What are you Baking the Week of January 10, 2021?

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    In case anyone is interested in the recipe. I prefer Michelle Urvater’s blondies which I bake often.

    Chocolate Chunk Cranberry
    Coconut Blondies

    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

    1/2 cup packed brown sugar,

    1/3 cup sugar

    1 large egg

    1 tsp. vanilla

    1 cup flour

    1/4 tsp. baking powder

    1/2 tsp. salt

    1 cup dark chocolate chunks

    1/2 cup craisins

    1/2 cup chopped pecans

    1/4 cup shredded coconut

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 8 x 8 in. pan with parchment paper and spray with Pam.

    Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

    Beat in egg and vanilla.

    Mix in flour,  baking powder and salt until just blended.

    Fold in chocolate, cranberry, pecans and coconut.

    Spread evenly in pan.

    Bake 35-40 minutes until golden brown.

    Cool before cutting into squares.


    My husband, who said he does not like Pfeffernusse, decided he liked them and plowed through my cookie supply. So, on Friday, I baked a new recipe, “Gma’s Ginger Crinkle Cookies,” which appeared in the Wisconsin Electric 2019 Cookie Book. My only change was to use white whole wheat flour. I used the #40 Zeroll scoop for shaping and ended up with 38 cookies rather than four dozen. My husband could not wait to taste test, so I had one as well. These cookies are excellent!

    Note: I wrote about this recipe in a thread in December 2019, and Rottiedogs posted a recipe from a cookbook that is nearly identical, except that it uses double the amount of ginger. If you search here for “Ginger Crinkle Cookies,” our comments show up.

    Note: I corrected the date.

    Mike Nolan

    Tonight’s pizza was pretty good, I topped it with artichokes, mushrooms, some tomatoes from our garden that have been in the garage since the fall, mozzarella cheese and some grated havarti, and fresh basil.

    I think the crust could be better, it was crisp at the edges but still pretty soft in the center. Maybe putting it on pre-heated tiles that are a little smaller than the sheet pan I baked it in would help? I baked it at 500 at the top of the oven.

    I’m thinking we may start havinv ‘pizza night’ at least once a month and I’ll keep experimenting with pizza crust recipes, Lord knows there’s enough of them available!

    I thought the sauce needed more seasoning, perhaps more salt, definitely more spices. I thought there were too many mushrooms and artichokes, but my wife thought there weren’t enough mushrooms. That may be a first for us!

    I put about a half dozen leaves (chiffonaded) of fresh basil on it, next time I’ll use even more, it was pretty good.


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    Your pizza looks scrumptious, Mike! I never thought of putting Havarti on pizza. I don’t normally stock it, but it’s my favorite cheese.

    Mike Nolan

    I’ve been known to use Romano as well, I think it adds a lot of flavor and aroma when sprinkled on top and allowed to brown. I keep the brick of havarti in the freezer because it molds quickly. I take it out and grate some with a microplane, then put it back in the freezer. I’m not sure if it would work to grate it before freezing it, when I freeze grated mozzarella it clumps together in the freezer.

    The lavash pizza we make is modeled after one we often get at a local restaurant/brewpub, they use havarti and mozzarella (and little or no tomato sauce.)

    Joan Simpson

    Mike I agree,love the way your pizza looks and know it must taste good!Nice.


    it does look delicious – I could eat some right now!

    Will might make some this week. I was watching a Baking Steel video where he subbed in beer for the water in the 24 hour dough. All he put on the pizza was a drizzle of olive oil and several grated cheeses. he took it from the freezer, grated it straight over the dough and said that being cold it kept the cheese from cooking too quickly.

    BA, re the beer – they mentioned that they’ve substituted other liquids – champagne, sprite, 7-up, coffee, coconut water, juices such as spinach or beet which add color as well

    Mike Nolan

    There’s a guy in Philly who is giving away pizzas that he bakes and then lowers down from his apartment to the ground for delivery. He’s done over 500 of them.

    See Pizza Delivery?

    FWIW, he uses two baking steels in his home oven to bake them. My older son has been using a baking steel and really likes it, that might be on my wish list at some point.


