A Passion For Baking

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20 Dec 2007
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imageMarcy Goldman has a true “passion for baking” – which also happens to be the title of her latest cookbook. Goldman, a Montreal-based cookbook author, is well-known for her previous books, including “A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. Her newest book “A Passion for Baking” (Oxmoor House) contains 220 recipes plus fabulous photos, along with her favorite tricks of the trade to help you be a better baker.

Whether you are a novice baker or an experienced balabusta, you’ll love her new book – it’s ideal for the home baker. The ingredients are easy to find and her recipes are user-friendly. It’s like having a friend in the kitchen next to you sharing her helpful advice and offering professional guidance to help you achieve excellent results. Marcy Goldman wants you to bake more often and she also wants you to enjoy the journey!

Goldman says: “Homey stuff may not always be picture-perfect, but it is absolutely, undeniably beautiful. It is food created with care that is meant to nourish in every way. That said, I intend to share with you each and every trick “in the book” on baking, to make your recipes foolproof and beautiful.”

Recipes include Black and White Cookie Ripple Coffee Cake, Mudslide Cookies, Cheesecake Truffle Bombs and a wonderful selection of yeast breads including bagels, buns and babka. There is a super selection of biscotti recipes and even a section called Baker in a Hurry, for when you “still want to present something freshly baked and home assembled, even if not wholly homemade.”

Here are some of Marcy Goldman’s top tips and a few selected recipes from “A Passion for Baking” for you to share with your friends and family. Happy baking, happy eating!

Marcy Goldman’s Top Baking Tips:

Breakfast Cafe Cinnamon Crumb Cake

10 to 12 servings

This fragrant spice cake is easy but memorable. It can be made with oil or melted butter. Oil is quicker and butter is more flavorful, but either ingredient will yield a tender-crumbed cake. What makes this a snap is the fact that the topping is a crumb mixture that is also part of the batter. This recipe would also make fabulous mini loaves or muffins.



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously spray a 9- or 10-inch springform pan or a 13×9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place pan on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  2. In a mixer bowl, blend butter, flour, both sugars, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg
  3. Remove ¾ cup of this mixture and add chopped nuts and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon to it. Set aside. (This will be the crumb topping.)
  4. To remaining batter, add baking powder, baking soda, egg, vanilla, and buttermilk. Using a hand whisk, blend well.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle on reserved crumb topping. Bake until cake tests done and springs back when gently pressed with fingertips, about 40 to 45 minutes

Serve warm or at room temperature. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Marvelous Marble Cream Cheese-and-Chocolate Muffins

Yields 12 to 14 muffins

These are hardly muffins – this is Dean & Deluca-type food. I baked these chocolate wonders in miniature loaf pans, and the results were miniature cakes that are what we bakers call sheer “eye candy.”

Hint: Use a chef’s knife or food processor to mince or grate chocolate chips for this recipe.


Cream Cheese Topping:

Muffin Batter:


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a large 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. If you have extra batter, use another muffin pan, filling up empty muffin cups with water.
  3. For Cream Cheese Topping, put all topping ingredients except grated chocolate in a food processor and process until smooth.
  4. For Muffin Batter, in a mixer bowl, blend sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Fold in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa. As you are blending, stir in coffee or cola. Blend until smooth (this is a loose batter).
  5. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups. Top each with a portion of cream cheese topping and sprinkle on some grated chocolate. Using a knife, gently swirl topping into batter.
  6. Bake until done and cream cheese topping seems set to the touch and edges of exposed muffins seem firm to the touch, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  7. Let cool 15 minutes before removing from pans.

Candy Bar Shortbread

2 to 3 dozen cookies

No one seems able to get enough of these rich shortbread cookies crowned with Toblerone chocolate.



  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Stack 2 baking sheets together and line top sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until blended. Add flour and salt and mix to make a stiff dough that does not quite hold together.
  3. Pat dough into a 13- x 9-inch pan lined with parchment paper and set on prepared baking sheets or pat directly into a rectangle on baking sheets (about 14 x 10 inches). Bake until lightly golden, 25 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle chopped chocolate on hot uncut shortbread.
  4. Let set about 5 minutes and smear chocolate around. Cut into small squares and remove cookies to fridge or freezer to set up.

Fudge Brownies In A Jar

Yields 2 dozen brownies

Brownie mix is the easiest thing to create and give. Incidentally, I pack this mix in Mason jars or dollar-store decorative jars. Ribbon and a card are all you need to finish this gift. If I, like Oprah, ever did a “my favorite things” show, Fudge Brownies in a Jar would be on the hit list. Everyone who visits www.BetterBaking.com would get a jar!


Dry Mix:



  1. To prepare, pour sugar into a large Mason jar or other large jar
  2. Add cocoa, nuts, baking soda, and salt. Spoon flour on top and press down
  3. Seal jar.

Recipe Card Text:

  1. To make brownies, dump mix into a large bowl
  2. Stir in ¾ cup melted unsalted butter and then 4 eggs
  3. Spread batter in a lightly greased 13×9-inch or 11×8-inch pan
  4. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes
  5. Cool at room temperature 20 minutes
  6. Refrigerate 30 minutes and then cut.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.