Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Apple, Pear, and Cranberry Crisp

February 9, 2010

Some people are football fans. Some are not. Some like this team. Some like that one. Sports have the power to create bitter enemies. They can also bring people together–especially when food is involved. Yesterday a gaggle of my nearest and dearest gathered together to watch the Saints take on the Colts, but none of us were really that emotionally invested in the outcome (though we were all rooting for New Orleans, it was undeniable that it was a room primarily of Jets fans).

What really spurred everyone’s enthusiasm was the food that we ate. Our host provided killer chili and guacamole; others contributed the best soy-garlic fried chicken in the world, my favorite doughnuts in New York, and some other luscious pastries.  It was almost overkill that I brought this apple crisp–but luckily, my friends dug right in.

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Olive Oil Cake

August 26, 2009

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To my great delight, the heat in New York has given it a rest (knock on wood) for the time being. Of course, the first thing I did was to heat up my kitchen–first by making a lasagna, and then by whipping up this little delight. I’ve been hankering after an olive oil cake since I watched Top Chef: Masters (don’t judge) last week, when Michael Chiarello made one as a dessert for his three-course meal. Or was it his buffet? I don’t remember.  His didn’t come out that well–it was judged too soggy. I was kind of glad because in the long run it helped to lead my man Rick Bayless to victory, but nevertheless I thought the recipe itself was a good idea that I hadn’t tried before.

Anyway, this past weekend I was headed downtown on the second avenue bus to meet Jason for dinner, forgetting, of course, that the second avenue bus takes forever to go eighty blocks. Luckily, I was in possession of the September Issue…of Bon Appetit, that is. One of the first recipes to catch my eye was this little number, straight from the pages of the RSVP section (basically the mad libs section of BA: “I ate ___(food)____ at __(restaurant)____ in ___(city)___and it was __(adjective)_______.  How do you make it?”)  And what did I find there, but a reader’s request for the recipe for olive oil cake from Abraco coffee shop here in Manhattan!

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Claire’s Blueberry Buckle

July 10, 2009

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Well, this was originally going to be my Fourth of July entry with some sort of groan-inducing name like “Red White and Blueberry Buckle,” but I made this right before going to a party on the Fourth and fell asleep almost as soon as I returned home.  So we’ll just have to keep the spirit of the Fourth with us all through the year, or at least through the week, so I can write about it almost a week later!

I’ve really been craving blueberry-infused baked goods of late, and have perused dozens of recipes from tarts to pierogies to good ol’ fashioned pies. But then I was flipping through my copy of the Clarie’s Corner Copia Cookbook, which I bought on Amazon for two dollars when I first moved to New York and was feeling a bit homesick for one of my favorite hometown and college-town haunts. My best friend Sharon and I used to go there all the time, particularly during summers and college breaks, and sit at the round table in the front window, eating desserts and catching up over coffee, so I felt particularly compelled to try this one out (many more of Claire’s recipes will follow this one–hers is one of my favorite go-to cookbooks).

To tell the truth, I had never really tried or even heard of a blueberry buckle before I tried out this recipe, but I was really pleased by the results. The cake is dense without being dry, and the topping filled my apartment with the really comforting, lingering aroma of the mingling of brown sugar and cinnamon.

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Whatever-You’ve-Got Brownies

July 6, 2009

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I will tell you right now that it is a fact–not my affection-clouded opinion, but a completely indisputable truth–that my mother makes the best brownies in the world, ever. I had friends in college who said that their moms made the best brownies, and I would argue with them about it. And then they would try my mom’s brownies and shut up and perhaps cry themselves to sleep.

This, unfortunately, is not my mom’s brownie recipe.

No, the brownies whose recipe I am about to disclose parade on Epicurious.com under the name “Best Cocoa Brownies,” but in my heart and in my stomach they are still not quite Mom’s. But they are pretty damn good anyway.

How did I come to the point of settling for another recipe, you may ask?

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