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  1. I adore the banana gugelhupf. It's one of the better cakes i've made lately.
  2. Cinnamon rolls made with the simple sweet dough. So far I like the book. These were delicious.
  3. I like the recipes i've made from The Swedish Table by Helene Henderson, but I'm not sure which other books to try. Most of the cookbooks at my library have sparse instructions and no photos. Can anyone recommend some Swedish/Scandinavian cookbooks that they've actually cooked from? I'm mostly looking for pastries/breads/sweet things. I'd be interested in good Hungarian baking books too.
  4. I made the peanut butter brownies from epicurious.com today. They are amazing! All the issues I had were resolved when the brownies fully reached room temperature.
  5. Dorie Greenspan's peanut butter brownies from epicurious.com and Chewy Almond/Cherry Bars from Alice Medrich's cookies and brownies. I'm going to dinner at a friend's house (a great excuse to use loads of chocolate and peanut butter.)
  6. I made the gingersnaps yesterday and they're delicious- especially if you don't overbake them. They're great for people who like a soft gingersnap.
  7. I'm interested in learning more about decorating with royal icing/sugarpaste and making sugar flowers. At the moment I don't have time to take a class, but i've managed to teach myself most of what I know about baking. Does anyone have recommendations for good cake decorating books/resources? Or some easier first projects? I thought decorated cookies or cupcakes might be an easy place to start.
  8. I've only tried the kabocha squash cheesecake and the banana cream pie with ginger pastry cream, but so far i'm enjoying the cookbook. Has anyone else had trouble with the cheesecake gradually weeping liquid? I've tried it with steamed squash and canned puree, and both times the cake has started weeping on top about a day later. I'm wondering if adding an extra egg might help.
  9. I have been working my way through all the cookie recipes. These are: Thin and delicate peanut brittle Oatmeal cookies with milk chocolate and golden raisins Walnut sandwich cookies with cream cheese filling Cinnamon currant walnut rugelach I have dough for the chocolate cherry cookies in the frige, and i'm going to make the chocolate chip ones too. They are all delicious, though the rugelach were difficult to shape, and i'd recommend rolling the dough into a circle and cutting it into wedges to roll the cookies individually. I love the oatmeal ones in particular.
  10. I'm looking for a good tamale recipe or several. Do you know any cookbooks/sources with multiple tamale recipes that are reliable and have some vegetarian options? I had some excellent tamales in San Francisco that i've been hoping to emulate...flavors like summer squash and chiles or butternut squash with a masa mixture that was fluffy and light- not that horribly dense/waxy consistency.
  11. I really like Abagail Johnson Dodge's "Fudgy Frosting" recipe. It's used on a great banana cake in her book "The Weekend Baker." adapted from the weekend baker. 6oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped (Bakers squares have worked best for me, for texture.) 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar 1 cup evaporated milk 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut in 2 pieces 1 tbsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp table salt melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. meanwhile, combine the sugar, evaporated milk, butter, vanilla, and salt in a blender- no need to blend at this point. When the chocolate is melted, give it a stir and scrape it into the blender. Cover the blender with the lid and blend on high speed until the mixter darkens and is very thick (about 2 minutes) Youll also hear the engine working harder when the frosting is sufficiently thick. Scrape the frosting into a clean bowl and set aside at room temperature. When the frosting is cool, cover with plastic wrap until the cake is ready to frost.
  12. I've found good things on King Arthur Flour's website as well as L'epicerie.com and pastrychef.com. Are there any other good on-line sources you can recommend?
  13. Apricot <img src="http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/lcampbel/images/apricot.jpg"> Roasted Banana <img src="http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/lcampbel/images/bananaic.jpg"> Honey Lavender <img src="http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/lcampbel/images/honeylav.jpg"> Panforte, Green Tea, Lemon-Specaloos, Turron. <img src="http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/lcampbel/images/tartufi.jpg"> <img src="http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/lcampbel/images/tartufi1.jpg">
  14. Wonderfully described post. It's nice to see other people live for the everyday.
  15. Lately most of the posts i've read here only address the challenges of a job with food. So what do you love about your job? In my current pastry gig, I love the people I work with. I usually get to pick one dessert of my choice to make whenever we change the menu. I love having a little creative control despite my relatively limited experience. My hours are good. Despite coming home exhausted some nights and occasional problems in the personal life, I find my work very stimulating and rewarding.
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