Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Malted waffles

    • jumali on January 10, 2011

      *Really* flabby, but they crisped up a bit after sitting in the warm oven. Probably not worth a second chance.

    • twoyolks on January 04, 2015

      My waffles also weren't crispy. The sourness of the buttermilk overwhelmed almost any other flavor in the waffle. The malt didn't seem to add anything.

    • Zosia on November 03, 2019

      Light and crispy with a nutty, complex flavour, these waffles passed the ultimate taste test in my house – they tasted great without any embellishment. The ones that weren’t eaten immediately were just as good as fresh after a light toasting in the toaster.

  • Strawberry Jell-O salad

    • djkubica on December 03, 2010

      expected much more and the pretzel crust was loose crumbly pretzels did not adhere together

  • Salt-n-pepper sandwich cookies

    • Salt on May 24, 2011

      Oustanding in every way. A few steps in this one, but worth EVERY minute of time invested. Truly.

  • Sweet and salty brownie

    • twoyolks on February 03, 2014

      These are fudgey brownies (as opposed to cakey brownies). I cut back a bit on the fleur de sel sprinkled on top of the brownies and I'd do so in the future; instead of a set amount, I'd sprinkle some on top until it looks sparsely covered. There's a deep chocolate flavor which is complemented nicely by the caramel.

    • Zosia on June 07, 2017

      They have a rich chocolate flavour, fudgy texture and a salted caramel ripple and are always a hit at gatherings. I find they slice best when they've been chilled and have firmed up, and if you've lined the pan with greased foil or parchment, you can just lift the entire brownie out to slice. I, too, judge the amount of salt garnish by eye as they can easily become too salty.

  • Orange creamsicle tart

    • twoyolks on February 23, 2015

      This tastes almost exactly like an orange creamsicle popsicle, right down to the overly sweet nature.

    • Zosia on November 03, 2019

      This tart captures the flavours of a creamsicle perfectly….a buttery cookie crust filled with a tart orange curd made with orange cream soda(!), topped with cool, whipped cream. I found it to be creamy and refreshing, just like the frozen treat.

  • Cowboy cookies

    • Zosia on November 03, 2019

      Chewy oatmeal cookies with golden, crispy edges, jam-packed with all sorts of delicious add-ins. Though the dough comes together quickly, it must be refrigerated for at least 4 hours before baking. I portioned the dough onto cookie sheets first and then refrigerated them. I was able to just pop the sheets into the oven straight from the fridge. The recipe made 48 (instead of 36) delicious, good sized - but not monster - cookies.

  • Pumpkin cheddar muffins

    • Zosia on November 03, 2019

      Well, my dog loved them.......Family of the non-canine variety didn't. They straddled the fence of sweet and savoury and we would have preferred them on one side or the other..

  • Farm stand buttermilk doughnuts three ways (cinnamon sugar)

    • Zosia on November 03, 2019

      These are lightly spiced cake doughnuts leavened with baking powder and soda. I wish the doughnuts were taller; they developed a rather thick crust when fried so there was less tender cake inside. Of course, this may just be a reflection of my limited deep frying experience, but I do think patting the dough into ¾” thickness instead of ½” may give better results. The family liked them but weren't excited enough about them for me to try making them again.

  • Lady praline chiffon cake

    • Zosia on November 03, 2019

      This is a lovely tasting cake, nutty with a hint of orange, with a perfect chiffon texture: moist and spongy, but not rubbery, with a fine, tight crumb.

  • Chocolate coffee cake with dark chocolate ganache

    • Zosia on April 01, 2016

      A real showstopper. Even though it has 3 components - moist chocolate cake, silky coffee buttercream (love the texture of this cooked frosting) and intensely chocolatey glaze - each one comes together easily and can be made in advance. I made 1/2 the ganache, enough for one application, which I felt was enough.

    • bwhip on November 21, 2021

      Amazing cake, looked beautiful and tasted even better. Instructions were very good. I struggled with getting the buttercream nice and smooth - it was sort of broken, but close. A fair bit of work, but lovely results.

  • Chocolate whoopie pies

    • HerBoudoir on November 11, 2015

      Excellent - also freeze well

    • swegener on February 01, 2015

      These were delicious--very rich and decadent. If I made them again, I would make them smaller.

  • Oatmeal chocolate chip cake with cream cheese frosting

    • MsMonsoon on July 14, 2021

      If you like a cake you can sink your teeth into, this is it. It's a very "homey", old-fashioned type 9x13 cake and quite hearty. I was expecting a vanilla-y chocolate chip cookie flavor but it comes off more as oatmeal cinnamon cookie. I used Trader Joe's dark chocolate chunks so that made it extra chunky. The cream cheese frosting is very good. There are so many "do this...then wait 30 minutes" instructions, so this cake, despite its casual nature, takes quite a while. For example, mix up the frosting, then put it in the fridge at least 30 min, but then bring it to room temp to frost, then refrigerate the cake before cutting. Then you probably want to bring it back to room temp for serving!

  • Sunday night cake

    • bwhip on March 10, 2020

      Really delicious cake. Simple, with lovely flavor contrast between the tender cake with just a hint of cinnamon, and the silky, deeply chocolatey frosting.

  • New York-style crumb cake

    • KitKatCat on January 26, 2020

      Very good. I baked this in a metal pan, edges were not too crispy

  • Honey corn muffins

    • Bloomie on March 25, 2020

      Used buttermilk powder.

  • Black and white cookies

    • D.Barker on November 14, 2021

      This was so good and easy. And the glaze was crazy addictive. Definitely worth making again!

  • Aunt Sassy cake

    • KCKB on January 15, 2022

      The honey vanilla buttercream frosting that accompanies this recipe is simply fabulous. Wonderful flavor and texture.

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Reviews about this book

  • Baking Bites

    ...will definitely make you want to bake, so your only decision is choosing which recipe to start with. The primary downside to this book is that there aren’t as many photos as readers might like...

    Full review
  • Kate Cooks the Books

    Kate reviews and tests various recipes from the book.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 1584798505
  • ISBN 13 9781584798507
  • Published Sep 21 2010
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 208
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Stewart Tabori & Chang

Publishers Text

Baked: Great Explorations assembles a lineup of our most treasured desserts that get the "Baked" spin: an updated and modernized take on such classics as Banana Cream Pie, Boston Cream Pie, Black & White Cookies, and diner desserts, as well as desserts from the continent, like Opera Cake from France and Trifle. From the overworked to the underappreciated, Lewis and Poliafito reinterpret dessert mainstays with their one-of-a-kind Baked twist. The book has 75 recipes, from breakfast goodies to late-night confections to everything in between. The signature tongue-in-cheek style from the first book is on full display here, in the authors' cheeky headnotes and in the design for which the original book garnered so much praise.

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