Ben the Baker

Just a guy trying to get his kids to eat

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Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

Tonka Bean Madeleines

Posted by osakaben41 on April 4, 2010

Let me start by saying, I don’t expect this post to land me in jail, but I’m not 100% on that.  In the endless search for new things to experiment with, ingredients, techniques, or kitchen toys, it’s a rare and beautiful thing to find one that’s illegal.  Unlike most countries in Europe, The US does not allow the import of Tonka Beans (at least those to be used in food preparation).  The general concern is that these seeds contain the chemical coumarin, which can act as a blood thinning agent.  Taken in large doses, it can be fatal.  Oddly enough, you would think it’d be important to define “large doses”, but I haven’t come across that yet. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Cookies, Lemon | 3 Comments »

Pistachio & Poppy-Seed Crackers

Posted by osakaben41 on March 31, 2010

I’ve got a new muse these days, hopefully one that will smooth over the issues of “Sweet-lord what are you going to do with all that ________?!?” Normal people ask each other simple questions like, “I’m feeling peckish, wonder what we have to snack on?” My problem however has been “What am I going to do with this bucket of flan I just made?” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cookies, dough, Nuts, Savory | Leave a Comment »

Orange Tian (sort of) – March DB Challenge

Posted by osakaben41 on March 27, 2010

  It’s a strange thing, the places an idle mind will go.  I had every intention of sticking close to this months challenge recipe, but one thing leads to another and here we are.  The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.  

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cookies, DB Challenge, Fruit, Ice Cream, Recipes | 10 Comments »

Checkerboard Icebox Cookies

Posted by osakaben41 on February 11, 2010

My daughter turns 4 soon, and while we’re working on a small party for a her friends, her school does something called “the birthday walk”.  Each kid, on or near their birthday, walks in a circle around their class the number of years they are, singing, “the earth goes ’round the sun, the earth goes ’round the sun.  All year long, the earth goes ’round the sun.” 

…and then they give out cookies. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cookies, dough, Lemon | Leave a Comment »

Cherry & Chocolate-Port Macs – MacAttack IV

Posted by osakaben41 on February 6, 2010

Happy to have the MacTweet crowd out there as a monthly reminder to keep sharp and practice practice practice on my macaron technique.  The beauty and joy of this exercise is that after some of the more involved projects, it’s refreshing to come back to a two-note treat. What two flavors go well together in a two-bite cookie?  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chocolate, Cookies, Macaron | 8 Comments »

Nanaimo Bombe – DB January Challenge

Posted by osakaben41 on January 27, 2010

I missed the last two months of the DB’s for no better reason than just being too busy to catch up.  They put out some great Canolis in November and some stunning gingerbread houses in December.  I couldn’t stand to miss yet another challenge.

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and

The general idea was to make gluten free Graham Crackers and then incorporate them into the cookie base of a Canadian Nanaimo Bar.  The bars themselves consist of a chocolate base, in this case with Walnuts, Graham Cracker pieces and Coconut, with a ‘custard’ (though some say it’s more like a buttercream) center, topped with melted chocolate, sliced and served cold, or at least they were in this case. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chocolate, Cookies, DB Challenge, mousse, Recipes | 4 Comments »

Elvis Macarons (Mac Attack III)

Posted by osakaben41 on January 10, 2010

I’m a sucker for a decent online challenge, so when I came across the new MacTweets site, I just had to put something together. The rules for this round are


A good part of the appeal was the excuse to keep practicing something that I’d ruined at least 8 or 9 times but have recently gotten marginally proficient at.  Beyond that, I’ve had the Macaron fever for some time now, imagining different flavors when perhaps I should spend more time working.  Some people go to bed haunted by visions of tetris blocks falling, I’ve been seeing new uses for Chamomile, Poppy Seeds, and yes Bacon. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chocolate, Cookies, Nuts | 5 Comments »

Orange Custard Tarts

Posted by osakaben41 on November 1, 2009

Orange Custard Tart

Sometimes a picture is just too good to be ignored.  A quick glance was all it took, but I just couldn’t get these tarts out of my head.  I’m going to have to keep myself from visiting Flagrante Delicia too often or I’m just going to keep recreating everything she does, just not as well.

And I tried, I really tried to put my own spin on this one.  She did an Orange custard, I’d make it with Pomelo.  Couldn’t find any though, so what about Yuzu.  Couldn’t find any of that either.  I thought about just doing this with pink grapefruit, but my father in law was coming to town and he’s not a grapefruit fan.  Back to Orange it was then. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cookies, dough, Fruit, Ice Cream, Nuts, Tarts | Leave a Comment »

Macaron Mania – October DB Challenge

Posted by osakaben41 on October 27, 2009


What a great challenge this month.  It have everything that makes the DBs worthwhile.  An excuse to bake something new, a whole world of technique to practice, and with just a cookie shell and filling to do, a fairly easy vehicle for playing with different flavors.  Beyond that though, this month really turned into a chance to think about the nature of creativity.

I’d love to say that the Lemon with Red Lentil/apple confit idea, inspired by this Nordljus post worked out, or that I had time to put together the Black Sesame/Drunken Cherry concept.  I’m going to have to wait a little longer to find somebody that wants to try David Leibovits’s Ketchup Macaron, or Pierre Herme’s Vanilla Olive Oil Mac.  In short, I just couldn’t keep up with all the great ideas out there, but more importantly was just plain unable to put a personal stamp on these.

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cookies, DB Challenge, Recipes | 11 Comments »

Apple Cider Madelines

Posted by osakaben41 on October 14, 2009


Something about the fall makes my wife and I crazy for apple cider donuts.  We haven’t gotten around to the annual apple picking family excursion yet, but when we do, while the kids look forward to the hay rides, and general outdoorsy fun, we head right for the donuts.

Knowing that somethings are always going to taste better bought than made, if only because the joy is partially in the apple-picking fun, I still wanted to try making these, if only to see how hard they might be.  Turns out, surprisingly easy.

Perhaps someday we’ll try the fried donut approach, but without a fry-daddy on hand, and not wanting to waste that much oil for a frivolous experiment, I found this baked donut recipe online.  As we were having friends over for dinner, and not wanting to give the kids a donut each, I just filled the Madeline tin instead.  

Oddly enough the one problem with this recipe was that they came out too cake-y and not dense like you’d expect a donut to be.  Accidentally then, it was ideal as a small tea cake.  At least the kids seemed to enjoy them, and sometimes it’s nice to spend no more than half an hour on a project.

Posted in Cake, Cookies, Recipes | Leave a Comment »