(Almost) Baking With Julia

If things had gone as planned, we’d have spent the weekend at Austin City Limits Music Festival listening to B52s and Pearl Jam. But what happened was I had to sell my tickets on Craigslist so that I could lie around in bed and recover from what I’m pretty sure was the flu. I haven’t had fever that high since I was 8, and it’s still burning itself off. But I’m better now because I’m up typing and am thinking a lot about baking, which I’m going to have to slowly easy back into with some help from Baking with Julia.

baking with Julia

I don’t own Baking with Julia, but I’ve checked it out from the library on occasion and it happened to be by my bedside table while I was sick. I don’t think I ever spent much quality time reading it, because if I had, I would have realized its genius. The book, for which Dorie Greenspan is the voice, has over 200 recipes contributed by the best in the business –Flo Braker, Nick Malgierei, Nancy Silverton and many others. And most of the recipes seem to have something fairly unique.

Lemon Loaf Cake – This cake has the rich velvety texture of a pound cake, but the process of putting it together takes, according to Dorie Greenspan, 5 minutes! I’m not sure how this recipe escaped me.

Chocolate Espresso Cookies – What’s interesting about this one is that the batter for the cookies is beaten for 10 minutes, incorporating lots of air and making a light and heavenly cookie.

And then there’s Rick Kat’s Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies. How did I miss this recipe? The only thing unique is all the chocolate, but it’s a recipe with my name on it.

Do you have a favorite Baking With Julia recipe? I’ve got my eye on that lemon pound cake and might hobble to the kitchen to make it for myself, but I’d be curious to know your favorites.

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  1. says

    Glad you’re starting to feel better!
    After the chef I take classes with mentioned Baking With Julia, I’ve wanted to get the book ever since. Now with your reading and recommendation, I’ll probably add it to the top of my birthday wish list (coming soon!).
    Can’t wait to see the things you bake from it.
    I love Julia.

  2. says

    The flu isn’t fun!! I’m glad you are starting to feel better. I’ve never seen the book but I browsed the recipes you shared. I’m liking the cookies with 1 pound of CHOCOLATE! Be a nice rich cookie for the holidays coming up.

  3. says

    Phew! I’m glad you’re at least well enough to type–no thanks to the urgent care center, I guess! Julia Child lived until she was in her 90s, so perhaps her baking recipes will help boost the immune system–especially the chocolate ones!

  4. says

    Anna, I hope you’re feeling betterl and back in the saddle soon.Those cookie recipes look fantastic, especially the mocha ones with the plethora of chocolate. That one has my name on it too! By the way, did you see the announcement that Gourmet Magazine is going to cease operation? Just read it a few minutes ago.

  5. says

    What a bummer that you had to miss the music festival!! I haven’t ever baked anything from Julia’s book, but the lemon loaf cake sounds good to me. I’m all about baking with EASY recipes! I tend to get stressed out when I try something too difficult. My sister is the baker in the family!

  6. gloria says

    Glad to read you are on the road to recovery…I’m on my lemon craze now and that pound cake looks like a delicious vehicle for your buttery lemon glaze!!!

  7. hulagirl247 says

    hi anna ~

    sorry that you had to forgo your double bill concert

    glad to know you are slowly but surely on the mend>

    i absolutely love THIS BOOK (the book similar to this about cooking with julia and jaques pepin is also quite wonderful if you ever get in the mood to cook instead of bake)

    the mille-feuille recipe is a very nice one – especially concise in the explanation fo how to do it!
    it sounds like a lot of work but it can be very rewarding to make – it’s one of my faves!

    take care and feel better!


  8. Rina says

    I love this book as well (someone gave it to me as a gift :)). I’m a fan of the gingerbread babycakes recipe, but haven’t tried many others. Thanks for the reminder, I’m looking forward to poring through the book again tonight.

  9. says

    I hope you didn’t bring the flu home from BlogHer Food — what a terrible souvenir. Feel better soon — and do treat yourself to Baking with Julia. I keep it on my bookshelf right next to Dorie’s wonderful From My Home to Yours.

  10. Fat Fudge says

    I”ve had that book for years and never made a thing out of it (like most of my cookbooks). I guess the main reason is that it’s such a coffee table book.

  11. Meredith says

    I’ve had this book for years(got it through the cookbook club), but I’ve never baked a SINGLE thing from it!! I bookmarked both of the chocolate recipes years ago — just never made — and somehow missed the lemon loaf cake. Now, that sounds easy and good! I might just have to try. Feel better soon!

  12. says

    The chocolate espresso cookies sound really interesting. I’ve never seen a recipe where you beat the dough for that long. I wonder if my little hand mixer would croak?

    I hope you are feeling better. And sorry about the concert.
    (Just think, some good will come out of your post as it’s reignited my determination to get a flu shot!)

  13. Amanda says

    I haven’t delved into it yet but have made plenty from Dorie’s Baking From My Home to Yours, so this is definitely on my radar! Looking forward to seeing what you try 🙂

  14. says

    FF and Meredith, I was the same way. I think I checked this book out multiple times and only made one thing….the brownies. But there’s so much more. I think I like this one even better than Cooking With Dorie. But this one has more “basic” recipes and I like try find really good versions of basic things.

    I made the lemon loaf cake and it looks terrific. Will report later.

  15. says

    Dorie’s blog got me interested in this book, but I don’t own it so I can’t recommend anything out of it.
    I’m so glad to hear that you’re starting to feel better!! I got my first ever flu shot today. I’ve been volunteering at a food shelf and exposing myself to all of the germs of humanity which should be good for my immune system, but I decided to get the flu shot just in case.

  16. Karen says

    I also have this book but haven’t really baked out of it, looking forward to seeing what you make!
    So sorry you were sick and missed out on great music, what a drag.

  17. says

    I don’t have that Julia book and have never baked any of her cakes, etc. I am however cooking one of her popular beef recipes at the moment and hoping all goes well. Lots of work in some of her recipes but they say if you follow them as written, they are outstanding. Glad you are feeling better….

  18. joan says

    Hi Anna, I am so glad you are back! I was going through Cookie Madness withdrawal for a while. A few days before this post, someone I work with very generously gave me her extra copy of Baking with Julia. I made the Mocha Cookies, yesterday. I used some milk chocolate chips (Hershey’s mini kisses), some dark chocolated chips (Ghiradelli 62%), and I also had a bar of Scharfenburger chocolate that I cut up for some of the chips. Since I wasn’t going to use the apricots, I tossed in a handful of pecans. I thought they were fabulous. I am going to try the double chocolate cookies today.

  19. Jen says

    You know, I owned this book back when I first started cooking and baking. In a clean out moment, I gave it away because I never used it. I realize now it was probably less than a year after I bought it and now I wonder if I wasn’t too hasty. I didn’t bake much back then. I’ll have to check it out of the library, too, and see what I think now.

  20. joan says

    The double chocolate cookies also a hit! They spread quite a bit, but don’t get totally flat. I put only 8 cookies per sheet. The flavor is intensely chocolate: Not for chocolate wimps! I used Trader Joe’s 72% chocolate for the melted chocolate, and Ghiradelli 60% chocolate chips for the rest. Today I found some Mint chocolate chip malt balls, and I am trying to think of a way to use them in a cookie. They look like regular malt balls, but with a green, minty coating that is flecked with chocolate. They taste great as is, in fact, may not survive long enough to make it into a cookie…..

  21. Kim says

    Glad you are feeling better. The vanilla pound cake, page 251 is delicious. I always add fresh blueberries, mmmmm. However, hands down the nectarine upside-down chiffon cake, page 241 is a hit every time!

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