Recipe Review

In one of Food & Wine’s recent magazines, they provided a recipe for Jacque Pepin’s favorite pound cake.  They said he likes to add candied citrus fruit rinds, etc. 

Since I couldn’t find it posted online somewhere, here the recipe:

  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 c milk, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 c cake flour

Preheat oven to 325.  Butter  10×5 loaf pan and line the bottom with strips of parchment paper that extend 2″ past the short ends of the pan.  I didn’t do the parchment paper strips, but I did make sure to that I sprayed my pan well with non-stick spray (I know, I didn’t do the butter either).

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and sugar at medium speed until fluffy (3 minutes).  Add eggs, 2 at a time, beating after each time.  Beat in milk.  Sift the cake flour and whisk until smooth.  Then pour into the pan.

Bake for 1.5 hours, until it’s golden on the top and cracked down the center.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then unmold the cake.  It can be kept at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days.

Now that I’ve given you the recipe, I can tell you that this pound cake is CRAZY delicious.  It’s heavy, rich, moist, and seriously awesome.

Jacque Pepin’s Favorite Pound Cake Dough  Jacque Pepin’s Favorite Pound Cake  Jacque Pepin’s Favorite Pound Cake  Jacque Pepin’s Favorite Pound Cake  Jacque Pepin’s Favorite Pound Cake

I know, low-fat fudgy cream cheese brownies?  Is that possible?  It is — I promise!  I was shockingly enjoying them because the brownies were chocolate-y and moist. 

Low fat Chocolate Brownies with Cream Cheese  Low fat Chocolate Brownie Cream Cheese  Low fat Chocolate Brownie Cream Cheese

I think I could have lived without the cream cheese top and saved myself some more calories.  But I know that’s just me. 

I also don’t like frosting.  Take a moment.  I know.

Again, using up more of the yogurt in my fridge by making a recipe for cinnamon raisin yogurt biscuits.

As with any biscuit recipe, don’t over-mix!  With the cinnamon/sugar mixture, I’d put in 3/4 of the mix and keep out only 1/4 of it for the top.  When I did a 50/50, I found I had too much cinnamon/sugar leftover.

I thought these were really good biscuits and since there’s less butter than normal biscuits, they’re somewhat lower-in-fat than normal.  They were still moist and full of flavor, but not quite as buttery as a typical biscuit.

Cinnamon Raisin Yogurt Biscuit Dough  Cinnamon Raisin Yogurt Biscuits  Cinnamon Raisin Yogurt Biscuit

I sent them to my dad and he said that out of the 50lbs of baked items I sent him (yeah, that shipping charge was pretty hefty), this was his favorite. 

Makes me wonder what he thought of the other 48 lbs…

OK, so before I tell you what I thought of this recipe of Irish Soda Bread (which used yogurt), I need to tell you that I needed to use up some Greek yogurt that was in my fridge.  I also need to confess something that I haven’t yet told you.

I hate yogurt.  I love the frozen stuff, but it’s the other one that I hate.  I can eat it if I have to, but I rarely do.  I don’t know why exactly, but I think it has to do with the texture.  So when I buy yogurt, it’s only for baking.

Phew, that felt good to reveal.  Ha. 

Yogurt Irish Soda Bread  Yogurt Irish Soda Bread

Anyway, I thought the Irish Soda Bread, while I molded it into a bread loaf, was actually quite delicious.  It was a little sweeter than I would have wanted, but it had a nice crunchy and hearty texture.  Great with soup!

I love spice cookies and the photo from this spice cookie recipe looked perfect!  It was super easy to mix, but I would recommend doubling the amount of raisins.  Yes, I actually had some in my cupboard and used them in the recipe.  I would also put the dough in the fridge so the cookies don’t spread quite as much.

Sour Cream Spice Cookie Dough  Sour Cream Spice Cookies

They smelled awesome baking and the taste?  Moist, spicy, sweet, and perfect!

I love cream cheese, but I found I had a lot remaining in my fridge.  Before it would have a chance to expire, I thought I’d make these cream cheese banana cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Banana Cupcake Dough  Cream Cheese Banana Cupcakes  Cream Cheese Banana Cupcakes

Wow, some seriously delicious and moist cupcakes!  Highly recommend trying this recipe!

