Tags: baking, brownies, chocolate, dessert
I have made lots o’ brownies with TWD (I think there are even still a couple more versions to go), but this is Dorie’s classic…no honey, no cheesecake, no Peppermint Patties…just straight-up chocolate and walnuts. This is a solid brownie, in both the solidly-good sense, and the fudgy-but-not-raw-in-the-middle sense. It’s the one to take to a bake sale, the one to put in a lunchbox, the one that will please everyone (unless they don’t like nuts, but then you just leave them out!).
Tags: baking, cookies
I thought TWD was a pretty PG-group, but this week’s recipe sounds a little racy. Too much talk about spicy quickies might make me blush.
Ok, so these are just quick to make food processor cookies, flavored with spices and chocolate. No ID required. I read that they weren’t actaully very spicy at all, so I doubled the amount in mine. I used allspice, and doubling it makes it noticable, but it’s not in your face. Ground almonds give the dough cute little speckles.
When my quickies turned out soft instead of crispy, I was kind of confused. Ahhh….seems I didn’t read the recipe intro…the one where Dorie says they are chewy. However, as you can see, her side note about turning them into ice cream sandwiches did not escape me! She’s right, they have the perfect texture for ice cream sandwiches.
Tags: baking, cookies
We are having hot, sticky weather here. I’ve baked enough to know that sticky weather equals sticky meringues, so I thought about hitting the snooze bar on TWD this week and skipping these Cocoa Almond Meringue Cookies. But I had some weekend time on my hands, and I figured I could do a scaled down batch…just enough to be eaten the same day, with nothing left to wilt in a container overnight.
I like meringues, and I’m a fan of these. Beneath their crisp, light cocoa shells, they are chewy and very dark with chocolate (studded with crushed hazelnuts, too, in this case). If you like your meringues drier and crisped-through, I’m guessing you could bake them longer, or at the end of the book’s suggested time, turn off the oven and let the cookies continue to hang out for a few more hours inside. I actually did bake these about 15 minutes longer than the recommended hour and ten because I made a few quite large meringues as opposed to a zillion little guys, and I wanted to make sure they weren’t soup inside. I made a special exception to my “no coffee after 3:00″ rule and served these with a little glass of milky iced joe. It was the perfect thing to cut the sweetness of the meringues.
Next time I find myself with extra egg whites, I’ll be sure to keep these in mind! For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or read Ugly Food For an Ugly Dude. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!
Tags: baking, cookies
Hooray, Spike, for finally giving these Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Cookies their fifteen minutes of fame. This is one of the first recipes in the book that really piqued my interest, mostly because I couldn’t imagine what the heck a “cake cookie” could be. But then, after making approximately a hundred zillion whoopie pies at the bakery in Red Hook where I used to work, it dawned on me that these might something similar. Although Dorie says they are thin and plain, somehow mine came out chubby and rounded– like little cakes in cookie-mound form. These are nice and moist, and to boost the chocolaty-ness, I used my darkest cocoa, replaced the cinnamon and nutmeg in the recipe with a bit of instant espresso powder and left out the currants entirely. While they are pretty good on their own (just grab a glass of milk or iced coffee and have at ‘em), I think they’d be great filled with buttercream. Since it’s so schwetty out here, I decided to make them into ice cream sandwiches instead, using a bit of the caramel gelato I help to make at the shop where I now work.
Tags: baking, cookies
If you are looking for a crunchy, buttery, sweet little cookie to serve with tea, Cornmeal Shortbread may your thing. A pop of citrus zest adds extra flavor (I used orange), and that little bit of grittiness from the cornmeal boosts the crumbly texture typical of shortbread. I’m glad to have a stash of extras in the freezer!
Tags: baking, cookies
Even if you’ve never heard of a Pecan Powder Puff, you probably already know what’s up with these cookies. You’ve likely seen (and tasted) them under one of their other aliases: Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cookies, etc. Something that goes by that many names sounds a little sneaky, but if you like nuts, they are really one of the nicest little cookies you’ll come across.
