Friday, December 30, 2011

The Best of 2011: A Baker's Dozen

Why are we all so obsessed with lists?  Is it because no one has the time to read narratives any more? I think so, especially after a friend who wrote for several national women's magazines told me that the editors wanted to turn every story into a chart!

Having said that, I do love reading lists.  Compiling them is another matter altogether. There were so many wonderful recipes this year that it was difficult to choose but I managed (mostly by adding a number of honorable mentions, all of which are good enough to make the list).

And so, in no particular order, I present The Best of A Cake Bakes 2011:

1) Eleanor's Amazing Date Cake
Not an easy cake to make, but well worth the effort. And it's an important reminder of the deliciousness of dates.http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2011/07/amazing-date-cake.html


2) Lemon Meringue Pie
If my lemon chiffon pie had turned out better, it would have made the list.  But this c. 1935 lemon meringue pie shows that good taste never goes out of style. Light and lemony, this overlooked pie should be revived in the home kitchen.
http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2011/02/is-pie-new-black.html


3) Gingerbread Waffles
Just a wonderful way to start your Sunday morning and perfume your kitchen, without messing up more than one bowl.  In the unlikely event that you have extras, they freeze beautifully.
http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2011/11/gingerbread-waffles.html


4) Chocolate Pudding
Is there anything more comforting or evocative of childhood?  I think not.  This old-fashioned recipe will transport you back to the days before blogs, cell phones, and even Mighty Fine pudding mix.
http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2011/08/chocolate-pudding-under-influence.html


6) Cookie Kisses
The absolute simplicity of these (just egg whites, sugar, vanilla and chocolate chips) make them perfect for Christmas and whenever you want a light and delicate meringue cookie. Did I mention how addicting they are?
http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2011/12/cookie-kisses-wonderful-christmas.html


7) Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Fruit and cake make a lovely combination, and this one is a classic for a reason. Delicious, fun and dramatic.
http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2011/06/pineapple-upside-down-cake.html


8) Buttermilk Pie
When I originally wrote about this, I called it the Crack Pie of the 1950s.  And even though it didn't win a prize at the Daisy Flour pie contest, I'm a believer in "first thought, best thought" and stand by my initial assessment.  Fantastic.
http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2011/04/buttermilk-pie-crack-pie-of-1950s.html


9) My Best Gingerbread
Of all the gingerbread recipes I've tried (and there have been many), this truly is the best.
http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2011/12/my-best-gingerbread.html


10) Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings
For an absolutely adorable way to serve fall's fruit bounty, this high crust to fruit ratio dessert can't be beat.
http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2011/11/old-fashioned-apple-dumplings.html


11) Aunt Jenny's Favorite Cake
The perfect cake for a birthday party or any occasion.
http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2011/12/aunt-jennys-favorite-cake.html


12) Lemon Cake Pie
This vintage pastry delivers a pudding, a cake and a pie in one dessert. Deliciously.

13) Betty's Chocolate Cake
A simple, classic one-layer cake topped by a new-to-me (but very old-fashioned) foolproof vanilla icing.  Why this frosting ever disappeared from the American kitchen is puzzling.
http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2011/01/bettys-chocolate-cake-and-gravy-icing.html

And a few honorable mentions:
Praline Cookies
Lazy Daisy Cake
Grandma's Poundcake
Baked Custard
Television Almond Pastry

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