Tuesday, December 6, 2011

recipe: brew-infused apple sticky buns

I recently scribed a guest post for In Search of BeerRyan Hudak's website that details his on-going feat for sampling new beers, all while sharing everything hop-associated, including brew news, event recaps, and even, recipes for cooking and baking with beer. 

Since I too am always on the hunt for the next best beer and strive to incorporate beer in everything possible (talking in dinner, in desserts, and of course, in cocktails), I decided to contribute editorial that tied my love for my PA Dutch culture with my obsession of baking–all of which had to be splashed with beer, of course.

Click here to read up on my time-consuming methods of crafting from-scratch Pennsylvania Dutch Sticky Buns–a recipe I particularly enhanced with fresh apples and extra-special bitter beer. If you can squeeze in the time, for all the glory of dough kneading and dough rising, I promise you that these sweet breads are always a crowd-pleasing hit.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

holiday cookie swaps and bacon chocolate chunk biscotti

There are no elaborate rules to the holiday cookie swap that I host with my best friend. While we together take baking very seriously, an affair that is themed around a sugary spread of everyone's favorite cookies should never be a tense event.

So, if you're a cookie party virgin, do not skip asking for an invitation to our next sweet treat gathering. Whether you're an experienced kitchen crusader or you briefly dabble in dessert-making, no one acts as critics in this get-together, but instead, attendees appreciate each and every contribution, requesting recipes for this and that, aiming to simplify their holiday baking by providing having a fine, diverse take-home sampling for their upcoming parties–or simply, to steal bites from throughout the Christmas season.

For this year's holiday cookie party, I opted to whip up two brand-new recipes for our guests' pleasure. Sometimes, I have lofty baking ideas, and with slim time to actually concoct fine jewels of desserts, they typically end in disasters.

But, I promise you, the following two recipes are crowd-pleasers, perfect to take to any cookie shareeven one of those that all bakers spend entire afternoons prepping for, designing their cookies and their plates, stressing over if their hard-worked contributions will be a raging success.