Cookbook Review (& giveaway!): The Kosher Baker

By | July 1, 2013

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When I think about The Kosher Baker, I think of a source for reliable classics, non-potchke desserts, and creative recipes for when the mood strikes. But the highest compliment I can give this book is that it’s just so usable. You know those cookbooks that are fun to look at, but you’ll probably try one recipe in the next 5 years? Well, this one’s not like that. This is a book I’ve actually been using.

Type of book

The Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer is a book of 160+ pareve dessert recipes, divided into chapters by the amount of time it takes to make them: 15 minutes of prep, 15-30 minutes, and more than 30 minutes. The chapters are then divided further, by dessert type. This makes it easy to find a quick cookie vs. fancy plated dessert, for example. There are also about a dozen each Pesach and no-sugar-added recipes.

Recipe writing

My favorite thing about the way the recipes are written is that every single one comes with storage directions. I appreciate being able to make desserts in advance, and with these guidelines, there’s no guessing about freshness.

I found the recipe directions wordy at times, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you like hand-holding in the kitchen, you’ll appreciate the detail. On the other hand, if you’ve long ago tackled things like rolling out pastry dough, you may find yourself skimming through the directions.

Photography

As a visual learner, I say: the more photos, the better. I’m always more likely to try a recipe from a cookbook if there’s a photo to accompany it. The Kosher Baker includes beautiful photos every 2-3 pages, sometimes full-page pics, sometimes smaller. There are also a nice amount of step-by-step photos in black and white, which make the book even more usable. (The cover image isn’t my favorite, though. I would have chosen something else.)

Recipes I’ve tried:

While we enjoyed all of these (and so did our guests), my favorite is the challah — we actually have a stash of them in the freezer right now. The dough comes together easily, there aren’t too many steps, it’s easy to braid, it freezes beautifully, and it’s delicious. Seriously, could you ask for anything more?

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Some recipes I can’t wait to try:

  • Carrot cake with cinnamon honey cream cheese frosting
  • Scones au chocolat
  • Brownie pops
  • Babka cupcakes with crumb topping

Who would enjoy this book?

Anyone who needs to make dessert for a meat meal. Anyone who doesn’t have a dairy oven or who does have a dairy allergy. Or, in my case, anyone who needs to bring a pareve dessert to her meat-eating Shabbos hosts. Even if you don’t fit into these categories, there’s such a variety of recipes that you’ll find plenty to interest you in this book. (Anti-margarine people: Although many of the recipes call for margarine, which I found disappointing, there are also lots that use oil instead. Do not despair.)

Bottom line:

The Kosher Baker has a huge variety of desserts, many of which are easy enough to make on the fly. With its clean layout, organized structure, and detailed recipe directions, this book is easy to use. I find myself reaching for it even when I don’t need to make a pareve dessert — and for me, that’s saying something!

* You can get a copy of The Kosher Baker right here on Amazon. If you buy it through that link, a (very) small portion of your purchase supports More Quiche, Please. Thank you!

Stay tuned for Paula’s second book, The Kosher Holiday Baker, on sale in November!

Win a copy of The Kosher Baker!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post that answers this question: What is your most reliable pareve dessert? (Please note that this is not an optional entry!)

Bonus (optional) entry: Subscribe to More Quiche, Please and then leave a separate comment on this post telling me that you did. To subscribe, just click the link under the words “subscribe to More Quiche, Please” that can be found on the right-hand side of any page on the blog (and follow the directions on the screen). If you already subscribe, leave a separate comment to let me know.

The giveaway ends at midnight EST on July 6. One winner will be chosen with the help of random.org. Please note that the cookbook prize can only be shipped to a U.S. address.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of The Kosher Baker, but my opinions are my own. The giveaway is sponsored by UPNE Book Partners. This post contains affiliate links.


92 Comments

Aliza Schwartz on July 1, 2013 at 6:13 am.

My Amaretto cake

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Elianna M. on July 1, 2013 at 6:18 am.

My most reliable dessert is chocolate banana cake, made with such simple ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, apple sauce, a bit of oil, bananas, and choco chips! pareve and delicious and comes out great every time!