I love naan bread.  What shocks a lot of people is that it’s easy to make at home — it just takes a hot oven (or grill).  I thought I’d try this naan bread recipe since so many said it was exactly like you get in an Indian restaurant.

This recipe was really good — it was a bit sweeter than usual.  I think next time I’d reduce the amount of sugar.  The trick to making naan look like what you get in a restaurant is to grill it (or bake it) watching the dough carefully so it doesn’t get too brown and crunchy.

Since I didn’t have a grill, I heated my oven stone to 500 degrees.  Then I placed the pieces of flattened dough and baked for 3-5 minutes until brown.  The dough was chewy and delicious.

Naan Bread Dough  Naan Bread Dough  Naan Bread Dough After 550  Naan Bread  Naan Bread

I do think this recipe beats this one for bread machine naan.

I sometimes hate the fact I bake.  Why?  Because when I have a sweet tooth, I can easily go to my kitchen and make something.  Damn it!

So I was having a serious craving for cookies and decided I’d try Cooking Light’s low-fat chocolate peanut butter cookies.

They are very easy to throw together and I relied on my typical baking method of “throwing everything in the bowl,” so my cookies didn’t look like the photo.  I used a small cookie scoop and threw a couple of pans in the oven.

Low fat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough  Low fat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies  Low fat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies  Low fat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

When they come out of the oven, the cookies are soft and awesome.   When they cooled, they become crunchy and kinda reminded me of the size of the Keebler chocolate chip cookies…but they tasted so much better.  I really liked these cookies and would definitely recommend this recipe.

I love banana, oatmeal, and chocolate so finding this recipe for a cookie with all three was perfect.  If you need a metric conversion, here you go.  These are approximate, but they are the amounts I used to make my cookies:

  • 150g butter – 2/3 cup
  • 180g mashed ripe bananas – 1 cup
  • 140g granulated sugar – 5/8 cup or 10 TBSP
  • 210g plain flour – 2 cups
  • 230g quick cook oats – 2 cups
  • 360g chocolate chips – 2 1/2 cups
  • 80g chopped nuts (opt)

Once I figured out all the measurements and mixed, I baked at 375 for about 12 minutes.   I used a medium cookie scoop. 

Banana, Oatmeal & Chocolate Cookie Dough  Banana, Oatmeal & Chocolate Cookies  Banana, Oatmeal & Chocolate Cookie

I thought they were moist and tasted exactly like a banana, oatmeal, and chocolate chip bread.  Awesome cookie!

I love Nutella.  What’s not to love?  Chocolate and hazelnut — just as good as chocolate and peanut butter.  Anyway, I wanted to branch out and try a recipe for Nutella cupcakes

These are easy cupcakes to mix, but I found I had to bake them a bit longer than the recipe said.  When I took them out, they looked great. 

Nutella Cupcake Dough  Nutella Cupcakes  Nutella Cupcakes  Nutella Cupcakes  Nutella Cupcakes

I didn’t think they were too heavy on the Nutella flavor so I would definitely recommend topping them with Nutella.  Or, you could put half the dough and then a dollop of Nutella and then top with the remaining dough.  They weren’t too sweet either so the Nutella “frosting” will complement, not overwhelm.  If you’re making them for someone, I’d also add some crushed hazelnut to the top. 

With these changes, I promise these will be crowd-pleasing cupcakes!

In my fridge, I found I had a few ounces of cream cheese and decided to find some recipes to use it up.  While I like watching Martha Stewart’s TV show since EVERYTHING is perfect, I had never tried one of her recipes. 

Until now.  I thought her recipe for cream cheese walnut cookies sounded delicious.  While there are more directions than I usually care to follow, they were surprisingly simple. 

When you’re making these cookies, don’t forget to factor in extra time for the dough to go into the fridge/freezer.  Also, I used a small heaping 1/4 tsp of Kosher salt (even though it called for more).

Once I molded into the best circular logs as I possibly could (meaning when I grew tired of trying to make them perfect), I cut them using a knife and a sawing back-and-forth motion.  Otherwise, you “rough” up the dough. 

