The Best of

175 Classic Recipes from the Beloved Baker’s Website

A Review by Norene Gilletz

For Chanukah, I’ve chosen two recipes from Marcy Goldman’s newest cookbook, The Best of, 175 Classic Recipes from the Beloved Baker’s Website. This wonderful collection of recipes is based on her popular website, This appealing cookbook is packed with Marcy’s expert insight into ingredients, equipment and techniques. This is a cookbook you will be sure to use over and over again. Here are two excellent dairy desserts from her book that are sure to bring joy to your table. Mmmm!


1/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp. instant yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour

Custard Filling
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Chocolate Glaze
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
About 1/3 cup hot water

Dough: Hand whisk the water and yeast together in the bowl of an electric mixer; let stand 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve yeast. Whisk in milk and shortening. Stir in eggs, sugar, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Mix to make a soft dough. Knead with the dough hook on lowest speed of mixer for 8 to 10 minutes, gradually adding more flour as required to form a soft but elastic dough. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with a damp cloth, and place in a large plastic bag. Close the bag loosely and let dough rise for 30 to 45 minutes, or until almost doubled.

Filling: Whisk sugar, flour and egg yolks together in a bowl. In a small saucepan, bring milk to a boil. Stir 2 tbsp. of the milk into egg mixture to temper the yolks and prevent curdling. Whisk egg mixture into the milk and stir constantly until mixture thickens and begins to boil gently, then immediately remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla; let cool. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pinch off pieces of dough and form into small balls about the size of golf balls. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 25 minutes.

In a wok or a Dutch oven, heat 4 inches of oil to 375 degrees F. Add the doughnuts a few at a time and fry for 30 to 40 seconds, until deep brown on the first side. Turn and fry on the second side for 15 to 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain and let cool.

Whisk the custard to smooth and fluff it. Put custard in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Split each doughnut in half and pipe or spoon in some custard.

Glaze: Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; stir until smooth. Add enough water to make a thin glaze. Let cool for 1 minute, then drizzle over the doughnuts. If the glaze gets too stiff, add more hot water to make it workable again.

Yield: 18 to 20 doughnuts


This is a two-tiered cheesecake that calls for just one pound of cream cheese. Smooth, light and pretty as a picture, it is as good plain as it is garnished with the apricots.

One 7-inch sponge or pound cake, sliced about 3/4 inch thick and toasted

First Layer
1 pound cream cheese
2 eggs
1 (14 oz.) can condensed milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Second Layer
2 cups sour cream
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 large can apricot halves, drained
1/4 to 1/3 cup apricot jam, warmed and sieved

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Line a 9-inch springform pan or deep quiche pan with the cake slices, cutting and fitting as necessary. Set aside.

First Layer: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour into cake-lined pan. Place pan on prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Second Layer: Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients in the food processor (no need to rinse) and process for 8 to 10 seconds, or until smooth.

Remove the cake from the oven and pour the second layer of filling over the first. Return the cake to the oven and bake for 20 to 28 minutes, or until just set. Let cool in the oven for 30 minutes with the oven off and the oven door open completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight.

For the topping, arrange apricot halves over the top, fitting them snugly together to cover the surface completely. Brush with the warmed jam. Let set for 5 to 10 minutes and repeat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Makes 1 tart; serves 8 to 12

The Best of
175 Classic Recipes from the Beloved Baker’s Website
by Marcy Goldman

Random House Canada
Color Photos

Order Now from or