As I was writing this recipe, it occurred to me that I wasn’t really sure I understood the difference between a cupcake and a muffin. What was this thing I had created? Does a cupcake need frosting? Could that really be all it is? Do muffins need oatmeal or bran? I’ve seen muffins without wholesome, breakfasty ingredients. Are muffins breakfast food and cupcakes desserts? I was lost in a world of sweet batter. Read more
Posts tagged ‘dessert’
Caramel apples, candied apples, taffy apples… what’s the difference? I’ll tell you. Candied apples are apples covered in a cinnamon flavored clear candy (here’s a good recipe). The difference between caramel and “taffy” apples is a little more tricky. Some say there’s no such thing as a taffy apple, but I think the distinction is useful. Cook it a little less and you’ve got caramel apples, cook it a little more and you’ve got taffy apples.
I’ve never made caramel apples before. So, I started to research caramel apples. I have a good idea of how to make caramel–I was pretty sure I had made it… and then passed it by on the way to toffee. But as I was sifting through recipes, looking to mix and match to devise a recipe that would result in the kind of caramel apples I was imagining, I found an abundance of recipes that ask us to melt caramel candy and dip apples in it. I know it’s the snob in me that doesn’t like that, but I don’t. Read more
I’ve been putting off making marshmallows for years. Gelatin isn’t strictly vegetarian and I had been having a hard time justifying purchasing or using such a thing. On a recent road trip, though, driving for hours with a friend, we turned to the subject of animal byproducts.
Okay, I realize this isn’t what a marshmallow hungry person wants to hear about, but suffice it to say, I weighed my personal pleasure against one box of gelatin and the economic, moral, and political implications of that gelatin, and in the end, it seemed fair that I could try this, at least once, in the interest of accomplishing something new. Read more
Remember that raspberry pie? Well, once we had that, my aunt wanted more! So the next day, she requested a Michigan cherry pie. I, as always, obliged.
Cherries may not be Michigan’s most profitable crop, but they are the signature facet of Michigan agriculture. I think this goes beyond the cherry-friendly climate and extends more toward the way Michigan views its relationship to the rest of the world.
Ginger is one of those intoxicatingly ancient spices (even mentioned in sanskrit!). When I cook with ginger, I feel like I’m accessing a little part of my human ancestry. But let’s not get too romantic about it. I’m taking this spice and adding an amount of sugar befitting only to a new world palate.
The temperatures are dropping in Chicago this week and, well, you know what that means! Puff pastry! It’s futile to try to make puff pastry during heat spells unless you really want to rack up charges on your power bill. The pastry must stay cool at all times, which means frequent trips to the refrigerator/freezer not after, but before it becomes room temperature.
I always thought ice-cream making was for other people. Other people with ice cream makers.
What changed? I found an ice cream maker just about as old as I am in the basement of my parent’s house. And, like me, though it may not be in mint condition, it’s still capable of producing something tasty every once and a while.
That’s right. More raspberries. More decadent raspberries. As you might have noticed (thanks to the price tags on these babies), raspberries are a symbol of decadence–not basic nutrition.
Since they’re such a small, low-calorie food, hunter gatherers used to discard these. They weren’t even cultivated until the sixteenth century (that’s pretty late in the game for food cultivation). Even then, they were used for their medicinal qualities. Like rhubarb, raspberries didn’t really make it to North America until the early 19th century, so again, I think we can call these some pretty revolutionary berries.
Raspberries are in at the farmer’s market and I’ve got some! I decided to make three different dishes with these raspberries in order to spread them out and enjoy them for as long as possible (raspberries tend to mold very quickly).
I adore puff pastry, and think it was just made to be paired with berries and sugar; so I started here.