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Yiscah on July 1, 2013 at 6:42 am.

My most reliable desert is my Oreo pie. I use two richs whips, pareve Oreo’s and a graham cracker crust. It is truly the best!!

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Dorit on July 1, 2013 at 7:01 am.

Harvey wallbanger cake!

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Faye on July 1, 2013 at 7:42 am.

Pumpkin bread pudding made with almond milk,pumpkin puree, cranberries,ground almond meal,chocolate chips and leftover challah

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Faigie E on July 1, 2013 at 8:59 am.

Mocha cake

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elana on July 1, 2013 at 9:10 am.

my most reliable parve dessert is my one bowl-one whisk chocolate cake with chocolate crusted on top. thrown together in literally minutes, barely any dishes and everyone ALWAYS loves it (and it doesnt hurt that it freezes VERY well too)

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Esty on July 1, 2013 at 9:27 am.

Brownies – kids never get bored of it!

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Adina Freimark Wolff on July 1, 2013 at 9:44 am.

Hi!
I’d love to win a free cookbook. My new hobby is reading cooking blogs and cookbooks :)
My most reliable pareve dessert is moist chocolate cake. witha melted chocolate topping.
Elchonon’s most reliable pareve dessesrt is Sharon’s sorbet ;)

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Devora on July 1, 2013 at 9:54 am.

Fresh stone fruit pie

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Devora on July 1, 2013 at 9:55 am.

I subscribed to you about a year ago :)
I love your recipes and your writing style

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pnina on July 1, 2013 at 10:17 am.

my go to dessert is usually blondies but brownies are also a no fail- basically anything with choc chips cant go wrong :)

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G-Diddy on July 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm.

You’ve already won a book!

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G-Dawg on July 1, 2013 at 10:33 am.

My world famous marshmallows. OK, they’re more like a snack but if you sit down and eat 30 in one go (definitely plausible) then that’s pretty much the dessert.

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Alona on July 1, 2013 at 11:09 am.

One of my favorite parve desserts to make is trifle! I like layering chocolate/vanilla cake, chocolate/vanilla pudding, fresh/canned fruit and top the whole thing with rich’s whip!

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Alona on July 1, 2013 at 11:12 am.

Oh, and I already subscribe. It’s a great blog!

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Sara on July 1, 2013 at 11:29 am.

Chocolate brownies with chocolate chips for my chocolate obsessed husband.

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Elana Friedman on July 1, 2013 at 11:31 am.

My favorite parve dessert would have to be Mint chocolate chip ice cream. It is to die for. Also stays pretty fresh in the freezer for months (if it lasts that long) :)

I already subscribe and I love it.

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Ahuvah Taub on July 1, 2013 at 12:17 pm.

My favourite go to parve dessert recipe is my Bubby’s apple dessert cake.

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Ariela on July 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm.

Chocolate chip cookies

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Rimone on July 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm.

I really like the things you share on this blog, thanks! Esp the meal planning which for me is always a great way to get ideas for our busy week :)
Most reliable pareve desert would prob be chocolate peanut-butter cupcakes- no eggs, freeze really well and are delicious warmed up on the platta for shabbat :)

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Devorah on July 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm.

My most reliable pareve desert is my orange zest vanilla cake.

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Rochel Leah Neuman on July 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm.

My most reliable cake is the Hershey’s chocolate cake…..it’s a no fail & always a winner!!!

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dassy on July 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm.

duncan hines brownies!

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Shoshana on July 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm.

Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache

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Gila on July 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm.

Love this! My most reliable dessert, especially in summer. are homemade icecream sandwiches. I bake super soft large chocolate chip cookies and buy parev ice cream, let it melt a little then sandwich a large scoop between 2 cookies. There are never any left, no matter who is at the table!

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Gila on July 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm.

And I subscribe and use your recipes regularly!

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Surella on July 1, 2013 at 3:57 pm.

Apple crisp! It needs ingredients that I always have. Some apples, walnuts, sugar, flour, not much else.

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Anna Schroff on July 1, 2013 at 4:02 pm.

Apple cranberry crumble

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Ace Maxs on July 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm.

Hi,,
This is amazing contest.
Count me in. Good luck everyone.

xoxo

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Elisheva on July 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm.

