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.
Wow…. that looks insanely good. I think you definitely conquered your yeast-o-phobia.. 😉
I hope so! I’ll have to try it again to be sure though.
Haley @ Cheap Recipe Blog says
Woohoo! You got it, and you made something amazing!
What a fun event 🙂 Can’t wait for the next one.
You are amazing for sending me such a cool book – can’t wait til next time!
Thank you, thank you! *does a little bow*
Ansh | Spiceroots says
Well done Shikha. You conquered the yeast.
Hahaha I never thought I would hear those words of yeast conquering – woooo!
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says
This all looks incredible and a cookbook swap? That is such a great idea!!!
Isn’t it cool? You should definitely get in on the next one!
Your babka is beautiful and what a fun swap!
Thank you, and thanks for stopping by!
Nancy @ gottagetbaked says
I’m so glad you got over the yeastophobia (yes, that does sound gross, lol). This babka is absolutely glorious! Look at the height on this baby! I loooooove that you filled it with chocolate swirled cookie butter because, um, hells yeah! Imagine making bread pudding or french toast with this…the delicious possibilities are endless!
I was JUST thinking about doing bread pudding with some of the extra bread. Bread pudding with cookie butter sounds like such a delicious thing, and that might just show up on the blog now!
Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes says
This looks absolutely divine!!!! I would love to get my hands on a slice or two!
Next time there needs to be a food swap so that we can all ship each other food!
Omg, omg, omg, COOKIE BUTTER! You’re in San Francisco, right? I recently moved out of San Francisco and my local TJ’s on Geary/Masonic imposed limits on the number of cookie butters you could buy. Pretty painful, since a co-worker got me addicted…
Where did you move to? I live RIGHT next to the Trader Joe’s on Masonic and Geary and get all my cookie butter from there!!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
What a great idea to do a cookbook swap! We’ve all got ones that deserve another home 🙂 Faith is great isn’t she? 🙂
Absolutely amazing – this was honestly one of the coolest things I’ve done with the blog!
Oh what a GREAT book! As a baker, I’m a fan of Nick Malgieri. You are so lucky to have this book! I also suffer from fits of yeastophobia….but your cake looks amazing! So happy to have been introduced to your lovely blog through the cookbook swap!
Thank you so much, I’m happy you stopped by as well! I’ve been reading through this book a lot, and it’s so cool. I’m going to cook some more things from it soon!
Oh goodness me, that is gorgeous!!! I know the intention of this Swap was to share cookbooks but now it has created a very long “I-want-this-cookbook” list for me!
RIGHT – I feel the same way when I visit everyone’s blogs now too!
Oh wow! I was drooling over the step by step photos with the spread. That looks amazing!
Haha I’m glad you like the photos, cus I was awkwardly hovering over my kitchen table for hours trying to get all the shots in! My roommates definitely got a kick out of it.
Faith (An Edible Mosaic) says
Thank you so much for participating in the swap and helping to make it a success! The book you got has been on my wishlist for so long now…jealous! 😉 The babka recipe looks amazing.
Faith, this was SUCH a cool idea and I want to be involved with any and all future swaps. So happy to have done this and conquered babka!
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
I have quite a few cookbooks by Nick Malgieri and his recipes have always led to successes in my kitchen. So glad you participated – thanks!
It was so much fun to participate, and I can’t wait to do it again!
Zainab @ Blahnik Baker says
Wow this cake is beautiful!! I’m afraid of yeast too but it’s so easy!!
I’m still kind of afraid of yeast to be honest, unless I like super follow the directions. But I think this recipe helped me slowly, SLOWLY, want to do more bread things!
Applauding your OCD photo record AND the gorgeous babka. But how did I not know about cookie butter?! (Off to TJs immediately) This was such a fun event and introduction to so many terrific bloggers.
Oh man, prepare to be addicted for the rest of your life. Trader Joe’s even has a limit on how many jars you can buy cus it’s so damn good. Good luck!!
Fantastic adaptation! I’m very impressed with the end result and the day-long process, always worth it, but as you point out you really can’t do much else other than some mindless viewing of TV. Fun to find your blog through the cookbook exchange!
Thanks Christy! Have you ever made bread before? I’d be curious to see how long it takes people. I want to try it again but I have to give myself enough prep time so I can do another Netflix binge!