Milk Bar Mondays

{gluten-free} Pistachio Layer Cake – Milk Bar Mondays!

Milk Bar Mondays are back, folks!

Well… sort of. A long, long time ago, now, I joined with a group of lady bakers and bloggers to bake our way through Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar cookbook, headed up by Audra at The Baker Chick. But then, as often happens, our lives eventually got in the way of the sometimes lengthy, complicated recipes in the book; we changed schools, jobs and cities, some of us had babies (!), and our recipe priorities shifted. I’m sure we all value our blogs still for the many aspects of joy they bring to our lives, but I can’t say I’m surprised at our slow fizzle.

I wish, though, that I could have shared this cake with the other MBM ladies. Because it’s weird. Good weird, but weird. I made it for my dad’s 64th birthday, as the man adores pistachios and for many years bags of them have been stocking stuffers, random tokens of love and birthday gift toppers. So, despite the questionable potential of the cake’s general likeability, the copious amount of not-cheap pistachio nuts and pastes that went into it, and the somewhat lengthy procedure (that doesn’t feel that long, now, if I admit it to myself), this cake would be made.

And, damn, is it good. Weird good, but good.

Continue reading

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{gluten and dairy-free) Brownie Pie – Milk Bar Monday!

Gluten-dairy-free Milk Bar Mondays Brownie Pie Love...

Gluten-dairy-free Milk Bar Mondays Brownie Pie Love…

We’re baaaaaaaack!

Sometimes inspiration for making something sweet comes from a new pan or a road trip to someplace spooky with friends. And sometimes it comes from a group of ladies you’ve met via the interweb, and have agreed to bake your way through a cookbook with!

I’m tickled pink that the Milk Bar Mondays ladies are back after a hiatus so that we could take care of a few small things; members moving and graduating college and having babies, the little beautiful details of life like that! Every time I get wiped from the mess of internet madness that makes me want to head for the hills — where wifi and mobile service are replaced by oak trees and crickets — I stumble upon the picture of one of my beautiful lady friends with their growing belly, or growing child, or growing dreams, and my heart fills up and I am so thankful to this crazy bit of technology that’s helped me find such talented, lovely people.

And together it’s brought us on a trippy journey, baking our way through Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, me adapting as I can to fit my dietary needs. We’ve had some incredibly yummy ones — the Compost Cookies I can’t stop making, the decadent Chocolate Mallow Layer Cake that sent me swooning, the Blueberry and “Cream” and Chocolate-Chocolate cookies and Birthday Layer Cake and Chevre Frozen Yogurt with Beet-Lime Ganache… love.

And here we are again, with a dangerously rich chocolate Brownie Pie nestled in a graham crust. And, for you and moi, this version is gluten and dairy free.

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Chocolate Mallow Layer Cake – Gluten-Free for Milk Bar Mondays!

Chocolate Mallow Layer Cake

Chocolate Mallow Layer Cake

I interview chefs weekly for Serious Eats, a national website that covers restaurants, bars, recipes and events. Lately the subject of diminishing pastry chefs and departments has come up a bit, most prominently with Lauren Resler, a pastry chef I adore who turns out layered, whimsical desserts for her restaurants, Empellon Taqueria and Empellon Cocina here in NYC (if you haven’t been – go!).

I’ve questioned many a pastry chef as to who they think the next “it” chef of their generation would be; a Michael Laiskonis, Johnny Iuzzini or Alex Stupak on the rise. Many of the chefs I’ve asked say something simple needs to be done: someone needs to focus on reinventing classics with a deeply personal twist, something old but incredibly new as well.

As I adapted Christina Tosi’s Chocolate Malt Layer Cake into a version us gluten-free eaters can enjoy, I realized that Tosi may just be that chef. Granted I’ve never eaten one of her desserts, as they’re all loaded with gluten and dairy. But as the Milk Bar Mondays ladies and I have baked our way through her cookbook, I see that she’s doing exactly what we want someone to be doing: elevating classics into something so over the top that, like pastry chef Stephen Collucci said when trying her Cereal Milk Ice Cream, “it’s so good it’s stupid”.

This cake is so good it’s stupid.

Continue reading

Gluten-Free Blueberry and Cream Cookies – Milk Bar Mondays!