My go to chocolate chip cookie recipe from my bridal shower cookbook :) – and I’ve started adding extra choc chips on top because of more quiche please!

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Elisheva on July 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm.

I’m already subscribed

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Danit on July 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm.

My most reliable dessert is my chewy chocolate chip cookies.

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Sheindl on July 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm.

Banana cake!!!

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Danit on July 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm.

Subscribed

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Sheindl on July 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm.

P.s I already subscribe

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ABC on July 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm.

strawberry ices

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Elizabeth D on July 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm.

I do own a copy of this book that I received as a gift. I just wanted to thank you for your review. I have not done any of the recipes in this book but because of your review I will be using it very soon. Thanks!

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Vida on July 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm.

My most reliable dessert is my mother-in-law’s recipe for brownies. They use a lot of margarine (unfortunately), but it takes about 10 minutes and one pot, and then we can pour everything into the pan to bake. We fight over the crusts!

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Ita Benjamin on July 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm.

My favorite pareve dessert is a layered chocolate & marshmallow parfait. It’s delicious and impressive-looking.

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Ita Benjamin on July 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm.

I just subscribed.

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Amy on July 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm.

My mother makes a lemon sorbet using coffee rich. It’s a favorite at her seder.

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Zehava on July 1, 2013 at 7:48 pm.

Snickerdoodle blondies- A quick recipe that uses the most basic ingredients. They also taste amazing!

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Jenny on July 1, 2013 at 8:06 pm.

Chocolate cake recipe on the back of the Hershey’s cocoa (also appears in multiple cookbooks). It gets rave reviews every time.

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Malka on July 1, 2013 at 9:58 pm.

My peanut butter squares — come out perfect ev ery single time!! Most requested dessert ever!

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mimi on July 2, 2013 at 2:39 am.

ameretto cake with fresh fruit

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avigail on July 2, 2013 at 4:21 am.

My go to pareve dessert is fresh fruit salad made seasonal, if I am actually baking it would be chocolate chip cookies or trifle.

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avigail on July 2, 2013 at 4:23 am.

I subscribed to the feed.

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Devorah on July 2, 2013 at 5:46 am.

On a regular occasion, it’s one of my standard cakes – chocolate, lemon, coffee, crumb, pineapple, mocha… but for special occasions, one-bowl chocolate peanut butter pie is fantastic!

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Devorah on July 2, 2013 at 5:46 am.

and I already “subscribe” via an RSS reader if that counts (was google reader, now it’s feedly, I guess).

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Abigail on July 2, 2013 at 8:36 am.

Chocolate peanut butter pie or if I don’t have those ingredients either a crumble (yes served for dessert and not with the main course) or chocolate cupcakes.

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Sara Fayga on July 2, 2013 at 9:08 am.

My most reliable pareve dessert? A scoop of ruby red rasberry sorbet with fresh berries sprinkled on top!
Love MQP!!

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YSF on July 2, 2013 at 10:59 am.

The go-to recipe is the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the package of chocolate chips. It’s a tried-and-true favorite, and no one ever complains. Plus it’s pretty quick and easy and we usually have all the ingredients.

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YSF on July 2, 2013 at 10:59 am.

P.S. I am already subscribed.

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Ariella on July 2, 2013 at 11:22 am.

basic chocolate chip cake

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Ahuvah Taub on July 2, 2013 at 11:27 am.

Subscribed a long time ago and I’ve been enjoying your blog ever since : )

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Nissim on July 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm.

Moist Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting!

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Nissim on July 2, 2013 at 1:03 pm.

Subscribed!!!

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Jenny on July 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm.

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from the Kosher Palette. Classic!

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Brina on July 2, 2013 at 1:37 pm.

My most reliable pareve dessert is pareve cheesecake. It takes all of 5 minutes to prepare and no one can tell that its pareve.

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Tzivi Jakubovic on July 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm.

My apple halves rolled in sugar and cin wrapped on dough sifted confec sug on top! Oh, and a hidden piece of hocolate in middle!

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Rivky Waldman on July 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm.

