Vintage recipes: Blitz Kuchen

Once, a long, long time ago, I embarked on a project called Vintage Recipes. Remember? You probably don't, and that's OK because it sure looks like I didn't either. But I'm finally getting a start! I'm looking forward to finding some unexpected winners. 

What's my idea for this project? First step, to interpret and flesh out the recipes. Some of them are very bare bones with obscure ingredients and directions.  I figure I'll follow the recipe with only minimal, if any, adjustments; then, if it seems to hold promise, I'll gradually fine tune it into a recipe I'll save forever. 

Up first: Blitz Kuchen. Lightning cake. Sounds like my kind of thing. From just a glance at the ingredients I knew not to expect anything wild and crazy, but simple and basic often produce classic, winning results (like my favorite scone and sugar cookie recipes).

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Easter Candy

For the past three years, my younger sister-in-law and I have been trying to make the bulk of the Easter basket candy ourselves. We have a lot of fun doing it, and the candy is all the more special. Here are the recipes we've used, if you'd like to give it a shot too!

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Guinness brownie fudge with Bailey's brown butter icing

There's no way around it: these brownies are ridiculously indulgent. Moist, super dense, super chocolate brownies, baked with a Guinness Stout reduction that gives them an earthy dark depth, brushed with Bailey's cream, you know, to lighten things up, and then topped with more Bailey's in a brown butter icing party. And no, that isn't a typo in the title. I meant "brownie fudge" not "fudge brownie," because these rest solidly somewhere between fudge and brownie...and probably more fudge than brownie! 

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Coconut crusted brown butter banana cake

The coconut topping gets caramelized during baking and creates a sweet, buttery, chewy topping. The browned butter adds depth of flavor and the cake is moist and tender. It's like the dressed up sister of banana bread. Plus, it passes for dessert and is still totally acceptable for breakfast. 

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peppermint fudge brownies

So, for a few months there this was my favorite brownie recipe. But over the weekend I revisited my old favorite brownie recipe and, well, it's back to being my favorite. Because it is truly amazing. I don't know what I was thinking.

Actually, I do know what I was thinking. That other recipe is so quick to make, and comes out more like a standard brownie box mix. No-fuss, simple plain-old brownie goodness. Something you wouldn't feel bad about scooping ice cream on top. Or layering in an ice cream cake.

THIS Peppermint Fudge Brownie, on the other hand, stands alone. With a deep cocoa flavor, fudge-like consistency, peppermint filling and laden with chocolate chips, it would border on obscene to serve it with anything else.

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pumpkin cranberry cake with brown butter frosting

This is a recipe I discovered in a food magazine in high school, and I've been making it every fall ever since. The cake batter is so easy to mix up (no mixing aid required). It uses one full can of pumpkin puree (no leftovers to deal with). The pumpkin flavor is not overpowering, adding a subtle earthiness and a delicious moistness to the cake. The cranberries add a bit of zing, and the Brown Butter Frosting takes this treat to the next level. 

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almond cranberry biscotti

Biscotti is just an excuse to have cookies for breakfast, and I am 100% okay with that. This recipe for biscotti has no pretenses to anything other than a sweet, crunchy bite. Heck! It even has chocolate drizzled on top. But they are also loaded with almonds and cranberries, which makes them both satisfying and nutritious. They are just tender enough to be eaten on their own without breaking any teeth, but they hold up extremely well--and perhaps are improved--when dipped in coffee, which brings them into the breakfast realm, which, like I said, is fine by me. 

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