Bacon Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. Yeah It Happened

One of my favorite parts of my job is the opportunity to do some recipe creation. Last week I was tinkering with the best ways to make sugared bacon – tough gig I know – and once I found my preferred method I began thinking of what else I could do with the sticky, salty, mapley bacon goodness that I had created. I really liked the idea of putting it in a baked good but didn’t want it to be too sweet or too buttery. I also thought a little toothiness would suit the presence of bacon so I decided to whip up a oatmeal cookie base to make a home for these bits of chopped bacon and to compliment the smokiness I included some dark chocolate chips. Continue Reading →

Kitchen Music: Needtobreathe & Snickerdonut Muffins

This is what a little indecision looks like. While listening to Needtobreathe’s new album The Reckoning  yesterday I was inspired to make some comfort food. I have had two recipes on my “to do” list for a few weeks lately Snickerdoodle muffins and cinnamon sugar donut muffins. I couldn’t decide which to make so instead I opted to combine the two – take the fluffy body of the snickerdoodle and the sugary toothy crust of the cinnamon sugar donut. The results far exceeded my expectations. Continue Reading →

Carrot Cake My Way

I don’t make carrot cake often; when I was baking professionally making carrot cake meant grating 5-10 lbs of carrots per batch so my shoulders automatically tense up when the thought of making it even crosses my mind. But, it’s my friend Miguel’s favorite and all he asked for for his 50th birthday. So, today I broke out my old recipe and got to work.

In the spirit of revisiting an old standard I figured I would drag out one of the playlists I created for the morning bake off. Because we worked in an open kitchen, so customers could watch us bakers hard at work, we weren’t able to pick the music we listened to while we labored away. This meant that during the 3.5 hours between our 4:30 am call time and the 8 am open we would blast our own playlists to keep us awake and rocking during the bake off. Luckily the three of us bakers had relatively similar tastes in music and were always bringing in different collections of music to entertain and inform each other. Sometimes it got really silly – like the mornings when we’d all sing along at the top of our lungs – others the music was a good distraction from a frustrating morning of burnt cake or failed croissants. But the power of a good kitchen soundtrack was never more apparent than during my time as a baker. The particular playlist I revisited was one I created early on and it’s real mixed bag but I figured I’d share just for a laugh. Continue Reading →

A Pie For Mikey

A little over a week ago, as I was perusing my usual food blogs & foodie twitter feed I stumbled on this series of tweets.

It just grabbed my eye and with a little tracking around I discovered that Jennifer, a wonderful writer of all things food & creator of recipes, mother of two and a cherished part of the foodie social media community, had just lost her husband Mikey to a sudden and massive heart attack. She was using the comfort of the familiar 140 characters to begin negotiating her new reality. There was something about the honesty openness of her words that struck a chord in me. It is something I found myself doing after receiving the ernesto news. I leaned on the ritual and community of social media to both distract and comfort me. There is something about the slightly removed community that makes adjusting to major visceral life changes a little easier.

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Peaches & Cream Phyllo Tart

Phyllo dough has been calling my name for a few weeks now and ideas for exactly what to do with the finicky pastry. Finally, yesterday inspiration and time were both on my side so I set to work to make a tart that combined the gorgeous Jersey peaches I picked up at the market with my hankering for toasted almonds. The result was a wonderful success and much easier than I had anticipated.

Recipe after the jump…

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