Archive of posts from 2023

    Pistachio Pinwheels


    This cookie got consumed so fast, I didn’t get a chance to take its portrait. The blend of almond and pistachio in a pleasing swirl was the hands-down winner for me.

    Peanut Butter-Miso Cookies (NYT)


    On to the third cookie of our holiday baking: this one, a mix of peanut butter and miso. It turned out salty and chewy, but not quite satisfying to me.

    Neapolitan Checkerboard Cookies


    This cookie is a real labour of love, with emphasis on the labour. Three different doughs, lots of measuring and cutting and assembling, and slicing. But, it made for a fabulous presentation and the flavours are distinct.

    One-Day Fruitcake


    Since my Mom died, I haven’t felt as much urgency to make fruitcake for the holidays. I made sure to share whatever I baked with her each year. So it’s somewhat of an annual tradition. I saw this Claire Saffitz recipe on YouTube and was intrigued by the idea of mixing in alm...

    Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies


    We get excited for the New York Times’ Cookie Week. It’s evolved over the years, but we look forward to whatever interesting recipes they assemble. For the 2023 edition, the one my wife was eager to work on first ended up being one of her favourites.

    Sufganiyot (America’s Test Kitchen)


    In previous Hanukkah celebrations, I’ve made a variety of different fried things, but rarely the traditional filled, jelly doughnut. This year, for our epic party of 60+ guests, I stuck with what people expect.

    Cinnamon Apple Sheet Cake


    If you have a lot of apples, and need to feed a lot of mouths, this might be the cake for you.

    Pear Tart with Crunchy Almond Topping


    Something a bit different, something to use up ingredients, something a little impressive, something not too laborious: that would be the pillars of my baking philosophy. This tart was all of those things, and good enough that I made it twice this month.

    Spiced Applesauce Cake


    Dr. S makes a wonderful pink-hued applesauce after our annual apple picking trip. The last jar in the fridge was just enough to make this snacking cake.

    Heart of Wheat Bread


    Sometimes I think about why I make bread, when I live in a big city with many good bakeries. My bread isn’t better than what I can buy, and it certainly takes more effort. I don’t find it relaxing to knead (and I use a machine to do that anyway). Hmm.

    Gâteau Invisible (Invisible Apple Cake)


    We have a very active parent community at our kids’ school. At a recent party for the adults, I wanted to make something that would be easy to eat (without utensils), used the remaining apples we had from apple picking, and also be something not too pedestrian. This “invisible...

    Almond Tofu With Poached Apricots & Black Sesame


    Ever since I was part of an online cooking session that my workplace ran last year, I’ve been a big fan of Lucas Sin. He hosted a cook-along and we made mapo tofu. So I was really excited to find an original dessert recipe of his, and wanted it to be the closer for our Mid-Aut...

    Jam-on-Toast Thumbprints


    Continuing through the Fabulous Modern Cookies cookbook, I thought the flavour idea of jam and bread to be an interesting one. These cookies were well-received, and their panko coating was something I had never tried before.

    Original Plum Torte


    Our two plum trees fared pretty well this year. This summer, I bought a tree pruning kit, and gave our red plum a good trim. Each fruit was larger than in previous years, but the harvest was modest. However, the Italian blue plum tree, which I did not prune, produced a LOT of ...

    Wholly Moles


    I was unnaturally excited about a cookie made with garlic powder, cocoa nibs, and currants. But everyone else? Not so much.

    Peanut Satay Crunchers


    Continuing my jaunt through Fabulous Modern Cookies, I was delighted at how these Southeast Asian-inspired bites turned out. Who knew red curry paste had dessert applications?

    Bronze Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


    I had a little extra spending money this month, and browsed one of my favorite stores, Good Egg. A newish book of cookies caught my eye due to the ingredients used in some of the recipes: celery, garam masala, red curry paste! As I am the kind of baker who gets excited about ...

    Pineapple Jasmine Sherbet


    Before I returned it to the library, the last recipe I made out of Hello, My Name is Ice Cream, was a sherbet. It required a lot of patience and effort, but this floral, tropical frozen dessert was worth.

    Red Bean Swirl Buns


    A package of Shirakiku Fine Sweetened Red Bean Paste has been sitting in my fridge for a few months now. I finally turned it into these beautiful swirly buns.

