The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle: 125 of Our Favorite Recipes by Tom Douglas and Shelley Lance

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Notes about this book

  • toybucket on May 23, 2016

    kindle

  • nomadchowwoman on June 17, 2013

    The coconut cream pie is truly the best I've ever had. Making the coconut filling is really pretty easy; the pastry, made with coconut, is well worth the effort. I was afraid my pastry would be a failure as I rolled it, but it turned out beautifully despite my pie pastry issues. The second time, I made the baby tartlets, using mini muffin tins, for a party, and they were quite a hit--and pretty darned good-looking, if I do say so myself.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • "Classic" sandwich with bacon, egg, and cheddar

    • Rutabaga on September 05, 2019

      It's a basic recipe, but the technique is good, and makes it easy to put together and serve four sandwiches simultaneously. I especially like including arugula or other peppery greens and mustard, but leave that off for the kids.

  • Basic brioche dough for doughnuts

    • Rutabaga on September 20, 2015

      I made this dough for the Dahlia Bakery monkey bread recipe. It seemed to come together in the mixer a little more easily than the Ottolenghi; maybe it's just a slightly larger amount of dough. Also, I found it a little less sticky and therefore easier to roll out and cut. It seemed a little less eggy than some brioche I've eaten, but I would need to bake it on its own to really get the pure taste of it. All in all, it's a good recipe. I used the metric measurements, which seemed accurate.

  • Monkey bread

    • Rutabaga on September 20, 2015

      This monkey bread is amazing when served with the Dahlia Bakery caramel sauce for dipping. On its own, these pull-apart brioche muffins aren't too sweet, so balance well with the caramel. They are, however, a lot of work compared with most monkey bread recipe, and you need to make the dough a day in advance in order to have enough time to complete all the steps, making this definitely a weekend treat. Since I didn't have tall tulip cupcake papers, I made eight breads instead of six. I baked them until they started to get toasty brown on top, which turned out to be a few minutes too long. In my oven, 20 minutes was probably long enough.

  • Dreamy caramel sauce

    • Rutabaga on September 20, 2015

      This creamy caramel sauce is so simple, and yet mind-bendingly good! I used organic sugar, which worked just find since I gave it time to dissolve in the water on low heat first. This tip is suggested in the cookbook; the instructions are pretty thorough, so great for anyone who feels intimidated about the process of making caramel. This is a must to serve with the Dahlia Bakery monkey bread, and as a bonus you will end up with extra caramel sauce - never a bad thing!

  • Carrot muffins with brown butter and currants

    • Rutabaga on January 03, 2015

      The browned butter is what makes these muffins stand out. I stopped cooking the butter right before it turned black, just in time to maximize the flavor without burning it. This resulted in nut-brown muffins flecked with specks of deep dark butter solids. Swedish pearl sugar made a great topping. Really, these were some of the best muffins I've made; I liked them better than any carrot cake I've tried, both because of the delicious browned butter and because they are much lighter in texture.

  • Best bran muffins

    • Rutabaga on June 26, 2017

      All the muffins in this book turn out perfectly, I've decided. While bran muffins can sometimes be heavy and overly sweetened (as if to compensate for their density), these were light and tender, with molasses and brown sugar provided the right amount of sweetness. The currents were a really nice addition. They weren't as popular with the kids as other muffins, but were well liked by us adults.

  • Blueberry buttermilk muffins

    • Rutabaga on August 01, 2015

      These muffins are good, and pretty much what you'd expect from a blueberry muffin. Since I ran out of white flour, I ended up using half whole wheat pastry flour. This may have made them slightly drier and denser than they would have otherwise been, although only slightly. Still, while this version was somewhat healthier, I would like to try them again as written to taste the difference.

    • Rutabaga on September 17, 2017

      I made these again with all white flour, and they were beautifully light, fluffy, and moist - perfect! If I were to make them again with whole wheat pastry flour, I would be sure the batter is very moist to help ward off any dryness.

    • Kinhawaii on June 21, 2019

      One of my favorite blueberry muffin recipes, tender & moist.

