Every year at Christmas, my Mom Mom would make her grandchildren a unique, ornately decorated gingerbread house. This is the her recipe for gingerbread cookie dough and builder’s icing.
This cassoulet is non-traditional in a couple ways but it includes some of the key components of the ‘peasant’s dish’: beans, various meats, and veggies all of which are slow cooked for hours. What you get on the other end is a bowl full of soupy, sweet and savory, meaty, stick-to-your-ribs union of flavors that may or may not be the best bite of beans you’ve ever put in your mouth. There’s a lot going on in every bite. A lot.
This carrot cake is flawless as-is. People literally lined up for one of these beauties when my Mom Mom made them to sale at church bazaars. It really is the best carrot cake you will ever eat. I cut down on the sugar and oil and added a healthy cup of spent grain because I had it on hand.
Stollen has a hint of sourdough flavor and a dense, almost cake-like crumb, partly because it sits for at least two weeks before serving. Booze-soaked fruit and nuts are folded into the batter, along with some additional flavorings and spices, and there you have a colorful canvas of flavors. No candied citrus peel in this gorgeous loaf. I went the less saccharine route and made a whole wheat substitution to make this a little more wholesome and a little less sugary.
The croissant dough recipe (thanks Julia) is versatile and is a great canvas for just about anything you want to fill it with. Chocolate-Hazelnut, Blue Cheese-Honey, or Brie-Apple is a good place to start!
Focaccia is super easy to make and the only thing it takes a lot of is olive oil. The majority of the process is hands-off and the end result is a pillowy, oily canvas food. Another perk: the flavor combinations for this bread are endless!