Test Kitchen

I love to bake and I test a ton of baking books throughout the year so I get a little tired of seeing the same old recipes for chocolate layer cake and oatmeal cookies. Once in a while a great surprise will land on my desk, a book with originality that rethinks familiar sweets. Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito of Brooklyn's Baked bakery is '08's inspired dessert cookbook. Yesterday I made the Peanut Butter Crispy Bars, a cross between a Rice Krispies Treat, a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and a Whatchamacallit (but for grown-ups, of course). A coworker called these luscious, silky bars "dessert's answer to foie gras."  Another one of my new favorite recipes: the Sweet and Salty Cake, a fairly traditional chocolate cake layered untraditionally with salted caramel and coarse salt.

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