Category Archives: Baking

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

As an long-time mostly-vegetarian, I know a thing or two about vegetarian feasting in general and the Vegetarian Thanksgiving in particular.

The rules below are mine.  What are your ideas or family traditions for feeding the vegetarians on Thanksgiving?  Please share your own insights—or feel free to request advice!—in the comments. Continue reading

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Rustic Apple Pie with Walnut Streusel Topping

I always make at least one apple pie a year, on Thanksgiving, with the last of the apples from our trees that are tucked away in the fridge.  I always use this recipe.Today, Election Day here in the U.S., seemed to call for an extra apple pie.  There’s the Americana kitch of apple pie, of course, and there’s the fact that a pie is always welcome at a potluck.  But making a pie is also meditative, soothing, distracting.  By the time I arrived at our usual Election Day party with three little girls and a warm pie in my hands, I was calm and confident and I had stopped obsessively refreshing polling data on my phone.  This was our fourth Presidential election in a row with the same savvy, snarky, deeply caring group of friends, and I rather think that we all deserved an apple pie tonight.  So do you. Continue reading

Banana Bread with Bittersweet Chocolate, Whole Wheat, and Olive Oil

I’m not going to disappoint anyone by telling you that banana bread is really cake, right?  And this banana “bread” is no exception.  It has a couple of healthful flourishes, yes–whole wheat flour replaces some of the white flour, and olive oil and yogurt stand in for butter–but it remains a sweet, dense, chocolatey cake.

And to be honest, I like whole grains in sweet baked goods at least as much for their hearty flavor as for any health benefit they confer (I mean, we’re still talking about cake here).  These whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, this rye flour zucchini bread (also a cake, of course)—the whole grains add a layer of flavor and texture that leave more refined baked goods tasting rather insipid in comparison. Continue reading

Pear Muffins with Cardamom and Vanilla

The ways of the fruit trees are mysterious to me.  One year it’s a bumper crop of plums, this year just enough for one indulgent afternoon.  The apple trees are staggering under the weight of their fruit, but we only got one apricot.  And the pear tree, espaliered out of the way on our small city lot, produced its customary dozen pears.  Which yielded, after a little bit of cleanup and a lot of simmering down, one and a half cups of chunky pear sauce.

We made the most of it with these muffins.

Let me just admit up front that they’re more cake than breakfast, unless you can see your way to combining the two–in which case, I assure you, you won’t be alone.  The crumb is tender, the tops are crisp with sugar, and the muffins are fragrant with the heady scents of cardamom and vanilla. Continue reading

Healthy Cookies

Welcome to Emmy Cooks! You can see some of my favorite recent recipes by clicking the “My Favorite Recipes” category on the sidebar (here are June, July, and August). If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Yes, I like vegetables, but I also like cookies.  And let me tell you, having three little girls is a good excuse to make cookies.  Lots of cookies. Chocolate Chocolate CookiesWhole Wheat Chocolate Chip CookiesBittersweet Chocolate Dried Apricot CookiesHazelnut Tea CookiesSavory Oatmeal Cookies with Rosemary and Black PepperButterscotch cookies (go ahead, sandwich them with Nutella).

Those cookies above, as you may notice, do not fall into the health food category.  And that’s ok.  But these cookies below?  They come awfully close.  And they’re lovely.  And I will be making them often.  And I will let my kids eat them for breakfast.

The original recipe comes from Hannah, a fellow Seattleite, chef, and writer of Blue Kale Road.  You should go read her post, a sweet reflection on enjoying the ordinary moments in life, and then you should go to the kitchen and make these cookies.

It’s almost a granola recipe, maple-sweetened with oats and salt and cinnamon.  And since I love my olive-oil granola so much, I figured that olive oil would work perfectly here as well.  And it does.  Did I mention that these cookies are vegan?This batch was filled with fig jam, since I had two open jars in the fridge.  (How does that happen?)  Tomorrow maybe I’ll try raspberry.  Hannah says the cookies freeze nicely, assuming you have any left over for long enough to freeze.  We didn’t. Continue reading

Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Tart

Still wondering what to bring to that Labor Day picnic?  Not only is this tart flavorful and attractive, it also hides a pound of eggplant.  And who doesn’t have a pound of eggplant to hide at this time of year?I mean, I’ll just go ahead and admit it: sometimes the most popular way to serve eggplant is hidden.  Eggplant?  What eggplant?  My oldest daughter gave this dish an enthusiastic review and said it tasted like pizza.  Continue reading

Zucchini Bread with Rye, Basil, and Mint

Welcome to Emmy Cooks!  You can see some of my favorite recent recipes by clicking the “My Favorite Recipes” category on the sidebar (here are June, July, and August).  If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

It took me all summer to get around to making zucchini bread.  I don’t have a go-to recipe, and I wasn’t feeling inspired.  I didn’t want spices.  I didn’t want nuts.  I didn’t want chocolate.

I wanted this, although I didn’t know it yet.  Butter, infused with basil and mint, so flavorful and delicious that I almost canned the baking idea in favor of just tossing that butter with shredded zucchini.  (I’ll be doing that too, you can be sure.)  The subtle tang of rye.  A little sugar, but not so much that you couldn’t still slather a slice in raspberry jam.  And we have.  Oh, we have. Continue reading