What Are You Baking? December 2023

Made a half batch of these muffins to use up some starter.
I increased the salt (I kept the amount the same for a half batch rather than cutting in half) and used orange oil and orange juice for the flavoring rather than lemon. I also skipped the glaze. They are very tasty muffins. I was initially going to reduce the sugar a bit, but a taste of the batter left me wanting the amount of sugar I left out.


My friend who keeps kosher makes an excellent parve oatmeal chip cookie that uses margarine. You might be able to taste the oil. Perhaps margarine would be less offensive or noticeable to your taste buds.

I grew up eating apple cake made with vegetable oil, so I am probably accustomed to the taste,and like it as much as cakes made with butter or a mixture.

I can’t stand canola oil. I use sunflower or corn oil for most baking that calls for oil, and olive oil for some Mediterranean baked goods.

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I definitely hate margarine more between the two, and I’ve always been able to detect it in baked goods, but who knows, maybe your friend’s cookies would be different.

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@LulusMom1, would this muffin recipe interest you?

I think there might be a different approach to oil cakes if you’re part of a community that doesn’t eat butter for cultural or religious reasons, either all the time, for certain meals or specific times during the year. The Greek melomakarona/ finikia are often made with olive oil because they are a cookie that can be eaten during Lent. Also, olive oil would be more plentiful and cheaper than butter in parts of Greece.

Many of the apple cakes that are made for Hannukah or Rosh Hashanah are made with oil so they could be served after a meat meal for those who keep Kosher or are more observant during the holidays. Oil is also symbolic for Hannukah.

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Love those flavors, but I’m not a fan of muffins.

I love how tender oil cakes often are.


Eric Keyser’s multi-seed bread. I was experimenting with using my roasting pan as a cover, as that roasting pan really needs to have more use, and being heavy it should work well for the purpose of keeping steam in. The pan is larger than the stone, so I placed a piece of foil on one end to cover any gap.
Unfortunately despite calculating the placement on the stone, I sort of forgot to consider the placement of my loaves on the stone, so one of the loaves in particular met with an unfortunate fate when it was time to place the pan over them. :joy:
I think my loaves over-proofed a bit, so they came out flatter than I would have liked, but I’ll take over-proofed over under any day if I want tasty bread.


Planning to make these cookies, and have acquired the “ruby” chocolate, which has a citrusy, kind of sour note and is pink in color.

Has anyone tried this recipe?

I finished the baking for family boxes today with these mountains of Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin cookies. Picture is half of the four batches baked to gift a dozen per person, plus some for local trays to friends plus some for us. I use the original version of the recipe which used to be under the lid of Quaker Oatmeal. Note that the newer version of this recipe, which I don’t use, reduces butter by 2 T. and brown sugar by ¼ C.

Yesterday’s cookies were “Swedish” Cardamom Toasts (biscotti), from Always on Sunday cookbook by Eleanor Ostman The Swedish restaurant owner told Eleanor the recipe originally came from her Finnish neighbor. And 2 new to me cookies from cookbook One Dough Fifty Cookies by Leslie Glover Pendleton. Crispy RIce Shortbread (with chocolate drizzle) - which are tasty but too fragile to ship - and Graham Cracker Honey Washboards, a few will go in each box. I made half recipes of those and still have 2 batches of the base dough in my refrigerator for more experiments, after family cookies are shipped. Also 5 egg whites which will likely be used for a Dorie Greenspan pecan or cashew cookie this weekend.


Sourdough hot dog buns in 100g and 80g sizes to see which will be better so as not to have too much bun. Used the rest of the dough to test out ideal slider bun size for an upcoming meatball slider I’m making for someone.


Some added baking today for us, using up egg whites and 1 of the remaining One Dough, Fifty Cookies dough portions. I made a half-recipe 8x8 pan of Fudge Brownie Bars on a shortbread crust. Great flavor but very tough to get out of the pan. We suffered (not!) through eating the 4 first corner bar pieces in a dish with vanilla ice cream.

And a full recipe of Dorie Greenspan’s Croquet cookies, from Baking Chez Moi. These are quite sweet tasting. I made mine with light-salt roasted cashews, coarsely chopped, and after 33 minutes the loaves were light brown but did not rise much. I cut one after cooling 15 minutes and was disappointed that it seemed under-baked - sticky in the center and clinging to the serrated knife, I treated the cut pieces like biscotti - laying them on their sides and returned them and the uncut loaf to the oven for an additional 20 minutes of baking time. Cut slices crisped nicely with the added bake but the 2nd loaf was still sticky in center of slices when cut. Those slices were also given a final bake, turned on their sides


Whenever I use a square or rectangular pan for bar cookies (or a smaller-than-9x13" pan for cakes these days), I use a combination of parchment sling and baking spray with flour (the latter if not making something that has to be GF) to make it easy to lift them out of the pan and shift them to a cooling rack and/or cutting surface. Works like a charm.


Elaboration, please, Ipsedixit. I tried the Mexican Chocolate cookies from last week’s NYT, a fail. These look like maybe they are supposed to?

Curious, how did they fail?

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could well be operator error. Directions are to flatten chilled dough and embed frozen mini marshmallow, then roll in cinnamon/ sugar. Couldn’t get dough to fold over marshmallow and all the manipulation led to a very spready cookie and run away marsmallow. Flavor was good with a nice cayenne punch, but appearance was very bad.

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I did look at the recipe (gift link, which, by the way, if anyone copies and pastes is still a gift link that can be shared on, I believe) today, and liked the looks of it minus the marshmallows (which I may be in a minority in not caring for). It sounds as if it would be more successful if you rolled the dough in the cinnamon sugar, then flattened and pressed the marshmallows into it. If you wanted the marshmallows to be cinnamon sugared as in the recipe, you could always sprinkle a little more on.

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Yes, I’ll add that note to the recipe which explicitly says to press the shortbread layer into an ungreased pan. The shortbread isn’t sticking, but the chocolate top wants to chip along the cut lines and develops cracks when a single cookie-square is lifted. I think using a parchment sling and moving the entire 8x8 square to a cutting board and slicing /sliding there would improve chances of nice-looking giftable cookies.

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Avocado chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips.

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In that case, I’d either use a small amount of your greasing agent of choice in the bottom of the pan to secure the parchment and leave the parchment and exposed pan sides ungreased, or secure the sling by folding the tops of the tall side of it over the pan edges and securing them with binder clips (I embraced this after baking from Edd Kimber’s One Tin Bakes — currently on sale again as an ebook for $2.99 on all three major US platforms — where he gives it in his pan-lining directions, and they’re fine at 350F).