Blueberries-and-Cream-Cookies2

One of the many things I love about our Milk Bar Mondays swap is that it helps me branch out with the kinds of baked goods I make. This cookie is a perfect example – I wasn’t totally wowed by them, but I gave a bunch away for my New Years presents (I’ve decided that I’m giving cookies away in January instead of for Christmas, and it’s my new favorite tradition), and tossed some at my roommate.

They got rave reviews. Continue reading

Peanut Butter Cookies – Milk Bar Mondays

I walk into my kitchen to get a cup of tea and Christmas fills my nostrils. Maybe it’s the strains of Love Actually coming from the living room where my roommate is wiling away the Saturday afternoon. Maybe it’s the fact that now that Halloween is over I can officially start planning menus and dreaming of trees. Maybe it’s needing something to distract me from Hurricane Sandy coverage in NYC. Maybe it’s these things and…

peanut butter.

Every year for as long as I can remember, I’ve made those classic little peanut butter cookies with a Hershey kiss on top (even though I’ve never freed them of gluten so haven’t been able to eat a bite). Out of all my holiday collection, they are the most requested and I make them by the hundreds…

Our Milk Bar Monday group took a little hiatus for the past few weeks to give space for Audra Wahab to be renamed Audra Fullerton and Krissy Winnick to welcome baby Ezekiel Vincent Winnick into the world!!! But now we’re back in our kitchens – though with slightly diminished numbers – and still determined to bake our way through Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar cookbook. Continue reading

Grapefruit Pie: Milk Bar Mondays!

I’m on my 10th straight day of cooking in the Hamptons. I’m a sweaty, tired mess of a happy person. I am so sick of cooking food… until I make something that delights me and the people I work for. Then I remind myself that it’s pretty cool that I get paid (well) to cook food, which I love to do anyway.

Somehow in the insanity that is workdays that begin at 7pm and don’t end until 14 hours later, I was able to make this pie, today’s Milk Bar Mondays group recipe. Actually, I was able to squeeze in two pies in the two days, because this one didn’t quite work out. It also happens to be for a swap set for today, so check out my second grapefruit pie for the Burwell Recipe Swap: Grapefruit Sponge Pie!

Being that I’m not home with my arsenal of alternative ingredients and the family I work for doesn’t have any sensitivies, I figured this swap was a good chance to do a Tosi recipe as written and enjoy working straight from the book, as we don’t substitute unless absolutely necessary.

But then… Continue reading

Gluten and Dairy-Free Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies: Milk Bar Mondays!

Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies – Gluten and Dairy Free!

I’m missing shooting real photos with a real camera, instead of frantically with an iPad while I cook more in one day than I ever used to dream I could. Anyone have any suggestions for how to make photos from an iPad look awesome?!?!

Other than that bit of crankiness I’m pretty psyched by this Christina Tosi Milk Bar Cookbook recipe that Cassie of Bake Your Daypicked for today’s Milk Bar Mondays swap. Even before I baked these kids up, I knew that they were going to be crazy-awesome. And considering the time that goes into most Tosi recipes (the Apple Pie Layer Cake and Carrot Cake Truffles being two that spring to mind), these are relatively easy to make. And super awesome.

Being a cookie, it’s a simple matter of whipping together some fat and sugar, beating in some protein and more fatty yumminess, and then folding in gluten-free flours and starches and some chocolate crumbs.

Because, of course, a Tosi cookie has to have that little something extra. It has to have some crumb, crunch or liquidy addition to take it from “oh my dog yeah” to “save me from myself this is just too much yum in one cookie“.

Let’s just say I may have eaten a bit of batter before putting these mammoth babies in. Continue reading

I Chat With Chef Markus Jernmark and a Missed Milk Bar Monday!

Last night at around 9pm I sat down on the floor in my office at my dad’s house – empty and dark and quiet – and cried for about five minutes.

Life is just… full… right now.

I love everything I get to do… almost. But evidently it’s catching up with me. I cried for another 40 or so seconds today.

I need sleep. Everything is more dramatic when you’re sleep deprived.

I have a feeling more than 27 of you out there understand.

I picked 27 because it’s the first number that came to mind. No further reason.

Anyway, two fun things are out in the world today.

