Birthday Bakes for Dad
My dad’s birthday is a couple of days away, and he truly is a man with everything except someone local to bake for him. Cakes ship terribly, so I conjured a trio of bakes for him, and one for myself. As you do.
Because they’re simultaneously some of his favorites and travel beautifully, I chose Greek Macarons, Brownies, and Molasses Spice Bombs. Not only will they arrive good as the day they were baked, but the Molasses Spice Bombs and Greek Macarons tend to improve with time. Everybody wins!
The yogurt cupcakes were just for me as something to use up the extra egg yolks the Greek Macarons throw off. It’s moments like this when you’ve an excess of ingredient to use that the ratios in my Kitchen Grimoire come in particularly handy. But that’s
another topic that you can explore at your leisure.
Whenever I have this many things to bake at once, I usually make a day of it. Because I’m fussy, everything gets prepped and weighed the night before. That way all I have to do is mix, scoop, and bake once I’ve had my tea the next morning. In smaller kitchens especially, this makes for a lot less clutter when you’re trying to maneuver.
While I’m on the topic of fussiness, I find it helpful to wash everything as soon as I’m done
with it when prepping bakes, especially on grander scales. Not only does it keep the mess from overwhelming me, but it doesn’t give the flour time to weld itself to my things. This is the ideal task for that person in your life who’s always asking if they can help you in the kitchen. It’s like quality time and free labor, all in one!
Back to the bakes.
My father’s wild for chocolate and orange, so I used one of my favorite variations on the my brownies that I call orange blossom. First I blitz the zest of two oranges with the recipe’s oil in the blender for a couple of minutes, and then I add a teaspoon of Nielsen-Massey orange blossom water along with the vanilla. They’re chocolate heaven in the celestial orange grove.
The two cookies got scooped in celebratory sizes (see also: small cakes) using my trusty #30 disher. Most people think of them as ice cream scoops, but they’re actually a staple of portion control in the food service industry. The #30 gives two tablespoons, which really is an enormous cookie. But who ever complained about a cookie being too big? Certainly no one to whom I’m related.