This keepsake cookbook features fetching retro patterns and illustrations, luscious photography, an embossed foil cover, and—surprise! —a tiny, vintage-style, booklet inside. Blue-ribbon recipes inspired by baking pamphlets from the 1920s to the 1960s are rendered with irresistible charm for modern tastes in this sweet package. Here are more than 50 cookies, pies, cakes, bars, and more, plus informative headnotes detailing the origins of each recipe and how they were tweaked into deliciousness. For home bakers, collectors of vintage cookbooks or kitchenware—really, anyone who loves beautiful, quirky gifts—this is a gem.
The following recipe is extracted from The Vintage Baker by Jessie Sheehan (photography by Alice Gao)
Chocolate-Marshmallow – Walnut Fudge with Sea Salt
Makes 36 squares
I rejiggered the recipe for Campfire Marshmallow Fudge from A Book of 150 Recipes ~ Prepared with Campfire . . . Marshmallows (1928), because I love the booklet almost as much as I love the combo of marshmallows and chocolate. To avoid using a fussy candy thermometer, I used sweetened condensed milk, which produces a fudge-like consistency in less time. Deeply toasted walnuts and a generous sprinkling of salt cut the sweetness of the marshies.
16 oz [455 g] dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tsp table salt
1¼ cups [300 ml] sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups [240 g] toasted walnuts (see note), coarsely chopped
3 cups [150 g] mini marshmallows
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Grease an 8-by-8-by-2-in [20-by-20-by-5-cm] pan with nonstick cooking spray or softened butter. Line with parchment paper.
Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until the chocolate melts. Add the salt, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. The chocolate may seize up temporarily. Over medium to medium-high heat, continue stirring until the mixture is smooth. Once smooth, stir for about 1 minute more, and remove from the heat.
Add the walnuts and marshmallows and stir with a wooden spoon until they are fully incorporated (the marshmallows will not melt). Transfer the fudge to the prepared pan, drape with plastic wrap, and flatten with your hands. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and turbinado sugar.
Place in the refrigerator until hard, about 2 hours. Using a sharp paring knife, cut into 36 pieces and serve. Fudge will keep tightly wrapped on the counter for up to 1 week.
Toasting Nuts: Place the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350°F [180°C] oven. Toast for 10 to 20 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned. Stir the nuts with a wooden spoon every 5 minutes or so, to ensure they brown evenly. Watch carefully— nuts can burn very quickly.
Get your bake on and find out more about The Vintage Bakerhere!
This is Grace’s favourite cake and I bake it often for that reason. A mash-up of recipes inspired by my favourite food blogs, it’s incredibly easy to make and is decadent without being too heavy or too sweet. The frosting, a total small victory because of its simplicity and ingenuity, was inspired by a post that I bookmarked years ago from Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen. To make it, you simply whisk together room temperature sour cream with melted chocolate and a little maple syrup. How smart is that? The cake itself, a riff on one from Jenny Rosenstrach’s Dinner: A Love Story, is a classic “dump cake,” (the worst name ever, I know), which means you put everything in one bowl and stir it together. Small victory: No huge mess, no creaming butter and sugar, no fuss whatsoever. I use raspberry jam in between the layers, but you could swap it for any flavour jam you like (or make an extra batch of frosting and use that). A great sum of simple parts, this is my kind of baking. This cake is great right away after you assemble it, but is truly at its best served cold out of the refrigerator.
1¼ cups [150 g] all-purpose flour
1 cup [200 g] sugar
¾ cup [75 g] Dutch-processed cocoa powder (such as Guittard or Droste), sifted if lumpy
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
8 Tbsp [110 g] unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup [240 ml] strong black coffee, at room temperature
1 cup [240 ml] buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup [130 g] semisweet chocolate chips or roughly chopped semisweet chocolate
¾ cup [180 ml] sour cream, at room temperature
1 Tbsp maple syrup
½ cup [160 g] raspberry jam (seeded or seedless, whatever your preference)
Raspberries for serving (optional)
To make the cake:
Preheat your oven to 350°F [180°C]. Use your hands to butter the bottom and sides of two 8-in [20-cm] cake pans, then line the bottom of each with a circle of parchment paper. For good measure, butter the parchment paper. Set the pans aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the melted butter, eggs, coffee, buttermilk, and vanilla and whisk until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans (my friend Larry suggests using a cup measure to be accurate).
