One day, when I was lurking on the interwebz for some recipes and blog ideas, I came upon this cyber exchange – A blogger cookbook swap!
The rules are simple: Once signing up, you are randomly assigned another food blogger anywhere in the country and must mail him/her a new or gently used cookbook. You then take the book mailed to you, create something from it, and write a post, which all go live on the same day. How rad is that?!
As a new participant of the Food Blogger Cookbook Swap (which was hosted by Alyssa of Everyday Maven and Faith of An Edible Mosaic), I sent a cookbook to Pam of Blueberries and Blessings and got this cookbook from my match in return (thanks, Haley!):
Because this book is fantasmic and I’m slightly cray, I decided to conquer my fear of yeast (yeastophobia? that sounds gross) and spend President’s Day weekend busting out a babka bundt cake. And because I have a slight obsession with cookie butter, I modified the recipe to include a jar of chocolate-cookie-butter swirl. Because yes.
If you’ve never made bread before (it had been so long for me that I’m counting myself as a bread noob), measuring is important, so don’t think you’re too cool to measure. I even used a thermometer to make sure that the milk was lukewarm enough to activate the yeast – which might be a little OCD but hey, it led to this insane-looking loaf of happiness.
Making bread also takes all day. Seriously. I started this at about 9am and finished around 4pm. Worth it? Absolutely, but be forewarned and make sure you don’t have much else to do except watch a season of Portlandia and take photos obsessively.
While I didn’t do an egg wash on the babka, the next time I would recommend it, as the top gets dried out in the oven. I also didn’t’ realize how gigantic this would be, so I tightly wrapped it and sliced as needed, putting butter, jam, and – obviously – even more cookie butter on it. Because yes.
I can’t wait to try more recipes from this book, especially since I feel that it describes me so perfectly; cookbook swap success! Check out the all the other people who participated this year, and enjoy this recipe for cookie butter babka with OCD step-by-step photos for your enjoyment.
A modern (slightly insane) baker.
2014 Cookbook Swap Participants:
A Baker’s House
An Edible Mosaic
Blue Kale Road
Blueberries And Blessings
Cheap Recipe Blog
Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Create Amazing Meals
Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Dinner is Served 1972
Done With Corn
Eats Well With Others
Flour Me With Love
From My Sweet Heart
Great Food 360°
I’m Gonna Cook That!
Je Mange la Ville
Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Olive and Herb
OnTheMove-In The Galley
Our Best Bites
Paleo Gone Sassy
poet in the pantry
Rhubarb and Honey
Rocky Mountain Cooking
Shikha la mode
Spoonful of Flavor
Tara’s Multicultural Table
The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler
The Suburban Soapbox
The Whole Family’s Food
Chocolate Cookie Butter Babka
(adapted from The Modern Baker)
- In a small pan, warm the milk to about 110 degrees (use a thermometer if you have to). Pour into the bowl of a Kitchenaid and whisk in the yeast til mixed and frothy. Add in the butter, sugar, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla and combine.
- With the paddle attachment, slowly add in the flour a 1/2 cup at a time. Once all the flour has been added, beat the dough for 2 minutes. Stop the mixture for 10 minutes and allow the dough to rest. Then beat for 2 minutes longer on medium speed.
- Spray a large bowl and scoop the dough into it. Spray the top of the dough, cover wish plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1.5 hours.
- Once chilled, scrape the dough onto a floured surface and press it out into a rectangle about 10×15 inches. Using a spoon, spread the cookie butter in lines across the dough and scatter the walnuts over it.
- Roll up the dough completely and pinch the ends to seal. Take your time to make sure the roll is tight and even.
- Spray a 12-cup bundt pan and carefully place the roll in it, joining the ends together as well as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until doubled in size, around 1-2 hours.
- When the dough is almost done rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the bundt for 35-40 minutes until well risen and deep golden.
- Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert and let cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter, jam, or more cookie butter.