  • Cherry almond scones

    • Rutabaga on October 19, 2015

      This is a good scone recipe, just not a favorite in our house because we all tend to prefer scones without dried fruit (something many others love, I realize). But it was fun to try something different since I had some dried cherries on hand, and I would recommend them for those who enjoy the cherry/almond flavor combination.

  • Toasted hazelnut whole wheat scones with maple glaze

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      I made these without the glaze, as I was afraid that might make them too sweet. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised that the scones themselves were only mildly sweet (perhaps maple sugar doesn't taste as sweet as cane sugar?), and the combination of whole wheat flour and hazelnuts made them very satisfying and hearty, yet still delicate in texture. Next time I will definitely try the glaze.

    • Rutabaga on May 25, 2017

      I made these again with the glaze. It's a delicious glaze, but mine was quite runny, and it spread all across the top of the scone rather than staying in an attractive diagonal drizzle pattern like the ones pictured. But the addition of the glaze really works with these scones, and makes them something special.

  • Parsley chive scones

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      I enjoy serving these as a savory quick bread with dinner, not just breakfast or brunch. The simple herb combination really gives them a fresh flavor as written, but other herbs, such as dill, are great substitutes.

    • Zosia on October 04, 2018

      I served these as an accompaniment to vegetable soup and the flavours complemented it nicely - the lemon zest was particularly good - but they were a little too sweet for me and they didn't rise very much.

  • Serious biscuits

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      This has become my go-to biscuit recipe, especially when what I want are large, sturdy yet tender, buttery biscuits for gravy, sandwiches, etc. Fortunately it's easy to halve the recipe if you don't want 20 biscuits!

  • Malted buttermilk biscuits

    • Zosia on November 12, 2013

      The dough was a little dry and needed more buttermilk (I weighed the ingredients) but they baked up tall and flaky with crisp edges as advertised. The barley malt (syrup) added nice flavour and colour but in the end these were just too rich and buttery for me.

  • Banana chocolate chunk walnut loaf

    • Rutabaga on November 14, 2016

      Why did it take me so long to finally make this banana bread? It's great - perfectly moist, rich, and studded with dark chocolate and nuts (I used pecans). We enjoyed it for dessert topped with homemade caramel sauce - yum!

  • Fresh corn cornbread with cornmeal crumble

    • trudys_person on September 29, 2019

      Agreed re sweetness! This is a cake not a bread. My first attempt was a flop as far as texture, but the flavour was so good I'll try it again. It may have been because I substituted buttermilk powder/milk for actual buttermilk. Never had a problem doing that before. The crumble on top is so good! Don't skip it! The order of ingredients is a little strange, and it never actually tells you to cut the corn kernels off the cob, so probably not the best recipe for a beginner baker.

    • hillsboroks on September 14, 2015

      Tom Douglas warns that this cornbread is sweet but it is really sweet! This turned out to be more of a dessert pound cake than a cornbread that you would serve as a side with dinner. I made it to go with a wild duck dinner and we ended up eating slices for dessert. It is lovely and could be topped with fruit or ice cream for dessert. I tried toasting a slice for breakfast and it was very good. I love the crumble topping that adds such zest and interest to the bread. I used regular thyme as I did not have any lemon thyme. Do not be tempted to forgo the crumble topping.

  • Cornmeal crumble with lemon thyme

    • Rutabaga on August 13, 2015

      I made this for the Red Haven peach & blueberry crumble recipe. Unfortunately, I discovered the hard way that fine ground cornmeal would probably be the best choice here. The recipe didn't specify, and my cornmeal was a fairly coarse grind, which made the crumble a little too gritty and didn't bake thoroughly.

  • Grandma Douglas's schnecken

    • Rutabaga on March 27, 2014

      These sticky rolls are the perfect breakfast treat when you want something warm and gooey with caramel. The rolls melt in your mouth and the pecans help balance the sweetness. They take some prep work, but since you can have them ready to go the night before you bake them, they work very well for a special family brunch or a potluck.

  • Sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon streusel

    • Rutabaga on September 10, 2018

      As with many recipes in this book, this coffee cake is basically a typical coffee cake, but done exceptionally well. It's moist, tender, with a good balance of streusel on top. I made it with blackberries, and five of us (including two young children) ate nearly half the cake for breakfast - it was that good! You don't need to look further for the perfect coffee cake.

