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Tag Archives: baking

Melting Snowman Cake for Food Network!


There must be a million different melting snowman treats on the blogosphere, so when my friends at Food Network approached me to make a melting snowman cake, I wanted it to be something fresh and different. I'd never seen a melting snowman bundt cake, so that became the plan. One bundt cake turned into two stacked high, so we ended up with a double bundt cake that will feed the masses at your next holiday party!
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Baking 101: How To Make Pie Crust By Hand

Baking 101: How To Make Pie Crust By Hand

Let’s talk about pie crust!  It’s important because hopefully you have a homemade Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie making it’s way to your holiday table this year.  Pies come in a few parts, homemade pie crust, loads of filling, and some sort of topping (crumble of crust) –  but every solid pie starts with a flaky crust.  

Making a pie from scratch can be intimidating.  I know it.  I really do.  I teach people how to make pie crust a lot and I know it’s scary.  I have a tremendous track record.  We’ve got this.  

There are a few tricks to making a flaky pie crust from scratch – believe in yourself (this goes a long way, I swear), keep your fat and your water cold, work fairly quickly, add more water if necessary, and knead gently but confidently.  

Here are some step-by-step photos to walk us through but leave a comment below if you have any burning pie crust questions!  

Others in the BAKING 101 SERIES:  

  •  Which Oven Rack Should I Use?

Continue reading Baking 101: How To Make Pie Crust By Hand at Joy the Baker.

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Instant Strawberry Hot Cocoa Mix


Rumor has it that today is National Cocoa Day! I'm not sure that pink strawberry hot cocoa was what they had in mind when the holiday was created, but that's okay. It's delicious and makes a super cute gift-in-a-jar. 


This just takes four ingredients to make! You'll need high quality white chocolate, instant nonfat dry milk, Nestle Strawberry Nesquick and pink (or white) mini marshmallows. When prepared, the hot cocoa has a wonderful strawberries-and-cream flavor. Strawberry milk fans will love this! I've been sipping on it regularly because I am strawberry milk crazy!


I found these Ball Sharing Jars at the grocery store, but they are also available for purchase online. They have a pretty shape and look a little fancier than the usual canning jar.


The powdered milk in the recipe means you need nothing more than hot water and a mug to enjoy this cozy treat. However, my favorite way to enjoy it is stirred into hot cashew milk.


Instant Strawberry Hot Cocoa Mix
Yields 2 1/3 cups hot cocoa mix (two gifts)

Wash and dry the canning jars thoroughly before using.

7 ounces high quality white chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (42g) instant nonfat dry milk
1 cup (110g) Nestle Strawberry Nesquick powdered drink mix
2 canning jars, 16 ounce capacity
2 cups (86g) pink or white mini marshmallows

Place the white chocolate in a food process and pulse until chopped into small pieces. Add the dry milk and strawberry drink mix. Process until the mixture is well combined and no large chunks of white chocolate remain.

Divide the mix between two 16 oz. jars. Top with each jar with 1 cup of mini marshmallows. Lid the jar and add a tag with preparation instructions.

Tag directions: Combine two tablespoons strawberry cocoa mix with 6 ounces hot water or 6 ounces hot milk.

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endive salad with toasted breadcrumbs and walnuts

I understand that most people, normal people, can outline phases of their lives through jobs or photo albums or even where they lived; I apparently can do it through endive salads I was obsessed with at the time. In 2005, there was one from Nigella Lawson in the New York Times with toasted hazelnuts, grain mustard, lime and orange and sesame oil. My husband and I were a relatively new thing at the time and he wasn’t terribly into endive but he ate it politely for weeks and weeks, and eventually came around, or caved. Same thing, right?

what you'll need

Nine years later, I surprised my husband with a weekend in Miami for his birthday, although I hadn’t realized when I booked it four months earlier that I would be pregnant at the time and unable to enjoy so many of the culinary wonders of José Andrés’ Bazaar — tartares and raw oysters and his signature gin and tonic and no I’m not still mad about it, you’re still mad about it and want a do-over. The endive salad with orange segments, goat cheese, almonds and chives made up for a whole lot; I couldn’t get enough of it and it made it at least 18 more times when I came home, and demanded you make it too. (I still maintain that nothing goes better with the latke course at any Hanukah lunch or dinner gathering, a lightweight contrast.)

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Find the Best Champagne on Any Budget

You need to load up on bubbly, but clueless about cost and quality? Not to worry! There's great Champagne and sparkling wine for every budget.

Wine Folly - Learn about wine.

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Panettone Muffins


I look forward to purchasing a big loaf of panettone on December 23rd, because it makes really delicious and special French toast for Christmas Eve breakfast. This year I'll be breaking that tradition because I've found something even better! These panettone muffins are divine and they hold all the distinctive flavor panettone is known for. I'm hooked!
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Peanut Butter Buckeyes


This is one recipe that I've been meaning to add to my recipe index for ages. Back in October I asked my Facebook friends what kind of traditional holiday sweets they cook up in December. My Ohioan friend Tina said "It's not Christmas in Ohio without buckeyes." That made me reflect upon the last time I had them, which was almost too long ago to recall! I added them to my advent list that very moment.
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Beautiful Brussels Sprouts Video by The Pioneer Woman

I wanted to thank you so much for watching my Creamy Mashed Potatoes video and weighing in last week! I read every comment and the feedback was so helpful as I plan the next several cooking videos. Great suggestions, guys—some of it I never would have thought of myself. Your suggestions will be reflected in […]

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Let It Be Sunday, 149!

Let It Be Sunday, 149!

Hello dear friends! A year ago this week I was in the kitchen at the White House, making holiday cookies with Ashley and Molly and oooohhh just the White House Pastry Chef.  Exactly 1 trillion things have happened since that time.  Just all the stuff that makes us cheer and cry, scream and wonder, and hopefully act more generously with our empathy and genuine curiosity for one another. Hopefully.  

I’ve been in San Francisco visiting my maj (a maj is a best friend, a major) this past week.  The skies are bright blue, the air feels easy, we’ve gotten to spend some really sweet and important time together, and as a bonus,  I’ve made a post 10pm webmd self diagnosis that I really think I’m right about. 

Everyday is a winding road.  Sheryl Crow had it right all along.   

Here’s some words from this week:  

•  Medium has a series of essays gathered together as Words That Matter.  There are all sorts of important writers and thinkers who have offered essays to the group including Margaret Atwood, Roxane Gay, Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

Continue reading Let It Be Sunday, 149! at Joy the Baker.

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DIY Mulling Spice Ornaments


Stirring up a batch of bubbling mulled cider is one of the coziest ways to get into the holiday spirit. Last year my mother-in-law gave me an ornament filled with mulling spices that she found at a local Christmas market. It was a lovely little thing to get, and so useful! I knew it was something I'd like to give because I enjoyed receiving it so much.
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