Buckwheat Oat Prune Scones

First, I didn’t have an intention to post these; they were made as a quick and informal eat-at-home snack. The scones were not attractive enough to be given away, but tasted pretty good. My son pointed that nothing should be judged by its look. So, at my son’s insistence, here’s the recipe below.

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Nut Free French Macarons

The October Daring Bakers’ challenge is the most temperamental cookies of all – French macarons. I stopped making these about three years ago, as my little son developed a severe nut allergy. Grinding the nuts, then multiple sifting seemed extremely hazardous and life threatening. I loved the cookies, but mother’s love was stronger, so I gave up on them. I didn’t have my baking blog back then, so this is my first macaron post. Somehow, it hasn’t occurred to me before to look for nut flour substitutes. But it is actually possible. Finely ground coconut, along, or in combination with black sesame seeds produced familiar, very French result. The shape, the texture (thin crackly crust and moist interior) were just as they were supposed to be. I made two kinds:

  • Coconut black sesame macarons filled with wasabi bittersweet ganache (totally awesome filling)
  • Chocolate coconut macarons filled with white chocolate and mango ganache

This month’s challenge was hosted by Ami S., who chose the macarons recipe from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern, which worked for me with some minor baking time adjustments.

I would advise not to get discouraged by some intimidating information on the net concerning the macaron making. It’s definitely not a rocket science. I never had any problem myself; approached them knowing no fear and succeeded on the first attempt (unfortunately, I also didn’t know then that I accomplished quite a feat :)

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Pumpkin Maple Brûlée Tarts

I don’t like pumpkin pie, to put it mildly. I find the basic untweaked pumpkin filling quite horrid, not much better than canned pumpkin itself. I hope I’m not offending anyone. Maybe I am being weird.
The pumpkin concentration in this recipe is just right to my taste, as well as the silky smooth texture of the crème.

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Ham and Cheddar Pretzel Bites with Honey Jalapeño Mustard

As soon as I read the tantalizing description of these bites in the “Gourmet” I rushed into the kitchen to make them. And I am glad I did!

The recipe is adapted from Edward Lee

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Apple Cheddar Coffee Cake

I can’t think of a better pairing for apples. With my apple pie I prefer a slice of cheddar to any ice cream. And when making an apple pie myself, I incorporate the cheese in the crust.
Well, this is not the aforementioned pie, but no less delicious treat. The extra-sharp cheddar is in the filling, as well as in the streusel topping.

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! (I doubt I’ll manage another post before Monday) And good luck with that turkey!

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Stuffed Baguette

A hollowed baguette obviously makes a perfect shell for any filling you are in the mood for. And once stuffed and properly chilled, it becomes a neat appetizer.

This particular one is filled with all my favorite things: goat cheese/cream cheese, sun dried tomatoes, olives, spicy salami, crunchy bell pepper, and fresh herbs.

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