bittersweetbaker

Archive for the ‘Brownies and Bars’ Category

Pink Lemonade Bars (Communist Tart)

In Brownies and Bars, Fruits, Tarts/Pies on August 21, 2013 at 1:01 pm
From Summer 2013

When my father suggested writing a guest post after having watched “The Manchurian Candidate” with me,  I thought he was kidding. But a few days later, the first draft of his post lay in my inbox. In a discussion of the politics of fear, he wittily ties my raspberry lemon bars to an insult (“communist tart”) heard in the movie. 

When I was little, pink lemonade was believed to be a rare and exotic flavor. It was my favorite Jolly Rancher flavor, worth its double of green apple or watermelon. Precisely how pink lemonade differed from yellow lemonade seemed never to be a point of discussion. Perhaps we assumed the lemons were pink as pink grapefruit are pink. Read the rest of this entry »

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My Search for Perfection

In Brownies and Bars on December 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm
From Adriana Baking

I’ve always tried to put as much effort as I can muster into every project I submit myself to, though I’m okay with results less than perfect if I know that I did my very best.  But when I don’t, I feel empty and dissatisfied – like a fruitless apple tree in the season of full bloom with the potential to produce so much more.

Recently, I started taking clarinet lessons with a new teacher. Within a few minutes of meeting him, I knew my lessons would be completely changed – he was intense, and passionate about music. I learned very quickly that he would never be satisfied, because “There is no top. There are always further heights to reach” (Jascha Heifetz). And I think that is wonderful. He is constantly pushing me to express myself through music, teaching me new techniques and encouraging me, because he knows I am capable of doing better and becoming a better musician. I have had three lessons with him so far, and I can already feel drastic improvement in my playing. Read the rest of this entry »

Brown Butter Peach Shortbread

In Brownies and Bars, Fruits on September 15, 2010 at 6:33 pm
From Adriana Baking

It rained for the first time in months this morning.

When I got up from my comfortable, toasty warm bed and dressed myself for school, I realized that the weather was considerably cooler. The sky was a dull gray, setting the mood for my math quiz the first hour of school, but very unlike the bright blue it has dressed in all summer. As my father commented on how the clouds looked like they might leak rain any second, I started getting excited. Fall is my absolute favorite season -I love the crisp, cool air that blows in through the kitchen window as I brown butter on the stove top or sit by the oven, cautiously peeking in to check on whatever is baking.  I love being able to wear cardigans and sweaters at school, shivering not because of the frigid air the air conditioner blasts through the vents of the classroom, but because the weather really is cooling off.  But best of all- I get to start baking with warmer flavors. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pumpkin. And my father was right – soon enough, the clouds let loose a drizzle of rain which soon turned into plump, wet, droplets. Read the rest of this entry »

100 Bookmarked Blogs and Blondies

In Brownies and Bars, Chocolate on May 2, 2010 at 8:12 am
From Adriana Baking

My computer bookmarks are a mess of food blogs. Whether the blog has great food photography, or whether the author has a unique writing style, I can’t seem to stop bookmarking new blogs almost every single day. If I am on a blog that has a link to another one, I have to go check it out. Yesterday while I was looking through them, searching for a quick recipe to try out in the few hours I had left of Saturday, I realized I had bookmarked one hundred blogs. Exactly one hundred.

Surprised, I decided to look through all of them, hoping to clean them up. I started looking through the first blog that I had bookmarked, quite some time ago. There were beautiful pictures and interesting recipes, but I had not looked through it in months. I contemplated deleting it, since I knew that I would not check it for weeks to come. But I had a sense of attachment to the blog. It was the first one I had bookmarked, the one that had started my obsession with baking. I couldn’t just delete it. I had the same argument for every blog I looked through. One had gorgeous pictures I could use as an inspiration, and the other had great recipes. I had no luck cleaning up my bookmarks. Read the rest of this entry »

Bacon Brownies

In Brownies and Bars, Savory on April 25, 2010 at 7:41 am
From Adriana Baking

When I was younger, I used to play a connection game that I invented. I would think of something; anything. Most times something very random. Then I would wait for some time while my thought would slowly turn into a new one, until the thing I had started thinking of in the beginning would have morphed into a completely new thought. And then I would trace back all the different thoughts I had to the very first one, thinking about how amazing it was that the two were related.

Confusing?

Let’s say that you were thinking of a chocolate bar. The creamy smooth chocolate coated your mouth while you swallowed a bite, and it was dark and rich. It was hot outside, and the chocolate bar started to slowly melt in your hands, so you put it in a bowl. To dip strawberries in. Because sweet and sweet are good. But still, it was too. . . plain? Ordinary? Read the rest of this entry »

Lemon Bars and a Feel of Spring

In Brownies and Bars on March 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm
From Adriana Baking

The weather seems to change abruptly from cold to hot every spring.

Along with the weather change, there are changes in peoples’ attitude as well.
They have a spring to their stride as they walk that was not there before. They smile more often, and laugh too.

The cold that was there before is gone, and instead, and new warmth has replaced it.

One of my favorite changes are the smells. From the smell of the orange blossoms blooming by the soccer field to the smell of the grated lemon zest I used in these bars, the promise of spring is everywhere. Read the rest of this entry »