Baking

Ingredients for Sugarplums by The Messy Baker
Last-Minute Sugarplums

I always assumed sugarplums were plum-shaped candies made of marzipan and dusted in sugar. When I asked friends and family for their theories, guesses ranged from holiday jellies to booze-soaked prunes. We had never seen, let alone tasted one. To us, these Christmas confections existed only in Clement Clarke Moore’s poem...

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Deconstructed Apple Baklava

This recipe is a game changer. It turns baklava into a no-fail dessert for two types of Baklava Balkers — those who think phyllo is too hard to work with, and those who think the classic Greek dessert is too sweet. I’ve blogged about working with phyllo...

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Bourbon Blondies with Pecans and Chocolate

We ate on the living room floor, legs stretched out in front of us, leaning against the wall for back support. We’d finished unpacking the kitchen but the furniture wouldn’t arrive for days. Without so much as a folding chair, the room felt hollow. All my friend’s...

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Sticky Toffee Pudding

When I first saw the The Dirty Apron Cookbook by David Roberston (Figure 1 © 2014), I wanted to run home and make the ravioli pictured on the front cover. They looked rustic enough to give me hope, yet exuded artisanal confidence. I knew they wouldn’t disappoint. Besides,...

Spinach Dill Pockets
Making Spinach Dill Pockets on CTV

The Messy Baker launched two weeks ago today. I’m not sure where the time has gone, but since the book’s release I’ve hosted a garden party book launch, been on stage with Kim Severson at the Decatur Book Festival in Georgia, found myself on the...

Extra-Crispy Peach and Blueberry Crisp by The Messy Baker.
Extra-Crispy Peach and Blueberry Crisp

Writing a book is a lot like working in theatre. “Hurry up and wait!” is the mantra. You learn your lines (or write them in this case), hit your marks (deadlines) and then wait. For months. You watch the clock, the calendar and your nails...

Dried Cherry & Chocolate Chip Cookies by The Messy Baker
Dried Cherry & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Slice-and-bake shortbreads can be perfectly uniform and not put me off. I’ve no issue when one gingersnap looks exactly like the next. But I don’t trust chocolate chip cookies unless they resemble a culinary version of the Rorschach test. Although roughly the same size, each should bake...

Rhubarb-Raspberry Loaf and Muffins by The Messy Baker
Rhubarb-Raspberry Loaf and Muffins

Everything’s behind schedule. The spring bulbs, the roses, the fruit. And me. Especially me. While I chastise myself for tardiness, I’m actually pleased that Mother Nature is dragging her earth-encrusted feet. Here it is, almost July, and I’m harvesting armloads of rhubarb with leaves as...

Deep Dark Cherry Chipotle Brownies by The Messy Baker
Deep Dark Cherry Chipotle Brownies

Mother’s Day 2014 [caption id="attachment_16426" align="alignnone" width="800"] Photo courtesy the amazingly talented Ryan Szulc.[/caption] When I think of chocolate it’s hard not to think of my mother. She made boozy chocolate torte so full of liqueur and whipped cream it was one generous jigger away from dissolving...

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Maple Syrup — A Regional Food

Two years ago, almost to the day, I went maple syruping at a friend's farm. (Click the link! Go on. Not only will you learn how it's done, there's a photo of a really handsome dog.) The sky was overcast but the air was damp. And...

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