    Cold-Press Coffee Ice Cream


    I love cold brew coffee, particularly when made from New Orleans coffee which has been infused with chicory. When I saw this coffee ice cream recipe in Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream, I was intrigued because it results in a finished product that is white in colour, and promised t...

    Basil Ice Cream


    Continuing my exploration of Dana Cree’s ice cream book, we hosted a small dinner for a few parents from my son’s class that we’re close with. To make an interesting flavour of ice cream, I turned towards the plants growing in our indoor garden.

    Blue Ribbon Chocolate Ice Cream


    My daughter asked me about the concept of bartering recently. I realized that that’s exactly how to explain an exchange our next door neighbour and I have organically developed. He likes to use his Whipper Snipper and occasionally trims our tiny front lawn. As a thank you, we ...

    Double Strawberry Shortcakes


    We’ve been gorging on strawberries this summer. We didn’t go on any pick-your-own trips this year, just trips to the local fruit stands or supermarkets. I’ve been trying different strawberry shortcake recipes, and was disappointed in this one.

    Strawberry Streusel Bars (Reduced Sugar)


    From the “2 for $5” deals at many of the supermarkets I’ve been visiting, there seems to be a bumper crop of strawberries this year. This despite the rains in California or hurricanes in Florida. Local Ontario strawberries are more expensive, but they definitely look and taste...

    Peanut Ice Cream


    At the library, I saw a familiar name on the cover of an interesting graphic novel slash cookbook: Dirt Candy. It’s a 15-year old restaurant that serves inventive vegetarian food. The book was published 10 years ago, and reveals the struggle and reality of operating a restaura...

    Milk Bread (Kristina Cho)


    Sometimes, our breakfasts are more involved, like blueberry scones made from scratch. Other times, it’s pouring milk into a bowl of cereal. One of our most frequent morning meals is toast: spread with nut butter or marmalade, or covered with mashed avocado and an eye-popping a...

    Cream Cheese Ice Cream With Gooey Butter Cake and Candied Lemon


    At the library, I spied a title on ice cream that had beautiful photos, overlaid with watercolour paintings and line drawings, a very unique look. On top of that, the content was science-heavy: ingredient weights and percentages, and deep dives into the chemistry of flavors an...

    Pink Grapefruit Bars


    For a recent school bake sale, I made two winners from this year, the gochujang caramel cookies and the black sesame shortbread. To round out the selection, I made some squares using a grapefruit curd. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment.

    Miso Pecan Banana Bread


    Cheese and caramel popcorn. Hamburgers and milkshakes. Chocolate-covered potato chips. These are all things I don’t like. However, what they have in common is the sweet and salty combination. I really wanted to like this new (to me) banana bread recipe, but I think I messed u...

    Mango Pudding (芒果布丁)


    A case of a dozen Ataulfo mangoes can be had for about $15 CAD if you know where to shop. The problem is, they all start to ripen at the same time. I had the brilliant idea of making a pudding that would use up a lot of the fresh, ripe fruit, but it turned out to be a dud.

    Rice Cracker and Chocolate Shortbread


    In keeping with the Asian theme of the cookies I was bringing to the office, the final day saw another unusual combination: toasted, savoury rice crackers as a mix-in to shortbread.

    Gochujang Caramel Cookies


    When I used to go into an office, I’d bring in desserts for people to sample. At my first job, there was even a mailing list of dedicated eaters who would always come to sample and give feedback. This past week, for a rare in-person event at work, I made three kinds of cookies...

    Chocolate-Hazelnut Macau-Style Cookies


    I bought Mooncakes and Milk Bread by Kristina Cho last Mother’s Day: one copy for my Mom, and a copy for myself. But I haven’t tried to make any of the recipes until recently. This crumbly cookie was a great intro to the author’s fresh interpretations of classic Chinese bakery...

    Black Sesame Soup (黑芝麻糊)


    Cold weather season means soup season, and I love that Cantonese cuisine has sweet dessert soups (tong sui). I couldn’t resist buying a bulk bag of Kadoya black sesame seeds at the grocery, and I’m glad I did, because I’ve been making batch after batch of this deeply satisfyin...

    Black Sesame Shortbread


    For a Lunar New Year party we were invited to, we made these sesame cookies. They were so good, that I made them again and again over the next few weeks.