Stress Baking R Us

With DH’s company going under and all their work mostly being done, DH has had a lot of time for stress baking. Also he’s gotten a couple of dessert books (including one on cookies that MIL got him for Christmas!) (All Amazon links are affiliate)

Fruit and nut powerpack from Home Baking by Alford and Duguid.  This was a hearty dried fruit and hazelnut bread.

Nigella-date hearth bread from Home Baking by Alford and Duguid. I have decided I love nigella seeds–they taste like everything bagels all by themselves. This bread was soft and sweet and oniony and I loved it SO much. It doesn’t really need the dates, but it definitely needs the nigella seeds. (Also called charnushka if you’re getting them from Penzey’s, I think.)

These are chocolate tuilles from DH’s new cookie book that he got for Christmas: Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich. I found them a bit overly sweet. They were super crispy day one and still crispy day 2, but kind of got sad day 3. They’re really the kind of cookie I expect with something like ice cream or pudding at a fancy restaurant, but not on its own, you know?  They were also a bit of a pain to make so halfway through DH gave up and just made two giant sheets.

This is Pane con Pomodori e cipolle rosse from bread by Treuille and Ferrigno. OMG I loved this one so much. It’s a tomato onion bread, which meant DC1 refused to even try it, so it lasted a couple days. It was still good at the end! It’s I dunno, it seems more like a meal than bread. It’s savory and wonderful and very good with melty butter.

These are coconut sticks from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Medrich. My notes: Wonderful, amazing, coconutty but not too much. What the coconut cookie in the Danish tin wishes it could be.

I think this is just a plain white loaf from Treuille and Ferrigno, which may be the first recipe in the book. DH was looking for something not ostentatious that would be a good vehicle for jam after doing a bunch of fancy breads. He’s made this one a few times, but not as twisty. I could be wrong though. This could be some other bread. Who knows!

Gorgonzola and Walnut Pizza from Pizza by Williams Sonoma. It’s advertised as a savory dessert pizza and I think it would do very well. It’s super easy to make too and quite impressive. Like, just pizza dough, blue cheese, walnuts, and some kind of citrus zest on top. Super easy and very fancy.

DH woke up one morning and said, what if I made snickerdoodles but with cardamom instead of cinnamon? So he made snickerdoodles from the Old Fashioned Cookbook by Jan MacBride Carleton and half of them had cardamom sugar and the other half cinnamon sugar. It was a brilliant idea. Cardamom sugar works really well with a snickerdoodle dough. Try it sometime!

Zopf, which is a swiss braided loaf from bread by Treuille and Ferrigno. DH notes, “Great, but it’s really just challah.”

Doesn’t that hot gooey mozarella/gorgonzola mixture look amazing? It was. This is Foccia Farcita from bread by Treuille and Ferrigno. It was spectacular. This is how much was left after I got out of class. Luckily they saved both pieces for me (I had one for lunch and then one the next day.)

I think this is a modified bean bread that DH made from the Laurel’s Kitchen Bread book. One of my work colleagues knows I really like red bean paste so sometimes she drops some off with me, and this time DH made bread with it.

Hot cross buns from The Old Fashioned Cookbook by Jan MacBride Carleton. These are so good. Like, if I got them at a super expensive bakery in the city I would not be disappointed at all. They’re rich with nutmeg and the dough is just perfect. There are little presents (but not too many) of candied fruit and dried fruit (thank you inside. They’re just wonderful. These are the unfrosted version.  (You can see the red bean container in the back there with the green lid.)

Hot cross buns with frosting. The frosting itself is a wonderful complement but I can’t have too much. Generally what I did was take an unfrosted bun and scrape off a little frosting from the pan where it dripped. These are so so good. Unbelievably good.

… some kind of bread. Probably from Treuille and Ferrigno, but some of them look alike after a while.

What a lovely looking bread that DH made on October 28th. Do I remember what it was? Nope!  Maybe Pain de campagne from Treuille and Ferrigno?

Focaccia con olive from Treuille and Ferrigno. This was super yummy. Very soft and fluffy. Did not last long.

Well, what a nice looking loaf this is. Do I recognize what kind? Nope. Is this from back in October, yep. I would eat a slice now. I bet it is good with butter.  AHA!  It is South African Seed Bread from Treuille and Ferrigno.  It was good with butter.

DH made one of the fruitcakes in the Old Fashioned Cookbook. This was the only one we hadn’t made yet because it was pounds and pounds of candied and dried fruits and nuts and it just seemed like a lot. Boy was it a lot. But DC1 took a liking to it and it disappeared in a few days. I prefer a fruitcake with a bit higher bread to stuff ratio. I found this one a bit overwhelming. (Don’t get me wrong, I love fruitcake, but this one wasn’t my favorite.)

