What Are You Baking? November 2022

November means holiday baking starts in earnest. What’s going in your oven?

Salted caramel financiers to use up a tiny amount of leftover caramel sauce and some egg whites. I wish I had enough to brush the tops with caramel sauce, but they’re still good.


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Chocolate visitandines (François Payard) according to lore, these are the precursors to financiers. Unlike most financiers, these do not have browned butter. Tender and moist, the strawberry version has crushed freeze dried strawberries in the batter and also the glaze. The chocolate glazed version was finger licking good.

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My sweet and adorable niece saved me a few choice apples from her apple/pumpkin picking excursion. So far I’ve made 2 apple crisps and they’ve been delicious. I’ve no idea what kinds of apples they are, just that they are red, sweet and local to NY State (where we live).

I will be teaching her how to make pumpkin pie for the holidays.

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While I was making financiers, I made RLB’s vanilla bean financier-style pound cakes. These are awesome little vanilla cakes in spite of containing no nuts or brown butter as financiers do. These get baked immediately, so they’re flat-topped.
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This morning’s bake was a typical French yogurt cake with the addition of crushed lemon verbena in the cake and a lemon verbena glaze. Blackberries added to the cake went well with the verbena and I’ll probably make a blackberry coulis to serve with the cake on the second go around. Lemon verbena gelato was excellent with the cake. This is a soft, fine crumbed cake, very tender, I think it will overnight well.

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Milk chocolate hazelnut cookies from FLOUR. These are amazing! Bake smaller for 12 min.

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Tiny batch (4) of lemon muffins for a birthday boy who didn’t want cake.

He enjoyed batter tasting and a muffin right out of the oven, so I think the goal was achieved.

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Lemon muffins are my weakness.

When I used to work as a baker at Souplantation (remember them? RIP), I begged corporate to add lemon (not lemon poppyseed) muffins to the rotation. Alas, I was pissing into the wind.

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I’ve never understood the poppyseed combination

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Sunday I made the Kentucky Butter Cake recommended by @mig, for my MIL’s birthday, and it was really great. I used some cooked-down bourbon in the glaze.

Then I forgot to take a picture!

See The Spruce Eats for recipe.

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Ina Garten’s Fresh Apple Spice Cake.

My first time making this recipe, I made several changes right out of the gate. I used 20% white whole wheat flour, subbed 2/3 of the oil with applesauce, and added the equivalent of 1 t. boiled cider to the batter. My apples (honeycrisp from our tree) amounted to the equivalent of 5 cups chopped fairly small. I say equivalent because I made a half-recipe in four 5 ½” x 3” cake pans – two with raisins soaked in rum (topped with a pecan), and two with raisins soaked in apple juice (topped with cinnamon sugar). Baked on a pre-heated sheet pan, they took close to 50 minutes to bake.

The result is a nice little snacking cake with a fresh apple taste. The version with the cinnamon-sugar topping won the vote for “best”. We’re enjoying it, but I don’t think it’s anything earth shattering, and probably won’t make it again.

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That’s so nice to hear. Glad you enjoyed it. It’s a classic!

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Sour-cherry and lime scones – we both thought this a winning flavor combination.

The cherries were Kirkland brand Montmorency, and lime was added by rubbing zest into the sugar.

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Freezer-dive bread pudding, holidays past edition. A small round loaf of kulich (Russian Easter bread) from a friend, whose version is heartier and enriched with almond paste, and some of my mother’s fruitcake. Both are sweet, so I added no sugar to the custard of eggs and milk, but did add salt, vanilla, and a slug of dark rum to match the fruitcake (which came out of the freezer still wrapped in its rum-soaked cheesecloth).

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I would love these.

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I still have homegrown rhubarb and I also have some lovely fresh local apples. I’ve never combined the two in a crisp or cobbler, but I’m tempted …. Any thoughts or suggestions?

settled on this recipe. it smells delicious.

Like @CaitlinM, I’m clearing out the freezer of the last few remaining 2021 holiday treats to make room for this year’s baking season.

These are Felicity Cloake’s Chocolate Biscuits from The Guardian, which go down as one of my all-time favorite cookies: dark-chocolatey and crunchy through and through. The reason I’ve had a stick of dough in the freezer since last year is because of just how addictive I find them - it’s difficult for me to eat only one or two. I’ve been afraid to crack into the log, knowing I would be doomed to consume them all. Today I made a controlled bake of four to test baking times … and ate them all myself. On the upside, DH is not a fan of this cookie – more for me!

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“A controlled bake”

Excellent turn of phrase

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