    I saw that article and sent it to the guys at Baking Steel – they said they knew all about it and he is a friend of the company.

    I love my baking steel and plan to get a mini griddle for my English muffins and Will’s tortillas. The problem with using the steel on the stovetop is that if you use oil it leaks all over the stove. the mini griddle fits nicely over a burner. the back is flat so it could be used for small pizzas in the oven.


    I went historical today. I baked a recipe I found in my grandmother’s recipe box. New Deal Cookies. Unfortunately, it turned into a project. The dough was too dry, so I added an egg. That made the dough too wet. Frustrated, I put it into the refrigerator in the mixing bowl to chill. Recipe says to chill. I thought all would be good if I heavily floured the pastry board to cut. Wrong! Dough stuck to board. Recipe says it makes 2 dozen cookies, and there wasn’t much dough. So I knew they were supposed to be small cookies, so I used my smallest biscuit cutter. I struggled and fussed and fussed and struggled with the dough, but I managed to end up with 28 cookies. Because I didn’t have enough flour on the board to compensate for the wet dough, the process of moving some of the cookie to the pan meant some were misshapen. Each cookie is to have a pecan on top. I only had walnuts, and I put them on only 12. I didn’t know what the finished product would be & I didn’t want to waste walnuts.

    Not worth the effort, but the cookies are good. Cakey. Pleasant flavor. Not too sweet . . . makes me think modern recipes use more sugar than necessary. Would I make them again? Probably not, since they’re cut-outs. I’ll keep the recipe in case a future generation has an inclination and the expertise to perfect the recipe.


    Italian Cook, you certainly persevered. I would have pulled out the cookie scoop and plopped them onto the cookie sheet, perhaps flattening them.

    Is there any reason they are called New Deal Cookies? What goes into them?


    ItalianCook, I agree, most modern recipes use more sugar than necessary. When I bake for myself I usually reduce the sugar.


    I’m glad that I planned to do pizza tonight. Mike’s pizza had my mouth watering.

    I have had a strong desire for pizza, so on Saturday, I made sourdough pan pizza. I made sure to start the dough early, before lunch, so that it could have a longer rise in the cool house—three hours for the first rise and two for the second. It is my usual recipe, but I added 1 Tbs. of milk powder, and I added an additional tsp. water, as the dough is better if slightly wet. I topped with sauce I froze last October, Canadian bacon, 8 oz. mushrooms, mozzarella, green onion, black olives on my half, and Parmesan over everything.

    I wish my husband were more adventurous when it comes to pizza. I may have to start making some for myself for lunch so that I can experiment.


    That’s a fine looking pizza, Mike. All this pizza talk is making me hungry for one.


    Len, thanks for saying you’ve had success reducing sugar in modern recipes. I’m going to try that. My husband also liked the New Deal Cookies because they weren’t real sweet.

    BakerAunt, I found the New Deal Cookie recipe in my grandmother’s file box. Therefore, I assume it’s from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal era. The ingredients are:

    3 tablespoon butter
    1/2 cup sugar
    1-1/2 cups flour sifted twice
    1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Most of my grandmother’s recipes call for sifting the flour twice. I clearly remember her teaching me how to do this. She’d sift flour onto paper. She’d measure it out & put it back in the sifter for the second sift. Then she’d measure out the amount & use it in the recipe. I really can’t be bothered with such a step, although I do it when I make her banana cake. I learned the hard way that being lazy with that cake ruins it. With the cookies, I stirred Gold Medal flour, spooned it into measuring cups, added to bowl with other dry ingredients, then whisked it, and called it sifted twice. That might have been my downfall with this recipe. I know that sifting twice my grandmother’s way results in less flour than my way.

    I considered scooping the cookies. But I was in the mindset that I was finally going to try this recipe. So I wanted to follow it as written. But it was such a bother that it’ll be a while before I try another of my grandmother’s recipes. My husband ate half the cookies yesterday. He indicated he’d like them again. Probably won’t happen, but I have been thinking it might make a good negotiation: His research on an Aerogarden in exchange for the cookies.

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