My favorite go to dessert is a healthy version of mousse made with tofu cream cheese, hot water and chocolate chips. Recipe courtesy of a good friend, Neomi G.

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Brina on July 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm.

I subscribed to your email as well.

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Tzivi Jakubovic on July 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm.

Subscribed!

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charlotte on July 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm.

My mud pie!!!

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charlotte on July 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm.

I subscribed!!

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E Cogan on July 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm.

Most reliable pareve dessert is fresh fruit salad – melons, grapes and walnuts with orange juice added (just a little). The walnuts were the idea of my first mother-in-law. She always made this for Pesach.
Most reliable baked dessert is my variation on Duncan Hines devil’s food cake – mini cupcakes (lighter – makes 1/3 more with, of course, 1/3 less calories per serving) with my special mocha icing – very little of that, just to hold the sprinkles on top.

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MM on July 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm.

I subscribed!

Oh, and chocolate chip bars.

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MM on July 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm.

Whoops, let me make that a separate comment for that bonus entry:

I subscribed!

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karen reiner on July 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm.

lemon bundt cake

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karen reiner on July 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm.

i subscribed to more quiche please because your website looks nice and im interested 1

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Esther on July 2, 2013 at 7:50 pm.

Apple crisp!

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Surie on July 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm.

My favorite dessert is fresh fruit salad. Pomegranates (when in season, otherwise craisins), kiwi, yellow and green apple, strawberries and pineapple tidbits. If I’m in a sugary mood I’ll add a little strawberry/raspberry jello dissolved in a bit of hot water, added to the pinapple juice. Otherwise I’ll serve it without. Delicious and refreshing!

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Yael on July 2, 2013 at 10:28 pm.

Amaretto cake! Or my amazing Entemann’s tasting choc chip cookies.

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Yael on July 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm.

I subscribed

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Lea on July 2, 2013 at 11:02 pm.

My favorite is a chocolate funny cake. It’s very chocolatey and delicious, and very easy to make.

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Keshet on July 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm.

classic chocolate chip cookies!

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HG on July 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm.

My most reliable pareve desserts are brownies and congo bars. But some of the desserts listed above sound great too!

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HG on July 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm.

I subscribed a number of months ago.

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Esther on July 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm.

Chocolate cake

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Esther on July 3, 2013 at 11:44 pm.

I just subscribed

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Karen on July 4, 2013 at 1:00 am.

My most reliable dessert is the Pareve Banana Cake from Norene Gilletz’s Healthy Helpings (MealLeaniYum). It very quick to make in the food processor and it is moist and delicious. I sprinkle a bit of Turbinado sugar on top just before I put it in the oven.

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Karen on July 4, 2013 at 1:03 am.

I just subscribed!

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libby on July 4, 2013 at 3:20 am.

Easy and yum. A champagne glass that has two layers of different colored jello served with whipped cream on top.

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Talia Hoffman on July 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm.

My most reliable dessert is rice krispies treats- gooey, sweet, and easy to vary depending on the company.

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Sara Z. on July 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm.

homemade applesauce. I use apples plus whatever fruit I have around that’s going to go bad or that I have no other use for (it can really be anything – grapes, plums, mango, strawberries…). let simmer until thoroughly cooked, add cinnamon/nutmeg/cloves and you’re done! don’t even need to add sugar because it’s so sweet naturally.

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Sara Z. on July 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm.

subscribed too!

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Rachael on July 4, 2013 at 8:47 pm.

6 minute chocolate cake: it’s mixed all in the pan, and then goes straight into the oven: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, vegetable oil, coffee, vanilla, and vinegar at the end

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Shuli on July 5, 2013 at 3:39 am.

My most reliable dessert is chocolate mousse pie.

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Amy Schwartz on July 5, 2013 at 8:59 am.

my most reliable dessert is chocolate chip sticks from The Kosher Palette. And also homemade kettle corn popcorn.

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Katharina on July 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm.

Oh, I’d really love to win the baking book!!!

I have a few non-fail parve desserts; the no-work-involved varieties are bought lemon sorbet and fresh fruit salad; and the other more fancy one is lekach.

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Shlomo Beningfield on July 6, 2013 at 1:26 am.

definitely my cookies!

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