These little puffs are full of ground pecans (although you could certainly use walnuts or almonds in their place). They get their sweetness mostly from a liberal coating of powdered sugar….preferably enough powdered sugar to make you cough a little bit…know what I mean? They are crumbly, but melt in your mouth. If it’s still chilly enough where you live for hot cocoa, the two are a perfect match. I wish I’d made them a little bigger. I wish I’d made more of them. *sigh*
Tags: baking, dessert
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flipped through the book and wondered what this Honey-Nut Brownie would be like. Well, now I don’t have to wonder anymore. If, for you, the word “brownie” immediately calls to mind a rich, fudgey square of chocolatey goodness, then you may want to adjust your mindset a bit if you go off to make these. There is still goodness, but it is more cakey than fudgey, and tastes more of honey than chocolate. There is a little chocolate in the base, but “blondie” may be a better description here. A few extra chocolate chips in the batter and a quick ganache icing on top will boost the cacao factor, though, if that’s what your after.
Even though the texture is on the cakey side, it’s still chewy, I guess thanks to the honey. It occurred to me that slicing these brownies in half and sandwiching them with vanilla ice cream might be tasty. That’s what I did with half of my tray (I iced the other half with ganache). They weren’t firmed up by photo-time, but I assure you, they were pretty good!
I used Tremblay Apiaries’ Summerflower Honey and almonds in my brownies. For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or read Suzy Homemaker, as it was Suzy’s pick this week. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!
I love chocolate. I love oatmeal. Naturally I’d been hoping that we’d get to make these Chocolate Oatmeal Drops sooner rather than later. Yet, when their turn rolled around, I wasn’t at first convinced. They seemed a little dry to me…like maybe the oats had robbed the cookies of some of their moisture. I almost never bake off a whole batch of cookies at once though, so into the freezer went a slew of scooped out raw dough drops.
I pulled a handful of scoops out a few days later and baked them off, shortcutting the recommended time by just a minute or so. They were not at all raw inside, but soft and really chocolatey, just the way I’d hoped they would be. So, now I am convinced: chocolate + oatmeal = tasty cookies.
Whenever I start a new food job, my new coworkers always seem to ask me where I’m from. I’m going through this phase at my job right now, and sometimes the question makes me scratch my head…like, what was the last place I worked for, or where did I grow up? I’ve come to realize that, more often than not, the person asking has recently moved to NYC from someplace else, and is wondering about my hometown. While I think a lot about the places and people I grew up with, the day I left for college in the early ’90s was the last time I was ever in my childhood home…my parents packed up and moved cross-country a few weeks later. And, apart from the two years I spent in Sydney, I’ve been in New York since 1996. Sometimes I think that I’m more Brooklyn than NoVA now, but I don’t, and wouldn’t ever want to, forget where I’m from.
If you asked a Fluff-Filled Chocolate Madeleine where it’s from, it would probably tell you, that while it was born in France, it has spent the last couple decades living in Texas. A plate of these guys would likely not make Proust remember anything, but one taste would probably shoot most American grown-ups right back to childhood! Apart from their scalloped shape and cakey texture, they are pretty far removed from their French origins, but with ganache and marshie Fluff, they are instantly recognizable to me. A couple of tips if you want to make these yummies at home: if you nuke your Fluff jar for 5-10 seconds, it will be much easier to get the sticky stuff out of the jar and into a piping bag; also, madeleines stale quickly, so if you like them soft, eat them soon after they’re put together.
For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here on Serious Eats) or read Effort to Deliciousness, as it was Margot’s pick this week. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!
Is there a sweeter way to celebrate both the new year and the third anniversary of TWD than with chocolatey cookies? These little, soft, dark and spicy Midnight Crackles were Laurie and Julie’s pick for TWD’s anniversary recipe. Here I made the “Playing Around” Chocolate Gingerbread variation, which uses some ginger, allspice and coriander in addition to the cinnamon and cloves that already scent the “regular” dough.
Apart from arming yourself with a glass of milk when you eat these, my one piece of advice is to not chill the raw dough for too long before forming it into balls. The chocolate in dough makes it very firm, very fast. And the just-mixed dough is a lot like Play-Doh and is easy to work with. Bake them on the short end of the time recommendation and they are kind of brownie-like inside. I made just half a batch, but it yielded a heap of cookies, so I have a stash of unbaked dough balls in my freezer– ready for when the midnight munchies strike.
P.S.: On Dorie’s blog, she has an idea for using this same dough to make roll-out cookies. Take a look!