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TDF Archives

Speculoos-Dipped Strawberries

Valentine’s Day is around the corner.  Some of us dismiss it as a cheesy Hallmark holiday.  Some of us revel in the traditional chocolate and champagne.  Some are happy to celebrate their loved ones, some are unbearably lonely, and some are just plain angry.  Love does that to us.

I’m no expert, but as [...]

Fried Dried-Apple Hand Pies

When I talk family traditions and family recipes on The Domestic Front, I’m usually talking about my family – the family I was  born into, or the family I’ve made with Ken and Nuni and Boo.   My family is close (now that my cousin has moved back to LA from NYC, the farthest [...]

Mincemeat Rugelach

Mincemeat Rugelach Rugelach dough, of course, is very similar to a lightly sweetened pie dough, and mincemeat, with its combo of dried fruit and sugar, is not that dissimilar from traditional rugelach filling. Rugelach is a traditional Jewish cookie, of course, and Mincemeat is a traditional Christmas treat, but I have an ecumenical attitude when it comes to good food. And good these are — not too sweet, crisp on the outside with a soft center. You get an echo of mince pies, but these are lighter, despite the prodigious amounts of butter and cream cheese in the dough. And if you want lighter still, you can make smaller cookies by forming into pinwheels and slicing before baking. [...]

Eggnog Rum Balls

Eggnog Rum Balls
So on to cookies. Because what is a celebration without cookies? I’ve always loved eggnog – it has been an integral part of The holiday. But as I get old(er), my tastes have changed, and drinking what is essentially a glass of custard has become less appealing. Enter these no bake cookies. Vanilla, nutmeg and rum, but in a convenient bite sized form. Now that’s something to celebrate! [...]

S’Mores Krispie Treats: the Bake Sale Sweet Spot

0abb29d4d1b2ce105e72479e0b5e684be94e6a4b These S’Mores Krispie Treats were my contribution to the bake sale. They are easy to make. They are big. They have visible chocolate AND marshmallows. They recall not one but two favorite childhood treats — S’Mores and Rice Krispie Treats. And they are sweet. They are very sweet. My husband called them diabetic shock in a convenient bar form. In other words — PERFECT bake sale fodder. And they got snapped up (though not as fast as those little ghost pops, but I don’t have the patience to make those.) [...]

Mango Rum Trifle with Coconut Custard

Coconut Mango Rum Trifle This trifle (which was inspired by a query from my friend Rebecca, who was looking for a tropical themed dessert to take to an outdoor production of the Tempest) is a variation on my family’s trifle. We always used Sara Lee pound cake, and it works beautifully, but I suppose you can make your own. Do make your own custard though. The one, made with 2% milk and whole eggs instead of cream and egg yolks, is not too rich and not too sweet. Assembly is quick, once the custard is made, but do allow some time for the flavors to marry in the refrigerator. And don’t worry about beauty. Trifle is about how it tastes. [...]

Moist Orange Layer Cake with Orange Buttercream

My personal favorite take on a bunny cake (or a birthday cake, or a Sunday afternoon for no reason layer cake) is an orange layer cake with orange buttercream frosting. I love chocolate cake, and won’t turn up my nose at a good coconut cake, or carrot cake, but when it comes to layer cakes, orange cake might just be my favorite. Orange cake seems to magically straddle that divide between those who prefer what my friend Mike calls the “brown” flavors (caramel, nuts, chocolate) and those who prefer a fruitier touch. I’ve been making this particular cake quite a bit lately (layer cake happens to be a pregnancy craving) and it’s easy to throw together, with a nice orange flavor and a moist crumb. Orange Cake 2 [...]

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies 1 OK, I am a sucker for chewy homemade chocolate chip cookies. And nothing quite hits the spot in the fall better than my friend Kas’s molasses cookies. And these yeasted butter and sugar cookies are so unusual and addictive, they must be given some credit. But these oatmeal cookies are definitely in the TOP FOUR. And they’re really the cookies I’m famous for. When I was in high school, I’d bake these all the time — they were my dad’s favorite cookies, and were requested for holidays and family gatherings. I got out of the habit for a while — tried other oatmeal cookie recipes, cheated on my favorite, but I keep coming back to these — they’re really the BEST. Chewy and buttery, with the nuttiness of the oats and the crunch of walnuts. You don’t have to make them with chocolate chips — raisins are a perfectly acceptable substitute if you’re a purist — but I happen to think that chocolate chips elevate oatmeal cookies into the realm of the sublime. [...]

Cranberry Pecan Upside Down Cake

Nantucket Pie 3 I wasn’t sure what to call this. The recipe that I adapted it from is called a pie, but we all know a pie, and this is no pie. Cobbler would have a higher proportion of fruit, crisp would be, well, crisp. Torte seems too highbrow. This combination of sweet tart cranberries, caramelized sugar, crunchy nuts and a dense, sweet buttery dough is definitely not highbrow. It takes maybe 10 minutes to throw together (if you move slowly) and is homey and delicious and beautiful. Cake is perhaps the closest approximation, though light and fluffy this is not. [...]

Greensicles – Avocado Mint Ice Cream Pops

Avocado Mint Pops
These avocado mint ice cream pops please both the kids and the adults. They check the boxes of sweet, cold and messy, but they’re also outrageously creamy and they have a flavor that you can’t quite place. The perfect cold and creamy treat for the steamy hot days of summer. [...]