  • Jackie's favorite strata with wild mushrooms, sausage, and chard

    • Rutabaga on March 27, 2014

      This is my favorite strata, excellent for a holiday brunch, as the book suggests. Be warned that it is very rich, definitely a treat for those who like savory breakfast foods.

  • All-American chocolate chunk cookies

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      What to say about chocolate chunk cookies? Basically, this is the near-universal chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I do enjoy using the chocolate chunks as suggested here for a more powerful dark chocolate presence. These turn out perfectly chewy if you are careful to take them out of the oven just before they seem quite ready.

    • Frogcake on October 28, 2017

      A basic chocolate chunk cookie recipe that is quite delicious nevertheless. A favourite of my two sons who appreciate a couple of dozen as part of a care package now that they are away at university. Note to self: temperature was reduced to 350 Fahrenheit and baking time averaged 13 minutes for the perfect chewiness that the boys love.

  • Cranberry apricot oatmeal cookies

    • Rutabaga on August 11, 2014

      These are my go-to oatmeal cookies, although I prefer to leave out the raisins and use only cranberries and apricots. I'm also considering changing the spice combination, just because I think I might prefer an oatmeal cookie without cinnamon - maybe just a hint of mace would be a nice change? I also think shredded coconut or nuts would be a good addition.

  • Chocolate butter pecan sandwich cookies

    • Rutabaga on February 28, 2016

      These decadent cookies are fabulous. The slightly salty, pecan-rich brown butter filling and deep chocolate flavor of the cookies make these a real "adult" treat, a super sophisticated update on oreos. I made the filling in the Vitamix, after letting the butter brown on the stove to just one degree shy of burnt (that yields the best flavor). While they are more labor intensive than most cookies, you can make both the dough and filling ahead of time, and neither dough nor filling are difficult to do.

  • Peanut butter sandwich cookies, aka "the Nora Ephron"

    • Rutabaga on May 12, 2020

      If you love peanut butter, you will love these cookies! They are quite decadent, especially since mine turned out to be a little larger than the recommended size. The filling is pure peanut buttery goodness. I added a little more powdered sugar, as I had used Trade Joe's peanut spread, which isn't as sweet as many other brands. I like this option because you can sweeten it to taste. Ideally, you should store these in the refrigerator, otherwise the filling will be very soft. I think they taste best cold, too.

  • Chocolate truffle cookies with a crackly crust

    • Rutabaga on August 11, 2014

      My cookies did not crackle; I probably did not mix the ingredients exactly as called for, although I believe I was not far off. This book gives very detailed directions, so I try to follow them closely. That said, they were still delicious, even as dull brown lumps. People loved them, and one friend rightly pointed out that they would pair very well with red wine. These are definitely for chocolate lovers only, as they are packed with intense dark chocolate flavor. Keeping the cost reasonable, I used Trader Joe's Pound Plus 70% Belgian dark chocolate bars.

    • bellatavia on January 20, 2014

      This is a very expensive recipe to create, as it uses 32 ounces of bittersweet chocolate. it is also a fussy recipe -- if you don't beat the ingredients correctly, the cookies will not crackle. You must seriously love chocolate to enjoy these cookies. It was just too much for me; I won't be making these again. Having said that, the cookie is a crowd-pleaser, since most people believe that the more chocolate is in something, the better it is.

  • Old-fashioned molasses cookies with fresh ginger

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      I really like the zing a little bit of fresh ginger gives these molasses cookies. My husband's favorite molasses cookie recipe is still the one found in Gourmet Today - those cookies are a little richer and chewier, and not as gingery - but I like to make these to mix it up a little.

  • Prizewinning pecan brownies

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      These were a huge hit when I made them for our church coffee hour. I was nervous as I had quadrupled the recipe, but they were fantastic! They are also extremely rich, dense, moist, and chocolately, so a little bar goes a long way.