Martha Stewart Cream Cheese Walnut Cookie Dough  Martha Stewart Cream Cheese Walnut Cookie Dough  Martha Stewart Cream Cheese Walnut Cookies  Martha Stewart Cream Cheese Walnut Cookies

When I took them out of the oven and tried a bite, the cream cheese gave the cookies a bit of a bite and the walnuts a crunch.  The cookies are definitely rich and reminded me a bit of shortbread. 

Seriously, if you find yourself with a little time, you should try to make these.  I liked them.

Beer bread is always a favorite in the winter and a perfect addition to serve with chili or stew.  I wasn’t sure how the 4-ingredient beer bread recipe would turn out, but figured I might as well try it.

When there are only four ingredients, you have to use high quality stuff.  So I used a bottle of Magic Hat Jinx Ale.  I think it’s important to use a thick, heavy ale with this recipe.

I didn’t have any self-rising flour, but I did have a lot of bread flour.  If you want to make your own self-rising flour, someone recommended using 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1.5 tsp of baking power, 1.5 tsp of salt.

Once I mixed everything together, I didn’t think the dough was super sticky.  But I sprayed my bread loaf pan and put it in the oven. 

4-Ingredient Beer Bread Dough 

The bread didn’t come out as high as I thought it would (maybe if I used self-rising flour it would have). 

4-Ingredient Beer Bread  4-Ingredient Beer Bread  4-Ingredient Beer Bread

But the flavor?  It was surprisingly sweet and really tasty.  It’d be great as a side with soups or used as sandwich bread.  I definitely recommend trying this one!

You’re going to find a lot of recipes for sour cream now because I had thought I was going to make this biscotti during the holidays.  I ended up making others, but found myself with a lot of sour cream! 

Anyway, I found this recipe from Daisy Brand Sour Cream for their gingerbread cake.   I didn’t have any allspice or lemon zest, but figured I’d still make it. 

Sour Cream Gingerbread Cake Dough  Sour Cream Gingerbread Cake  Sour Cream Gingerbread Cake

When the cake came out, it was super moist and full of spice flavor.  The cake did fall down a bit in the middle, but that was OK since I wasn’t going to serve it (instead, it was getting shipped to someone). 

This would be delicious with a brown butter or cream cheese frosting.  Whipped cream or ice cream would be good too!

I had about 3 cups of pumpkin leftover and was happy to find this recipe for pecan pumpkin biscuits that would help me use the remaining pumpkin puree. 

Pumpkin Biscuit Dough  Pumpkin Biscuits  Pumpkin Biscuits

As with any biscuit recipe, make sure you don’t overmix and you are going to find yourself enjoying some fluffy pumpkin buttery biscuits!  These are highly addictive and would definitely recommend trying them.

Instead of throwing out the maraschino cherry juice, I thought I’d see if there was another recipe that needed it.  I found a recipe for maraschino cherry loaf, but really, it should have been called “tiny maraschino cherry loaf.” 

The recipe itself was easy to mix, but when I poured it into my standard 9×5 loaf pan, it was only 1/4 filled with dough. 

Once the loaf was done baking, there was a nice light brown crust on the outside and a soft cherry flavor inside. 

Maraschino Cherry Loaf Dough  Maraschino Cherry Loaf  Maraschino Cherry Loaf

I don’t know if I’d necessarily make this again, but considering it did use up some of the maraschino cherry juice, I am happy. 

I’d definitely make the maraschino cherry cake before I’d make this tiny cherry loaf recipe again.

I had some buttermilk leftover and when I typed in “buttermilk recipes,” I found this one for buttermilk cookies

As one would expect, they were very easy to make.  I used a small cookie scoop and found they were slightly chewy with a rich and buttery flavor.  If you added lemon or orange zest, it’d be delicious!

Buttermilk Cookie Dough  Buttermilk Cookies

I don’t think I’d necessary run out to make these again, but if you’re looking for something different to help you use up your buttermilk, you won’t go wrong with these.

I love my Cooking Light subscription.  I really enjoy the photos and the numerous healthier recipes.  In their Septembere 2008 issue, a woman from Anninston, AL submitted this recipe for her favorite low-fat chocolate coconut oatmeal cookies. 

