Holiday Baking and Treats, 2023

Chocolate babka, based on a recipe from Standard Baking Company Pastries.

Modifications and notes include:

  1. I reduced the flour and water by 25 g. each, and added 50 g. sourdough discard. The authors suggest adding a few drops of lemon oil for tang, but I like the flavor of the sourdough to the same effect.

  2. I used Valhrona for the Dutch process cocoa in the spread. For the cookie crumbs in the filling, I used a few of the chocolate sables which I made the other day, intentionally over-baked until crunchy enough to smash up.

  3. I added 1/3 c. chopped walnuts on top the filling before rolling up the loaf.

  4. In lieu of the streusel topping, I used 50/50 raw sugar and more chopped walnuts.

This is the second time I’ve made this loaf, and I’m really pleased with the recipe.


Awesome, that’s a real beauty!


Thank you! It’s a fun project, and it tastes as good as it looks. :yum:


Absolutely beautul…it looks like an ancient pottery art design inside!


I’m not much of a sweet eater, but have a complete weakness for babka and this looks incredible! I also love the Standard Baking Company! My husband got me that book awhile back, but I haven’t baked from it yet. You’ve inspired me to change that! Have you made anything else from it?

I love the book, and have a lot of things ear-marked. The only other recipe I’ve baked to date (twice, now) is the Blueberry Drop Scone (I wrote about it here).

Maybe @Nannybakes will chime in? She also has the book, and I believe has tried more recipes from it.

Great tip on getting them so perfectly round. Thanks! I have made Dorie’s World Peace Cookies and frozen them before mailing to family. They held up well.


For those not familiar with the technique, here’s a you tube video showing it. Tip #3 is at about 1 minute and 45 seconds in.


I am going to pull out the book I got for Christmas last year, ‘The Cookie Bible’ by RLB. I will peruse it along with the huge folder of cookie recipes I finished going through for the last 3-1/2 years.
I will choose six cookies, one candy (real pralines) and a dozen loaves of pülla to make this year. We’ll see.


Another holiday favorite in miniature – Italian shortbread with almonds and jam. From The 150 Best American Recipes by McCullough & Stevens (which quotes the original source as Desserts: Mediterranean Flavors, California Style by Cindy Mushet).

I made a half recipe in a 7” spring-form pan. Still bubbling hot from the oven, I can hardly wait until it is cool to cut into it.


I’m taking part in a cookie swap and trying to decide.
Some new ideas here


Interesting - any of them particularly appeal?

These ones caught my attention


I just went through RLB’s Cookie Bible and found a slew* of recipes that I want to make for cookie trays and thought many were exchange worthy.
*Like too many!


I got that book last year for Xmas cookie season and I don’t think I made anything from it, an omission I’d like to correct this year!

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Definitely worth exploring! I’m trying to limit myself to six different cookie recipes, all told among the hundred+ I have made over the years.


Brown butter anything is always a winner!


I made a variation of kourabiedes that used brown butter in 2021, which added a nice subtlety.

ooo those pretzel linzers.

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Alright, I just went through my copy. Here’s what I bookmarked:

  1. Mrs Swallow’s perfect lemon cookies (a lemon sandwich cookie)
  2. strudel cookies
  3. pepparkakors
  4. lemon jammies
  5. drei augen (German almond and cinnamon shortbread cookies)
  6. Turkish ginger-lime cokies
  7. Pfeffernüsse
  8. (not cookies) double chocolate toffee
  9. Ischler cookies, although I have a vague memory of trying a version of these and not being thrilled with the result… or maybe that happened to someone else on Chowhound…?