The first, my We Chat With… interview with Marcus Jernmark of Aquavit in NYC is out today on Serious Eats NY. I loved sitting down with Chef Marcus, and once again found myself rejuvenated and motivated by someone’s passion, dedication and sense of humor in the chaotic field of food. And his plates are seriously gorgeous and you want to eat them immediately – two things that don’t always go hand in hand in NYC nowadays. And look at that smile! Nice, nice guy. Click on the image to be directed to the interview. They come out Monday mornings, all by yours truly.

Chef Marcus Jermark, photo Brent Herrig Photography

The second, my Milk Bar Mondays ladies! I haven’t had enough days off to make the deliciously lengthy Christina Tosi Milk Bar creation for this week, which makes my heart sad. This week Audra of The Baker Chic and Erin of Big Fat Baker made a Sweet Corn Cereal Milk Ice Cream Pie that is about to set me into a third round of tears, it looks so good and I wish I had a gluten-dairy-free version waiting for me RIGHT NOW! I even bought the ingredients two weeks ago, then didn’t have a day to make the recipe. Sniff. Check out these beauties (and click the images to be directed to their sites). Only 2 of 6 of us posted this week… I have good feelings about the next one.  I hate missing this swap. But what can you do?

From Audra of The Baker Chic

From host Erin of Big Fat Baker

Now I’m back to balancing books, driving, transcribing, researching, chatting, eating and, always, inevitably, cooking.

Happy Monday folks,

– Jacqueline

Birthday Layer Cake for Milk Bar Mondays!

Happy Birthday Tuesday!

This is Tuesday:

Technically, today is Monday.

But today is all about a pup named Tuesday, a 10th birthday, and a Milk Bar Monday Birthday Layer Cake.

This gluten-free adaptation from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Cookbook is incredibly rich and buttery, shocking sweet and incredibly festive. She strove to encapsulate the joy of funfetti box cake (the Confetti Cookies from the same family were possibly my favorite of the bunch that the Milk Bar Mondays ladies have baked up). This one doesn’t quite take the prize in my mind, but as I sit here noshing on a slice with a scoop of dairy-free honey ice cream (look for it in my feature in next month’s Easy Eats magazine), I still can’t help but shake my head in “oh my dog” mode.

A layer of incredibly dense, buttery cake flecked with sprinkles
(not hard to find gluten-free).

A wash of milk and vanilla (almond milk, in this case).

A layer of frosting that truly tastes like you got it out of a tub, only a million times better.

A sprinkle of Birthday Cake Crumb.
The whole “crumb” aspect of Tosi’s work is quite genius.

Then two more layers of that combo. Continue reading

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Cookies for Milk Bar Mondays!

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies by Avery Cooks (photo hers)

Um, you know when you’re so overworked, overjoyed, underslept and overscheduled that a facebook post, phone call, text or tweet makes you slap your head in “how the hell did I forget about that?!?!?!”

That just happened to me. I was tweeting something along and saw the #milkbarmondays handle.

Crap. That was this Monday. I had somehow deluded myself into thinking that my Chevre Frozen Yogurt post was only last week. Which is a laughable idea.

But, if you scroll down, you’ll see that the only posts I’ve done since then have been about my interviews for Serious Eats NY, of which I sometimes take 3 or 4 a week and which take about 7-10 hours each to complete.

If you look at Easy Eats magazine’s blog… yup, those are all my loading and much of my writing.

I went to the awesome TechMunch bloggers conference on Friday and elbowed my way through NYC’s first Great GoogaMooga food/drinks/music festival this weekend and got some great pieces that I’m now working to edit and build frantically before starting a new full-time private chef position on Friday.

I really need a cookie!

So, once again, I’m linky-linking up. My Milk Bar Monday gals have done an incredibly job with this recipe. Check them all out at their links below, and head to Avery Cooks for the full recipe, her awesome notes on the process and problems, and pictures that will make you scream like Cookie Monster.

Happy Milk Bar Mondays, folks. I’ll be more organized and coming back soon with three summer series – gluten-free luncheon salads, gluten and dairy-free meat marinades and my 10 new gluten-free baking videos for EHow:Food!

– Jacqueline

Audra from The Baker Chick

Cassie from Bake Your Day

Erin from Big Fat Baker

Krissy from Krissy’s Creations

Meagan from Scarletta Bakes

Nicole from Sweet Peony

Follow the Milk Bar Monday ladies on Twitter

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