  • Royal decorating icing

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      When the forward to this recipe says to use the frosting immediately, they really mean immediately. I made the mistake of making it 15 minutes ahead of time, and it was a disaster, nearly impossible to pipe. I had to give up and smear the icing on top of the cookies. Next time, I'll know better, if I get up the nerve to try again.

  • Dahlia triple coconut cream pie

    • sldoug on November 26, 2015

      Made for Thanksgiving 2015. Only changes I made from the recipe were 2 t vanilla extract instead of a bean and 1/2 c powdered sugar in cream instead of 1/3 c granulated. Don't get me wrong, it's a really good pie, but were I to make it again I'd a) use my own regular crust with the addition of food processed coconut, and b) I'd reduce the sugar in the pastry cream. I love a sweet dessert but this one was a bit over the top, at least for my family.

    • cadfael on March 06, 2014

      Best coconut cream pie I have made

    • miggy1 on April 05, 2015

      Added gelatin to the whipped cream as the pie was not being served right away.

  • Silk chocolate cream pie with pecan crust

    • Rutabaga on February 15, 2016

      The chocolate filling in this pie is incredibly rich. I had expected something similar to a pudding, but it's actually very firm once chilled, with a silky smoothness that melts on the tongue. Lightly sweetened whipped cream and the pecan crust are indeed the perfect foil for the decadent chocolate filling. I made the filling easily using a Vitamix blender instead of a food processor. The whipped cream smeared when I cut into the pie however. To avoid this, you probably need to whip the cream until it almost solidifies, or chill the pie for a few more hours.

    • Zosia on March 14, 2014

      Happy Pi Day! This is a showstopper of a pie with rather sophisticated flavours - intense chocolate filling with salty, nutty crust. Can't say I cared much for the crunchy crust on its own but it was a great foil, both texturally and in its savouriness, to the silky filling and sweet topping. Making the filling, which involved pouring hot pastry cream over chocolate etc in a food processor, caused my machine to overheat in 30sec but that was enough time to blend the ingredients. The filling barely made it into the pie crust taste tasters thought it was so good!

  • Pecan pastry dough

    • Rutabaga on February 15, 2016

      This crust was perfect for the chocolate silk pie. Because it is very rich, an intensely flavored filling that won't be overwhelmed by this crust is needed. I found that adding three tablespoons on water with vinegar was more than enough liquid - I had to add more flour - so it may be best to start with two tablespoons.

  • Maple banana cream pie with maple molasses pecans

    • hillsboroks on October 28, 2014

      If you love maple, this pie is for you. I decided to test it on company last night to see if I would want to make it for Thanksgiving. I didn't reread the crust instructions soon enough and was too short on time to make the pecan crust called for and resorted to my old Betty Crocker standby by for the crust. But I followed the maple pastry cream recipe to the letter and it is luscious! Paired with bananas and whipped cream it was perfect. I will definitely make it again for the holidays and will make the pecan crust and the maple molasses pecans to garnish the top. It will be a nice alternative to pumpkin pie for those non-pumpkin eaters.

  • Old-fashioned pumpkin pie

    • Rutabaga on November 30, 2014

      This is the classic pumpkin pie recipe, using cream and milk rather than the evaporated milk typically found on canned pumpkin labels. As you would expect, it's at its best a day after it's made. I used a canned pumpkin since I had a tin that needed to be used, but otherwise baking a sugar pumpkin at home would be a fun project. I also used the Smitten Kitchen all butter pie pastry recipe rather than the Tom Douglas one (I am an all butter pie pastry convert). It took longer than expected for the pie to fully bake - 90 minutes at 350 degrees after the initial 15 at 400. This made the crust a bit dark, almost too dark. The filling was also very soft and luscious, which I prefer over a pie that's too stiff. I increased the spices by half because my husband likes his pumpkin pies with extra spice.

  • Blackberry lemon thyme crostatas

    • Rutabaga on November 07, 2014

      Blackberry pies are one of my favorite desserts, and this recipes offers an appealing way to make them individually sized and portable; no knife or fork required. Use any pie crust recipe; I like the all butter crust from Smitten Kitchen, which crisps up beautifully here.

