Baking

Rolly-olly-vertical
Leftover Pastry Dough – The Roly-Poly

Being born at the height of The Depression, my mother never wasted food. When there wasn't enough leftover pastry dough to top a chicken pot pie, she made a roly-poly.  She made them so often and with such authority, I assumed the roly-poly was the natural...

Classic, no fuss Lemon Meringue Pie - TheMessyBaker.com
Lemon Meringue Pie

There were no party hats. No streamers. No banner saying "Greaty at Eighty!" There wasn't so much as a candle. There was, however, pie. Simple, classic, 100%-from-scratch lemon meringue pie. Yesterday, my father turned 80. He marked the day by going about his business as usual. This...

chocolate
Chocolate Recipes for Easter (or anytime)

Easter chocolate is like the The Phantom Menace. After plenty of hype and lots of waiting you're all set for something dark and intense, but the final product is just a disappointing merchandising opportunity. Take the classic chocolate rabbit. Tall ears, a basket on his back...

vanilla-glaze-drip
Rum Vanilla Extract and Butter Rum Shortbread

The vanilla extract on the left is full of seeds and has a whole pod in the bottle. The vanilla beans on the right are fresh, fragrant and supple enough to knot. Both products are Really Horrible. Seriously. They're from Really Horrible Enterprises located in Ottawa, ON. I...

Homemade Graham Crackers - TheMessyBaker.com
Classic Snacks Made from Scratch – Graham Crackers

These quotes wrap around the bulkhead in Casey Barber's kitchen. I like that she's not afraid of orange, or irreverence, or figuring out how to get the cream filling inside a homemade Twinkie®. Her book, Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favourite...

Aebleskivers
Eager for Aebleskivers

These Danish treats are aebleskivers (or aebelskivers or ebleskivers or ebelskivers). Their pronunciation is equally elusive. Some say "able-skeever" while the Danish pronunciation is more "able-skewer" with a lilt I can't nail down. Literally translated, the word means "apple slices" since the traditional form has...

Chocolate pots de creme for two
Messy Valentine’s Day
Chocolate pots de creme for two The astute among you will notice the subtle change in the header. Although the domain name remains the same, Christie's Corner has been replaced by The Messy Baker. Baby steps, Charmian. Baby steps. The new domain name and layout are coming. Just slowly. There's a lot of tech involved and that always takes more time and chocolate than I imagined. My eyelids are quivering and I'm not sure if that's from hours of staring at a computer screen or fuelling myself with caffeine and cocoa beans. Regardless, stay tuned for changes. I don't normally celebrate Valentine's Day, but am going to make an exception this year. I've been sitting on some news and think Valentine's Day is a great chance to share the love. The Messy Baker is going to arrive in bookstores in Spring 2014. Yes, that's later than originally planned, but it's going to be published in Canada via HarperCollins Canada and the US / rest of the English-speaking world via Rodale. I'm still in shock. Anyway, let's celebrate with chocolate. I've two recipes for you. One is a newly created, ultra-decadent, romantic French dessert scaled down for two. The other is a healthy, family-friendly treat for those with real kids or just a very persistent inner child. It's one of my favourites and courtesy of Mairlyn Smith. So get out the baking chocolate, find a few extra dish cloths to mop up the spills, and say I love you with food.
Black-forest-trifle-P-1
Improvisation
Black Forest Chocolate Bundt Cake Recipe - The Messy Baker I think I've created a new, never-heard-of-before dessert. Bundt Trifle. Not because I'm trying to be different or start the next food craze, but because my imagination plays tricks on me. I had wanted to make a trifle in one of those clear, straight-sided dishes that shows off all the layers. I knew my mother had one. I just knew it — as in Bet-Real-Money-on-It knew it. I could see it clearly in my head. I could even tell you where it was stored. So I phoned my mother and made arrangements to pop over and pick up the bowl. When I arrived, my mother handed me the cut-glass bowl with sloped sides she uses every year for the Christmas trifle. "Thanks, Mom. But I want your other trifle bowl." There was no other trifle bowl.
Rosemary Almond Crackers
Rosemary Almond Crackers
So-and-so can't touch gluten. Whatshisface is allergic to eggs. Dairy gives Thing-gummy a rash. And Hoojicky? Garlic sensitivity. Happy Holidays, indeed. I feel for you. I do. Having been on both sides of this equation (I have played the role of allergic guest and accommodating host over the years) I feel for all parties. Unfortunately, it's very hard to find a recipe everyone can eat, let alone will gobble. Sorry, but not matter how many times you suggest tofu pudding, I'm not going for it. Given the scope of food allergies and sensitivities, I have decided finding the perfect party food is downright impossible. But I've come close. This recipe from Superfood Kitchen by Julie Morris (Sterling Epicure, 2012)  is egg-free, soy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, transfat-free and dairy-free. Yet this cracker is not flavour- or texture-free. It's pleasant on its own and plays nicely with almost any savoury dip you throw at it. And if that isn't enough, it also provides me with an opportunity to use my fancy dehydrator again. Win-win or what?
scones-broken
Buttermilk Scones | 2 Make-Ahead Options
Buttermilk scones with two make-ahead options - TheMessyBaker.com My shoulder's ache, my fingertips have callouses, and the daylight hurts my eyes. But The Messy Baker is written, filed electronically and a 292-page, double-spaced paper copy is beating up all the Christmas cards as it pushes its way to HarperCollins in Toronto. I have promised myself I will not obsessively check the tracking number until Wednesday —the earliest realistic delivery date. Wednesday noon? All bets are off. In the process of the Last Big Push, I broke a personal record or two. Not only did I write more words than the not-so-great NaNoWriMo novel of 2009, all were coherent (relatively) and spelled correctly (or at least recognizably). In addition, I am now officially the household champion of The Most Consecutive Days Spent Unwashed & in Pajamas — Without a Raging Fever or Knee Surgery Category. Until now, that title was held by my husband during the panic-infused finishing stretch of his recent book. I used to take comfort in my leaf green house robe. Now it reeks of hysteria and is stained with writer's tears. A Messy Robe for a Messy Baker. Everything is unfolding as it should.

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