Bake until the cakes are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer the cakes, still in their pans, to a wire rack and let them cool completely. Once cool, use a dinner knife to loosen the edges of the cakes from the pans and invert them onto your work surface (you might need to give the pan a little whack). Peel off and discard the parchment.
To make the frosting:
Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Put the chocolate chips in a large stainless-steel or heatproof glass bowl and set it over the pot (the water should not touch the bowl—if it does, simply pour some out). Stir until the chocolate is melted. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in a microwave in 15-second increments, stirring between increments.) Remove from the heat and whisk in the sour cream and maple syrup. The frosting should be smooth and quite silky. Refrigerate the frosting until the cakes have cooled. It will thicken as it cools (a good thing).
Once the cakes are cool, put one on a serving platter upside-down so that the flat side is facing up. Spread the jam over the top. Put the second cake on top of the jam-slathered cake, again flat-side up—this way you get a nice flat top. (If the jam makes the layers slip and slide a bit, use a couple of skewers to hold the layers together while you frost the sides and then remove the skewers to frost the top). Using a small offset spatula or a dinner knife, spread the frosting all over the sides and top of the cake. There’s no need to be perfect with this; I like it kind of rustic looking. But if you’re more of a type-A person, go ahead and smooth the top and sides (and you could even stick strips of parchment paper under the bottom of the cake before frosting it to keep your serving platter clean). Whatever makes you happy.
Let the cake sit for about 1 hour before serving. There’s something about letting each element get to know the others that serves this cake very well. In fact, I prefer to make it the day before and refrigerate it overnight, and serve it cold. Either way, slice and serve with some fresh raspberries alongside if you’d like.
Note: If you only own a single cake pan, fear not! Simply pour the batter into the pan and bake it until a toothpick tests clean (it will take 10 to 15 minutes longer in the oven than the two separate layers). Once the cake cools completely, use a serrated knife to cut it into two layers. Voilà.
FOR CUPCAKES, distribute the cake batter in a standard 12-well muffin tin lined with paper liners and bake until firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Top with raspberry jam and/or the frosting.
FOR VANILLA CAKE, leave out the cocoa powder and coffee.
FOR THE QUICKEST VANILLA FROSTING, whip ½ cup [120 ml] heavy cream until stiff peaks form and fold in ½ cup [120 ml] room-temperature sour cream. Sweeten with powdered sugar and add a splash of vanilla extract.
Happy Wife, Happy Life Chocolate Cake recipe is taken from Julia Turshen’s new cookbook; Small Victories. Did you give this recipe a go? Snap a picture and share it with us @AbramsChronicle.
“I can’t wait to cook my way through this amazing new book,“ Ina Garten writes in the foreword to this cookbook of more than 400 recipes and variations from Julia Turshen,writer, go-to recipe developer, co-author for best-selling cookbooks such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good, Mario Batali’s Spain…A Culinary Road Trip and Dana Cowin’sMastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen.
The process of truly great home cooking is demystified via more than a hundred lessons called out as “small victories” in the funny, encouraging headnotes; these are lessons learned by Julia through a lifetime of cooking thousands of meals. This beautifully curated, deeply personal collection of what Chef April Bloomfield calls “simple, achievable recipes” emphasises bold-flavoured, honest food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. More than 160 mouth-watering photographs from acclaimed photographers Gentl + Hyers provide beautiful instruction and inspiration, and a gingham spine elevates this entertaining and essential kitchen resource into a covetable gift for both beginners and accomplished home cooks.