  • Roasted carrot, leek, and goat cheese hand pies

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      I really like the fact that the crust incorporates whole wheat flour, and the kalamata olives are a good balance to the sweetness of the cooked carrots. My only disappointment was that my two-year-old was not interested. I guess he's still too focused on keeping his flavors separate, but he'll learn.

    • cadfael on March 06, 2014

      These take a long time to prepare but I love them. They freeze well Go we'll with the tomato soup

  • Red Haven peach blueberry crisp with cornmeal crumble

    • Rutabaga on August 13, 2015

      This crumble was a nice idea, but somehow didn't come together quite as a hoped. The flavor of the peaches (and I did use fresh Red Havens) and blueberries was good, but the filling was incredibly soupy. Maybe more corn starch is necessary? I also left out the butter in the filling since I had run out. And while I like the concept of the cornmeal crumble, I think it should be made with a finely ground cornmeal. The recipe didn't specify, and I used stone ground Bob's Red Mill flour in a medium-to-course grind, and it made the topping rather gritty and didn't taste thoroughly cooked. If these two issues were corrected, I think this would be a very good summer crumble.

  • Tangy lemon meringue tart

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      The lemon curd was amazing, but I had some trouble with the crust. I think the cornmeal I used may have been too coarse, and I'm guessing I over mixed it, largely because I kept adding more water. It was a little on the tough side, but hopefully I can correct this when I make it again.

    • cadfael on March 06, 2014

      Best lemon curd ever Made for Faye's birthday-was perfect Second time the lemons were too tart and bitter and the cornmeal too coarse- still good but need to watch out for those Costco lemons-they are hit and miss. Also don't use the grittier grind of cornmeal

  • Tangy lemon curd

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      Silky, lemony, with a buttery mouthfeel, this lemon curd is amazing. It is especially buttery, but you could leave some of the butter out if you prefer a stronger citrus bite and less rich tasting version.

  • Double chocolate layer cake

    • Rutabaga on May 24, 2014

      This is a very moist, delicate cake, with good chocolate flavor. Personally, I prefer the darker taste of Devil's food, but it's a very close call.

  • Fluffy chocolate sour cream frosting

    • Rutabaga on May 24, 2014

      If you, like I, have difficulty working with buttercream, you'll find this frosting spreads like a dream. The sour cream also effectively cuts the richness of the butter, and gives it a super smooth, silky mouthfeel. All in all, this is a fantastic frosting that should please many palates.

  • Chocolate flake buttercream

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      Adding flaked chocolate to buttercream - brilliant! This is the perfect topping for the devil's food cake or cupcakes.

  • Devil's food cupcakes with chocolate flake buttercream

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      Cake doesn't get much better than this, at least if you like a moist chocolate cake and real buttercream laced with dark chocolate that melts in your mouth.

  • Buttery cupcakes with chocolate sour cream frosting

    • Rutabaga on May 25, 2014

      These cupcakes came out a little dry... or maybe it's just that I didn't eat one until 24 hours after they were baked, and they weren't kept in a sealed container. I had very good luck with the buttery layer cake in this book, so next time I will try to make sure the cupcake batter is a little looser.

  • Cornmeal rosemary cake with lemon glaze

    • bellatavia on February 10, 2015

      This is one of the best cake recipes ever. It is delicious after a seafood dinner.

  • Piedmontese hazelnut cake

    • Zosia on December 02, 2013

      For hazelnut lovers! Excellent flavour, nice texture and not as dry as the recipe headnotes may lead you to believe; it's quite moist in fact, especially eaten warm. I did question the 2 tbsp vanilla requirement, could find no published list of errata for this book, so used only 2 tsp.

  • Tom's tasty tomato soup with brown butter croutons

    • cadfael on March 08, 2015

      One of my favourite simple soups.

    • lisachile on January 08, 2013

      Delicious and simple. Used an immersion blender instead of transferring everything to the blender. Yum.

    • rivergait on August 24, 2015

      I would have never thought to look in my Dahlia Bakery book for a terrific soup, had I not seen wonderful reviews on EYB. Great soup! Looks like good-old Campbell's, creamy orange, but tastes fresh and pungent. I freeze single portions in flattened zip-loc bags.

