exams, I enjoyed Continue reading