Pecan Rolls

Pecan Rolls

Yummy, sticky, sweet, spicy… Pecan Rolls!

I wish I could make pecan rolls as good as Joann McCormack, “The Cinnamon Roll Lady.”  Alas, I must limit myself to those little sticky plops of ambrosia to summer, when I can get them at the Tuesday evening Culver Farmers’ Market.  Mine, though, are still pretty durn sticky-good.   My version is also easy and quick to make.  I can put it together in time for breakfast even on a busy Sunday with parade, chapel, or other commitments. Continue reading

Refrigerator Brioche Dough

Brioche Dough

Make and refrigerate (or freeze) a large quantity of brioche dough, and you can make a wide assortment of fresh goodies in little time

Things have been a bit really crazy lately, allowing not so much time to cook, let alone bake.  Yet the ducks kept laying eggs, even as the days get shorter and colder.  Normally they would have slowed nearly to a stop by now.  The result?  I’m running out of egg storage space!

So, on a stormy Sunday with no work duties(!) and a lot of studying to do, I decided to do something about it.  I made up about a 4 1/2 pound batch of refrigerator brioche dough!

Brioche is a (very) enriched bread dough, with lots of egg and butter, and sweetened with a bit of honey.  It’s often baked in a typical loaf shape, but can be substituted for challah, made into cinnamon rolls, or beignets filled with chocolate or jam (though that requires deep frying,  a mess I seldom want to deal with). Continue reading

Chad’s Brandy Glazed Zucchini Bread

Chad's Brandy Glazed Zucchini Bread

Chad’s Brandy Glazed Zucchini Bread

It’s the heart of zucchini season, and so that means zucchini bread.  I ran out of printed copies of my recipe at the market, and since, I’ve had at least a dozen people ask me for my recipe, with the urgency of most people with a refrigerator overpacked with squash.

Well, I promised I’d post it this week.  I just barely made it, but here it is for your weekend!

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Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buckle

I’m  not sure where my blueberry buckle recipe originates from.  I think it might have been 7th grade home economics class…  Nonetheless, I’ve been making it for years, with a few alterations along the way.  It’s a great way to celebrate blueberry season!

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Black Iron Black Raspberry Cobbler

Wild Black Raspberry Cobbler in a cast iron skillet

Black Iron Black Raspberry Cobbler: a decadent celebration of early summer, baked in a cast iron skillet.

Nature provides us with many wonderful and important things.  Among the most important are oxygen and wild black raspberries.  Truly, I can’t think of many things better, and nothing that makes a better celebration of early summer than Wild Black Raspberries.    Yes, that’s in title caps intentionally.

Picking them is a metaphor for life.  Good things don’t come easy, and some of the best come with a good deal of itching: our raspberries grow in the same niches favored by poison ivy, stinging nettle, wild blackberry, wild roses, and mosquitoes, and the tiny berries take a long time to pick.  But the reward is wonderful.  This cobbler takes a bunch of berries, so I tend to reserve it only for special people, like myself and my wife.  I bake it in a 9″ cast iron skillet, because I like it that way! Continue reading

Chad’s Soft Molasses Cookies

Aunt Lola, my great-aunt, made wonderful, soft, chewy molasses cookies that I loved as a child – almost as much as the date pinwheel cookies, or her apple jelly.  Somewhere along the way, well after she passed, I came across her date pinwheel recipe, and make those on occasion, but they are a ton of work.  I never did find her molasses cookie recipe, though.

So, about 10 years ago, I conducted a 6 month long series of trials, attempting to re-create her recipe.  My mentees and colleagues at Culver ate lots of bad cookies in the process!  What I came up with is not the same as Aunt Lola’s.  But they’re really darn good. Continue reading