    • Emily Hope on December 08, 2017

      Thanks to the EYB notes we ended up trying this soup and loving it -- delicious tomato soup for the winter months. I used two containers of aseptic packed diced tomatoes and that worked well--made it in the instant pot to speed up the process. We ended adding a bit more cream and some milk to thin it out. Perfect soup to go with a grilled cheese!

    • Rutabaga on March 30, 2014

      A great, comforting soup, but be careful when adding the crushed chile flakes if you don't want it to taste spicy. I like to double the batch and freeze some.

  • Grilled cheese with bacon and avocado

    • Rutabaga on January 28, 2018

      For an upgraded grilled cheese sandwich that eats more like a meal, this is a great option. Unsurprisingly, my six-year-old prefers plain grilled cheese, but I found this to be a delicious and filling option.

  • Grilled cheese with caramelized broccoli rabe and Fontina

    • Rutabaga on April 29, 2019

      These sandwiches are delicious! I changed it up a bit by adding a little bacon and using a mix of mozzarella and smoked Beecher's cheese. I had some leftover broccoli raab that was already cooked, so I caramelized the onion first and then added the raab to the pan to briefly sear before adding the vinegar.

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Reviews about this book

  • Kitchn

    The treats and baked goods from Dahlia Bakery are the kind that you'll immediately recognize and crave, but each one has a special something that makes it feel unique and original.

    Full review
  • Huffington Post

    The Tom Douglas approach to baking is as uncomplicated as using excellent, locally produced ingredients, keeping it relatively simple, and mastering basic techniques...

    Full review
  • Seattle Weekly

    There are recipes simple enough for weekday breakfast treats, or elaborate enough for Christmas morning. Throughout each chapter are process photos showing you most if not all the steps...

    Full review
  • Epicurious

    Co-written with Douglas' long-time partner Shelley Lance, this cookbook is full of recipes that evoke the warmth and pleasure of eating Douglas' food, both sweet and savory.

    Full review
  • Serious Eats

    Like any cookbook worth its salt (or, in this case, sugar), measurements are precise and provided in multiple units, and there are copious photos detailing steps that are often not pictured...

    Full review
  • Fine Cooking

    Warning: The combination of mouthwatering photos and evocative prose in this book may induce a baking frenzy.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 0062183745
  • ISBN 13 9780062183743
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 23 2012
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 400
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher William Morrow

Publishers Text

Want to fry up the doughnuts with cinnamon sugar and mascarpone that Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis called the "best thing I ever ate"? Are you pining for the peanut butter sandwich cookie recipe that legendary writer Nora Ephron proclaimed "the greatest cookie ever ever ever"? Do you long to dazzle friends with the triple coconut cream pie that New York food writer and Serious Eats founder Ed Levine called "one of the best pies in the country"? Or do you just want to get your hands on the crazy-rich, streusel-topped monkey bread with caramel dipping sauce that has people lining up outside the Dahlia Bakery's door? Now, those sweet dreams can come true, thanks to The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook.

Seattle's most popular chef and James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur Award winner Tom Douglas shares his secrets for 125 scrumptious treats. Here, you will find chef-tested recipes for breakfasts, pastries, tarts, pies, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, puddings, ice creams, sandwiches, and jams that are guaranteed to work in the home kitchen, including:

  • The "Seattle" English muffin sandwich with cured wild salmon
  • Toasted hazelnut whole wheat scones with maple glaze
  • Tom's favorite coconut macaroons
  • Tangy lemon meringue tart
  • Carrot cupcakes with brown butter cream cheese frosting
  • The Best Crème Caramel in the World
  • Oregon Pinot Noir raspberry sorbet
  • Peach vanilla jam

In addition to these unique bakery treats, Tom offers savory variations on beloved classics, such as Eggs Benedict with Scallion Hollandaise and Breakfast Sandwiches, both using Dahlia Bakery's famous English Muffins. Filled with informative sidebars, technique tips, and equipment advice—and illustrated with tempting photographs and stories that capture the flavors of Seattle—The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook is sure to please fans of all skill levels and tastes.



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