This is probably irish soda bread. DH often gets a hankering for it and just bakes it. We have three different recipes he rotates between, but I’m not sure which one this is, other than I don’t think it’s the one from the old fashioned cookbook which looks lighter.

Pumpkin cookies from the recipe DH’s mom uses (probably from the back of a pumpkin can several decades ago) in their unfrosted state and some kind of onion flatbread I’m not immediately finding in Treuille and Ferrigno.  But maybe it’s a pizza from Williams Sonoma?

Barefoot Contessa brownies.

Pretty sure this is a pizza from Pizza by Williams Sonoma.

Pumpkin Pie. We used the old fashioned cookbook recipe because that’s my go-to. I think I actually made this one, though DH did the pie crust.

Pain aux Noix, from Treuille and Ferrigno. This is Walnut bread.

DH bought himself a cake book. This does not have any chocolate in it, but it is from a book called Chocolat by Alice Medrich. It was pretty amazing. This is an apricot souffle. It was a multiple step process.

This is what a slice of the apricot souffle looked like.

French Apple tart from Home Baking. Yum.

An olive hearth bread from Treuille and Ferrigno. This did not last very long.

Pumpkin bread from Treuille and Ferrigno.

Italian Cherry Torte from Chocolat by Medrich. This is the unfrosted version.

This the frosted version.  We loved it and said it was even better day two.

Chocolate hazlenut torte from Chocolat by Medrich. Divine.

Some kind of fruit crumble but we can’t remember where it was from. Maybe Cook’s Country? September is a long time ago.


This is tea sandwich bread from made in a pullman loaf pan from an online recipe. (Which we got one year when I wanted English tea really badly but could not get it.)


What looks good?  Do you have anything exciting planned for Thanksgiving eating?

30 Responses to “Stress Baking R Us”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    I have been eagerly planning and looking forward to my Marathon Christmas cookie baking weekend. It’s been a source of escape for me.

    I have about a dozen tried and true recipes that everyone loves that I’ve perfected over time. I used to add one new cookie flavor a year to the gift boxes but lately I’ve been striking out on the new recipes I’ve tried. I wonder about the snickerdoodle. The classic recipe uses shortening and I’m considering swapping butter to actually make it palatable for us. I did make them one year and my friends in the south told me they tasted just like grandmas and were perfect but they were just MEH for us northerners. They reminded me of store bought grocery store cookies. You may have just inspired me to try again as I also have cardamom I want to use.

    Betty crocker’s reprint of the “cooky book” has all the classics in perfect proportions. I’ve tried various recipes from all over and when I cross reference the best ones (like my favorite sugar cookie cutout recipe, Russian tea cakes, spritz, shortbread, etc), I believe many of them are in this book.

  2. Lynda Says:

    Those look wonderful. I’m now coeliac (celiac) so a few of those breads might be achievable but not quite the same texture!

    Some English people have a good, crumbly cheese with that really fruity Old Fashioned cake: I would guess you have an equivalent to Wensleydale? More details here.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We have Wensleydale. Last year DH made the Christmas cake from um… Mary Berry? The woman on the great British bake-off? It literally took months but was a nice boozey fruitcake which we did eat as recommended with Wensleydale.

  3. wally Says:

    Chocolate snickerdoodles are also really good. Just sayin’.

    I plan to make croissants this holiday weekend – made them once before and they were good, but my success with making koign amann makes me think I might do a better job now. I’m also interested in making either bagels or soft pretzels.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      OMG I want kogin amann now. No way of getting it though. DH made croissants once many years ago and it was a full day of rolling and cooling and rolling and cooling and so on. They were good though. He keeps saying he wants to do it again while unemployed.

      Bagels and soft pretzels are delish!

  4. omdg Says:

    What amazing food porn. I am still trying to decide which one looks tastiest!

  5. Steph Says:

    Pumpkin cookies and pumpkin bread, because I am #basic and love fall flavors. It all looks tasty though! Do you or DH watch GBBO?

    My birthday is over the holiday weekend, so I bought boxed cake to make. I’m making some other basic Thanksgiving foods for myself; my classes are over so just doing some actual cooking feels like a thrill right now. And I made a huge batch of mulled cider for myself already, and I just reheat a cup or two every day.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Pumpkin products are the best, especially this time of year.

      DH watches GBBO, though on an occasional basis. I’ve seen a few episodes. He’s watched it enough that he has favorite contestants and has put their cookbooks on his wishlist.

      We FORGOT TO GET CIDER. DH is trying to decide whether or not to do an emergency grocery run, while I am considering seeing if the liquor store that delivers has cider… Mulled cider is THE BEST. Our plan was to have it going on the grill cooktop (there’s a little side thing for pots and pans) while we eat outside.

  6. revanche @ a gai shan life Says:

    I don’t think I could ever get behind fruitcake growing up so that’s an unacquired taste for me but I would happily eat my way down this list!

