The Prince of Tides is one of favorite books and one of the best reads you'll ever come across. It is a sweeping family saga set in the mossy fecundity of the coastal South. Barbra Streisand bought the rights and made it into a movie. If you saw the movie but didn’t read the book, you would think that The Prince of Tides was a book about a Jewish psychiatrist set in New York City.
What you may ask, does this have to do with Baked, a book written by two guy who live in New York City and have a bakery in Red Hook Brooklyn? Well, Baked, like the MOVIE version of The Prince of Tides, seems to be a about trendy NYC, but if you actually read the book, if you scratch the surface, you will find a good old Southern story underneath.
The cover is adorned with beautiful lemon meringue tarts; tarts that would make your Ganny weep. There is a great recipe for “Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie”. I spent some time in Tuscaloosa, as did Matt Lewis (proving you can take the boy out of the South but …). Lewis mentions that only in the South do they make Tollhouse Pie, something I never realized till now. Since you can now find crayfish in Ohio, and grits in New York, and biscuits in Seattle, it would be a good idea to spread the love of Tollhouse Pies across the country. The book has recipes for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and S’more Nut Bars and cakes made with root beer. Southerns can find more ways to incorporate soft drinks into food than anyplace in the universe, in fact, the uses of Cheerwine are endless!
I once had a recipe for a monster cookie. I made it several time and really love it. Then I lost the recipe. I spent endless hours looking for the recipe, but to no avail. This recipe is close to the one I lost somewhere in the mountains of North Carolina!
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
5 3/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (6 ounces) M&Ms
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the oats and stir until all the ingredients are evenly combined.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth and pale in color. Add the sugars and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Do not overmix.
Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth (about 20 seconds) and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and beat until just incorporated.
Use a spatula or wooden spoon to fold in the chocolate chips and M&M’s. cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for 5 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop the dough in 2-tablespoon-size balls onto the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the cookies just begin to brown. Let cool on the pans for 8 to 10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Once you have made a big batch, break out a Cheerwine and read a few chapters in The Prince of Tides.