Hedy Goldsmith recalls her first efforts at baking, with the Easy-Bake Oven, in her new cookbook, Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors.
I spoke with Goldsmith, executive pastry chef at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, about her latest Easy-Bake Oven and about holiday baking.
Goldsmith recently got a 1964 Easy Bake Oven with the original cake mixes:
It really connects me to my childhood, to a gentle time when growing up was slow. The Easy-Bake Oven baked brownies with two 60-watt bulbs and there’s something very gentle and kind about that. It took forever to bake but it was a magical thing.
Goldsmith fondly remembers baking pizza, brownies and chocolate cake in the oven as a child.
The box from Kenner, the turquoise blue color–it makes me emotional. It reminds me of the whole family being together.
These days, the Easy-Bake light bulbs have been replaced with modern heating elements, similar to those in a real oven. (See how the Easy-Bake Oven works these days.) Another change: Hasbro, the toy’s current manufacturer, has responded to requests by a 13-year-old girl, backed by some top chefs, to make the toy more gender-neutral.
Goldsmith has moved on to bigger ovens, although many of her pastry recipes are inspired by her childhood favorites. She fills Pop-T’s with her own seasonal jams like lychee and passion fruit. Fig New T’s might include Merlot as an ingredient, but they have their roots in her childhood raids on the pantry.
She’s also combining traditional baked treats with assertive spices, as in this recipe for coconut and cardamom macaroons Goldsmith shared with Tasting Table Miami. During this time of the year, Goldsmith gravitates toward coconut: “Coconut is the essence of the holidays for me. Jewish holidays mean coconut desserts.” Hanukkah has ended, but these macaroons are easy to make–trust me, you should think of any old excuse to bake these treats.