Since I couln’t find it posted anywhere, I thought I’d share it with you here:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 6 TBSP sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Mix everything together in a bowl and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. 

When I was making it, I had to add another egg the dough would combine, but you may find you don’t need it.  I used a small cookie scoop and the cookies came out perfect! 

Lower in fat Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal Cookie Dough  Lower in fat Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal Cookies  Lower in fat Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

They were absolutely delicious with a pleasant coconut and chocolate taste — a perfect combination!  You have to try these!

I actually made this recipe for overnight coffeecake on Christmas, but I haven’t had a chance to post it until now. 

Anyway, my dad flew out on Christmas afternoon and so I decided I’d make breakfast before he left.   Since we were in a bit of a rush, I was annoyed that it needed to be baked a lot longer than the recipe called for (about 60 minutes plus 10 minutes for cooling down). 

Once I cut into the coffeecake, I forgot about the additional baking time. 

The cinnamon and brown sugar topping was perfectly crunchy.  The dough was moist and tender.  It was a perfect coffeecake that was very easy to mix.  I didn’t make any icing since I thought it was going to be sweet enough — and I was right. 

 Overnight Coffeecake Dough  Overnight Coffeecake Dough  Overnight Coffeecake  Overnight Coffeecake

Definitely recommend making this recipe!

If I don’t have a shopping list, I’m aimless in the grocery store and I end up buying things I don’t really need.  This is why I found myself with a couple of purposeless lemons.

I thought I’d try to make this recipe for lemon spritz cookies since the recipe looked easy.  But there’s no call for baking powder, baking soda, or eggs.  A strange recipe but one that I thought I’d try anyway.

When I was mixing everything together, I realized that the mix was too crumbly and was never going to work.  So I added 1 egg.  When I noticed it was starting to come together but still needed more, I added one more egg. 

Lemon Spritz Cookie Dough  Lemon Spritz Cookies  Lemon Spritz Cookies

Also, my lemons must have been very juicy too because I squeezed the juice from 1 lemon which meant there was about 3-4 TBSP of juice. 

The cookies were tart and lemon-y.  I liked them!

A friend was raving about Daily Candy’s recipe they sent out in December from 1789 pastry chef Travis Olson.  In case you didn’t get the email, here’s the recipe that serves 8-10.

It is easy to make, but make sure to follow the directions!  There are a lot more directions than I usually care to follow, but it was worth it.  The result?  Wow.  It really was amazing.  It’s sweet, rich, and full of pumpkin and spice flavors.  It’d be perfect topped with ice cream or whipped cream. 



  • 1 loaf challah bread, with crusts discarded (I made my own challah bread, but definitely can use store-bought!)
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1½ cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. whole milk (I used 2% and it worked, but it wasn’t as creamy as I’m sure it would have been if I used whole)


  • Preheat oven to 375°. Cut bread into ½-inch cubes.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

  • Combine the spices in a small bowl and then evenly sprinkle the mixture over the bread cubes.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

  • Toss the seasoned bread cubes with butter and then spread the cubes on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for about twelve minutes, until just golden.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

  • Reduce heat to 325° and place an empty two-quart baking dish inside to warm.
  • Add the granulated sugar to a small sauce pot. Whisk in about half of a cup of water until it makes a pourable consistency. Boil without stirring until the mixture turns amber, about twelve minutes.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding Sugar Mixure

  • Remove the warmed dish from the oven and coat the bottom with a thin layer of the caramel mixture. (There may be leftover caramel, which you can save and use as ice cream topping.)
  • For the custard, add the pumpkin to a mixing bowl and whisk in the remaining ingredients, one at a time in the order listed.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding Custard

  • Add the toasted bread to the baking dish and pour the custard on top. Press down on the bread (yes, with your hands) to help it soak up the custard like a sponge, cover, and let sit up to an hour.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding  Pumpkin Bread Pudding After 1 Hour Soaking

  • Return the dish to the oven at 325° and bake until puffy and no liquid appears when pressed, about 45 minutes.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding  Pumpkin Bread Pudding  Pumpkin Bread Pudding

  • Enjoy warm with ice cream.

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