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Those of you who know me know that I’ve spent most of my life rather hopeless in the kitchen.

However, in recent years – and especially over the past months – I’ve become more adept in the ways of cooking. Still, while I’ve managed to turn myself into a competent, albeit largely unexciting cook, the vagaries of baking remain beyond my grasp.

Anyone who knows anything will tell you that baking is as much art as science, a delicate dance where the slightest change in quantity and/or quality of an ingredient can completely alter the outcome. Not to mention all the specificity with regard to times and temperatures and a dozen other variables.

Even so, with the help of people in my life who are truly gifted in that arena, I have found myself slowly but surely learning the ways of the baker. Now, I’m by no means good or even competent when it comes to baking, but I’m making progress.

And I’ve had VERY good teachers.

As a way to celebrate the summertime, I thought it might be nice to share some of the recipes that we’ve enjoyed in the past. While I’ll confess to having tried and failed to make most of these delectable treats, I can tell you that I have definitely succeeded in eating said treats when they were made by someone more capable than myself – and they are delicious.

These are all fruit-driven recipes (well, except for our inclusion of a Maine stalwart – we couldn’t run this story and NOT have whoopie pies in the mix). The majority feature fruits that are in season, but you should know that in almost all cases, frozen will serve you just as well. And while there’s a pie crust recipe included here, you’ll be just fine using your own or even store-bought – it’ll be tasty no matter what you decide.

So here you are, a collection of pies, cakes, scones and breads, along with whoopie pies and, as an aperitif, a little homemade blackberry liqueur that will pin a boozy button on your big baking adventure.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 16:56

The muffin mom

I don't know exactly when I became Suzi Homemaker, but I think it was when the kids started eating something that resembles human-sized portions of food. See, when they first started eating, a portion for them was the size of an ice cube (A good-sized one, not one of those tiny ones you get at fast food restaurants). I would puree their veggies or means and pop them out as needed. And if you consider that one decent sweet potato is enough to nearly fill a tray, making dinner for the week was pretty easy.

Published in Edge Staff Mom
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 16:08

Cantuccini, correctly!

Now everyone and their mother will be telling me that this recipe is biscotti but, being a stubborn, uncooperative Yankee, I beg to argue. If you were to visit central Italy, you would most often find cantuccinis with your cafe della casa, not biscottis. What is the difference, you say? Well, I'll tell ya. Even though all biscottis should truly be called cantuccinis, it is the use of an acid (or yeast) that designates it so. I use lemon juice in this recipe, which helps make them less dry.

Published in The Cooking Edge
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 15:39

Putting the treat' in Trick or Treat

Local baker offers Halloween candy-inspired cupcakes

BANGOR - Remember the times you dressed up as your favorite ghoul and scampered door to door collecting dozens, if not hundreds of sugary treats from neighbors and friends? Good times. But there comes a time in every person's life when they have to hang up the candy bags and start dishing out the treats instead of receiving them.

But Nicole King of Cherry Acres Bakery is bringing back the treats for adults - in cupcake form.

Published in Style

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