The Season With Many Reasons to Celebrate
This is the time of year with so many reasons to celebrate. It’s the time of year for outdoor eating: picnics, parties and barbecues.
For me, it’s the time of year for baking ahead, testing new recipes, and freezing. Here are some new books and recipes that
focus on baking, and these recipes will show off your baking talents. Enjoy!
“Foods 52 Baking: 60 Sensational Treats You Can Pull Off in a Snap” (10 Speed Press) was written with recipes selected by the editors of Food52. Now you can have homemade treats like Dark Chocolate and Cherry Mandelbrot—even when it feels
like you’re too busy to turn on the oven.
Dark Chocolate and Cherry Mandelbrot
Contributor Credit: Molly Yeh
Makes 20 to 24 cookies
If you’re not familiar with mandelbrot (Yiddish for “almond bread”), they’re like a friendlier, more forgiving version of biscotti; you don’t need to pull out a hefty electric mixer or wrangle a super sticky dough to make them, but you do use the same technique of baking the cookies in a big log, then slicing the log and sending the cookies back into the oven to firm up. This less traditional take on mandelbrot uses almond paste to add pockets of softness and sweetness to an otherwise firm cookie. Because they have a long shelf life, they are perfect for sending in the mail as a gift.
5 ounces (140g) almond paste, chopped into small pieces
Confectioners’ sugar, for coating the almond paste
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
1⁄2 cup dark chocolate chips
1⁄2 cup dried sweet or sour cherries
2 to 4 tablespoons sliced almonds (optional)
In a small bowl, toss the chopped almond paste with a bit of confectioners’ sugar to prevent the pieces from sticking together. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and 1 cup of granulated sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then whisk in the vanilla and almond extracts. While mixing with a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture. Add the almond paste pieces, chocolate chips and cherries and stir to combine. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, and up to a day. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into two portions and orient them lengthwise on the lined baking sheet. Mold each into a long rectangle about 3 inches wide, making sure to leave about 2 inches of space between the logs. If the dough is sticky, lightly oil your hands.