Small Victories: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home Cooking Triumphs by Julia Turshen, photographs by Gentl + Hyers, foreword by Ina Garten | Chronicle Books | Hardcover | £21.99
Do something different this Pancake Day, go bigger than lemon & sugar.
Try your hand at a Dutch Baby Pancake!
SERVES 2 TO 4, DEPENDING ON THEIR HUNGER LEVEL
The very first time I heard about a Dutch baby pancake was on trash television. I’m not one to watch much television, but when I was a high school student, any excuse to procrastinate on studying was welcome. In the midst of the scripted hullaballoo on screen one evening, the characters enjoyed a Dutch baby pancake—a sweet, popover-like . . . well, pancake. It is simple and comes together quickly in a bowl (or in a blender, if you don’t mind noise in the morning). The batter isn’t sweet, so if you prefer a sweet pancake, add as much sugar as you’d like to the ingredients; I think 3 Tbsp should be sufficient to please any sweet tooth. It’s fantastic served as a normal pancake, with a dotting of butter and a thick lacing of amber maple syrup. Or try it with butter and jam, or eat it like a crêpe, with wedges of lemon and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt
1/2 cup/120 ml milk, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup/60 g all-purpose flour
Heaping 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Put a large cast-iron skillet in the oven.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt until they’re light in color. Whisk in the milk and vanilla. Vigorously whisk in the flour and sugar until all lumps are gone, about 20 seconds.
Carefully remove the cast-iron skillet from the oven. (Remember to put an oven mitt on before handling the hot pan—I’ve forgotten to do so, and it’s very painful!) Add the butter to the pan. Allow the butter to melt, and cajole it around and up the sides of the pan with a pastry brush (I prefer to use a heat-resistant silicone pastry brush to do this).
Pour the batter into the hot pan and return the pan to the oven.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the center is set and the edges are puffed and a lovely light golden brown.
Using a silicone spatula, remove the Dutch Baby from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack for 3 minutes. Immediately slice it up and dole it out.
For a quicker method, get out a blender to mix the batter; however, as I’ve mentioned in other recipes, I always find an excuse to avoid the clamor of powerful kitchen machinery early in the morning. If you do get lumps in your batter with the mixing method explained in this recipe, simply run everything through a sieve—lumps begone!
You don’t need a cast-iron skillet to make this recipe. You can simply use a 9-in/23-cm cake pan or a skillet with an ovenproof handle. If you’re using a cake pan, put it on a rimmed baking sheet to make transporting it in and out of the oven easy.
This recipe is from Hand Made Baking by Kamran Siddiqi.
All heartache will be forgotten with the help of Kamran Siddiqi’s Heartbreak Chocolate Truffle Cookies.
MAKES ABOUT 12 COOKIES; ENOUGH FOR A WEEK OR SO OF HEART-MENDING
After a heart-wrenching break-up, I found myself making these cookies on a near-daily basis for several weeks; I’d eat one a day, late in the evening, when I felt my soul at its weakest. It was the only way I could get the strong fix of chocolate I needed to mend my aching heart.
Chocolate, friendship, and laughter are crucial to mending a broken heart, so make sure to have a couple of these, your best friends on speed dial, and a funny book by your side. And if all else fails, eat cookies and watch videos of cute kittens and puppies on YouTube; all will be well, my dear reader. I promise!
½ cup/115 g unsalted butter, cut into ½-in/12-mm cubes
5 oz/140 g dark chocolate (minimum 64 percent cacao), roughly chopped
⅔ cup/80 g whole-wheat pastry flour
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine-grain sea salt
¾ cup/150 g packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups/340 g chocolate chips or 2 ¾ cups/ 350 g shelled unsalted dry-roasted pistachios, or a mixture
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt together the butter and dark chocolate. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. On low speed, beat in the melted butter and chocolate. Turn off the mixer and stir in the flour-cocoa mixture until just combined. Then stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop 3-Tbsp portions of dough onto the prepared baking sheet about 3 in/7.5 cm apart.