    I’ve recently.made a few keto low or no sugar desserts which I’m proud of but they’re nothing like these breads. Way to go!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      There are different kinds of fruitcakes– I like some of them better than others.

      TBH, my favorite is the kind off the nonesuch mincemeat container. (DH’s grandma who didn’t do much cooking always made this one and I was the only person besides her who liked it, but I really like it.)

  7. Katherine Says:

    I love cardamom so much! Those cardamom snickerdoodles sound amazing. Unfortunately my husband doesn’t like cardamom, but maybe I’ll make them over winter break anyway.

    Olive bread is so delicious!

  8. CG Says:

    How fun, and creative! We are doing Thanksgiving with my in-laws, who live in town and decided in about May they are part of our bubble and the hell with it. My MIL will make an apple pie and hers are fantastic. My daughter, who says she does not like cooked fruit (what?), was super bummed that we wouldn’t have pumpkin pie so she and I are going to make the one from The New Best Recipe today. Tomorrow we’ll make my grandmother’s parker house rolls. I’m also making a corn souffle which is not a traditional Thanksgiving dish for us because it does not feed the number of people we would normally have at Thanksgiving, but it is so good. Bring on the carbs. Hope you all have a nice day tomorrow.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      So yummy! We at Grumpy Rumblings approve of this Thanksgiving menu.

      Maybe we should change it up and make the new best recipe pumpkin pie instead of the old fashioned cookbook one. IIRC, does it have a ginger option or something? I suppose I should just go look.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yes, it is gingery and turns out it’s DH’s favorite pumpkin pie, so the dough is in the fridge prior to pre-baking. I’m so glad you said something!

      • CG Says:

        Hooray! We finished ours and it looks amazing. I tasted the filling before we baked it and it was lovely and spicy. Enjoy!

  9. becca Says:

    OMG those look amazing.
    I am especially jealous of the apricot souffle and the chocolate hazelnut torte.

    I think I want to try to make the gorgonzola and walnut pizza though. That looks plausible with my current skill level.

    I don’t think I’m making anything baked for Thanksgiving- we’ve just go a store bought 4 berry pie. Well, we will make a sweet potato pie with a premade graham cracker crust. But that’s because I wanted something my 11 year old could help make.
    I don’t normally cook thanksgiving so I’m not going to try doing things from scratch that I can find a version I like of to buy.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      100% recommend making the Gorgonzola walnut pizza. You can even get pizza dough from the grocery store for it. The citrus zest on top takes it to another level, but it’s still really good without.

      Sweet potato pie with graham cracker crust is TOTALLY baking.

  10. Alice Says:

    Probably the main baking thing ahead is the amazing gluten free gingerbread cake recipe from A Baking Life ( I don’t do the special mixes she recommends and leave out the guar/xantham gums. Instead, I just use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 baking flour in place of both flours and don’t worry about the binders. It still comes out deliciously. I usually make it for Thanksgiving, but this year am bumping it to Christmas because Thanksgiving-for-Three does not warrant two desserts and my husband and daughter both want crustless pumpkin pie. I’ve copied the gingerbread cake recipe to about 3 different files on my computer in fear that the site’s going to be taken down one of these days– she hasn’t posted since 2013. It’s become one of our traditions and I’d really regret it if I didn’t have it.

  11. bookishbiker Says:

    YUM! FYI Sweden has a thing called Kardemummabullar that is like a cinnamon roll but with cardamom instead. Sounds like that might be a hit in your household! They do a thing called fika which is afternoon snack break with coffee. It’s very lovely and you look well set up for that!

    That cherry torte looks sooooo good. I wish I needed to bake a lot of something. I did some electing baking – the best thing was the dulce de leche brownies on David Lebovitz’s blog. oooooooh they were good.

  12. FF Says:

    All of this looks delicious.

    Another cardamom fan here–I’ve made cardamom walnut cookies (recipe from NYT Cooking) a couple of times recently, .

    Other baking over the past few months includes more blondies, more popovers, and two All-Time Best Summer Fruit Tortes (Classic Home Desserts)–one with raspberries and peaches and one with Italian prune plums. I also made Apricot-Amaretto Fools (also from Classic Home Desserts), which is not baked.

    My baking plan for either tonight or tomorrow is the cranberry upside-down cake from Classic Home Desserts, which I first made for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago–it was very light because it uses a spongecake rather than a yellow cake base.

  13. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    These all look amazing. I am so impressed with your DH’s skills! I love Medrich’s recipes and chocolate hazelnut is also a favorite around here. Child #1’s favorite birthday cake is chocolate with homemade nutella on top. The cardamom rolls in the comments also sound delicious.

    I made 7 pies yesterday, but my personal favorite is pumpkin. I even roasted my own pumpkins this year! I ended up making the pie in a cake tin for reasons and it turns out that makes a massive pie.

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