Bake for 13 to 16 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking, until the cookies are crackly and the centers are still soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, or until it is cool to the touch. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool a bit before eating. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
During my entire mending period, I never really intended on sharing these cookies (they were for me, after all) with a large crowd of folks, so I found myself, more often than not, baking a couple of these cookies at a time and storing the rest of the cookie dough as per these instructions: Unless you absolutely want to bake a few dozen cookies in a day, store extra cookie dough in the freezer. First portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place the sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until the dough is fi rm. Transfer the portioned-out dough to freezer-safe re-sealable bags marked with the kind of cookie dough and the date. Most cookie doughs freeze safely for up to 6 months
Time to put your bread baking skills to the test with this delicious gluten-free Adventure Loaf from Josey Baker Bread!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
measuring cups or scale
big mixing bowl
oil or nonstick spray
loaf pan (about 8 by 4 in/20 by 10 cm)
psyllium seed husk
mixing spoons (optional)
cooling rack (optional)
sea salt, fine grind
Sometimes you need a bread that is so dense, so hearty, so jam-packed full of seeds and grains (and devoid of air) that it will sustain you on your mightiest of adventures. That’s what this bread is for. But that’s not all it is for . . . it’s also gluten-free! That will either entice you or turn you off, but either way I really hope that you give it a shot because it is incredible, and it is suuuper healthy. It’s unlike any other bread in this book, in that there isn’t even any flour in it, and it isn’t fermented—it’s basically just a bunch of seeds held together with a little bit of psyllium seed husk and chia seeds. I started making it in the bakery because we kept having folks come in and ask us for gluten-free bread, and I got tired of saying no. Up until we made this bread, I had mostly been turned off by gluten-free breads, because it seemed like they were all just trying to imitate wheat breads, and failing miserably. But this bread stands on its own—it is gluten-free and proud of it. Special thanks goes out to Sarah Britton, blogger at My New Roots; her recipe inspired this bread.
Gather your foodstuff and tools.
Toast the seeds. Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C. Spread the sunflower and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and toast until they start to brown, about 15 minutes, stirring halfway between baking.
Measure ingredients. Dump this stuff into a big bowl.
2 ¼ cups/235 g
4 ½ cups/470 g
9 cups/940 g
1 cup/160 g
2 cups/320 g
4 cups/640 g
½ cup/65 g
1 cups/130 g
2 cups/260 g
almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
¾ cup/90 g
1 ½ cups/180 g
3 cups/360 g
¾ cup/120 g
1 ½ cups/240 g
3 cups/480 g
psyllium seed husk
1/3 cup/25 g
2/3 cup/50 g
1 1/3 cups/100 g
3 Tbsp/25 g
6 Tbsp/50 g
¾ cup/100 g
Sea salt, fine grind
2 tsp/12 g
4 tsp/24 g
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp/48 g
Then pour in all the wet stuff:
2 Tbsp/40 g
¼ cup/80 g
½ cup/160 g
¼ cup/55 g
½ cup/110 g
1 cup/220 g
2 ½ cups/600 g
5 cups/1,200 g
10 cups/2,400 g
Mix it all up, scoop into pan. Oil your loaf pan, and then mush up your “dough” real good with your strong hands or a big spoon. Take pride in your mush-job, this is all of the handling you’re going to do with this “dough.” Once it’s mixed real good, scoop it into your oiled pan and smooth out the top so it looks nice. Then stick that guy in the fridge and leave it alone for at least a few hours, up to a whole day.
Bake it. Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F/200°C. Bake for about an hour or so, then take it out and gently remove the loaf from the pan. Let it cool on a cooling rack for at least 2 hours (YES, two whole hours). Don’t rush it here folks, this bread is D*E*N*S*E, and if you don’t wait for it to cool, it really won’t be as yummy.
Toast and eat. This bread is definitely best sliced nice and thin (around ½ inch/12 mm) and then toasted up and spread with whatever your heart desires. And don’t worry, if you’re adventuring somewhere without toaster access (like a gorgeous river in the middle of nowhere), it will still be scrumptious, I promise.