Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Chocolate Chip Not-Quite Mandelbrot

May 4, 2021 at 7:42 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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chocolate chip not-quite mandelbrot

Mandelbrot are Ashkenazi Jewish almond cookies that share a similar shaping and baking method to Italian biscotti. Dorie leaves the nuts out of her Chocolate Chip Not-Quite Mandelbrot and swaps in the mini chips. I didn’t want to buy a bag of mini chips, so I left them out and swapped in a handful of cacao nibs instead (I didn’t measure them). I guess mine are not-quite chocolate chip not quite mandelbrot, but I say it worked nicely.

The dough is baked first as a cinnamon sugar-sprinkled (yum!) log, then sliced, sprinkled with more cinnamon sugar (more yum!) and baked again. The baking method is just like biscotti, but Dorie describes these mandelbrot as cakey, not dry and hard. Hmmm…”cakey” makes me think she means them to be soft, but mine were definitely dry and crisp after the second bake. They were not hard, though, and they were much easier and more pleasant to eat than some biscotti, which you almost have to dunk in coffee in order to not scrape up the roof of your mouth. Also, they sliced like a dream– with no cursing! I liked these very much, and even though I didn’t get quite as many as I should have from the stated yield, with just a third of the recipe, I was set for the week with coffee treats.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. It’s also here. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Everyday Dorie: Spring Avocado and Berry Salad

April 23, 2021 at 10:36 am | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, salads, savory things, veggies | 8 Comments
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spring avocado and berry salad

This Spring Avocado and Berry Salad is just wow. I really did not expect to like it so much. My past strawberries-in-salad experiences have all pretty much involved limp leaves overdressed in a creamy goop. Bluck– I’ve learned to stay away. But not this one…this one has a balance of sweet and tart (strawberries and citrus), as well as cool and spicy (avocado and jalapeño). There’s no creamy parmesan peppercorn or whatever here. The dressing is a simple citrus vinaigrette. There really aren’t even any leaves, apart from some fresh herbs scattered about. The salad is so pretty, too, with the reds and greens and speckles of pink peppercorn. I’m a strawberry salad convert.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Matcha-White Chocolate Mini Mads

April 20, 2021 at 8:05 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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matcha-white chocolate mini mads

Madeleines…are you cookies, or are you little cakes disguised as seashells? Personally, I say little cakes, and these Matcha-White Chocolate Mini Mads are really little cakes, since they were baked in a mini madeleine tin. A regular-sized tin will work just fine also…whichever you use, just be sure to grease and flour it well, even if it’s nonstick. These are flavored with, you guessed it, matcha and melted white chocolate, and there’s a bit of lime zest in there, too.

Madeleines are easy to make by hand, but you do need to allow time to chill the batter before baking. I got a pretty good bump on the backsides of these babies. In the past, that has not always happened with Dorie’s madeleines, so I was quite pleased. I liked the flavor of these, and their cool Frankensteinian color, courtesy of the green tea powder. They stayed nice and soft even the day after I baked them (I did check them early in the oven to make sure I took them out when they were just done…over-baking tiny things makes me nervous!). I piped a white chocolate drizzle on some of my mini mads, but that wasn’t as cute as I’d hoped, so those didn’t make the photoshoot– haha.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Everyday Dorie: Kale and Onion Frittata

April 9, 2021 at 12:23 am | Posted in breakfast things, cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, other savory, savory things | 7 Comments
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kale and onion frittata

Back in May, when we were all picking whatever recipe we could easily put together with our limited pandemic pantries and fluctuating focus levels, I made the Western Frittata (or some riff on it). A frittata is one of the best fridge clean-out concepts going– the variations are endless— so I actually make one for breakfast about twice a week. There are always some stray things to use up, and I’m still providing breakfast and coffee service for the home office worker upstairs, so it seems the thing to do. I thought I’d give the Kale and Onion Frittata variation in the book a try, since I had everything for it anyway. For good measure, I also tossed in some royal trumpet mushrooms that were starting to look a little shriveled. This was a good combo, and it’s nice to have a bit of dark green stuff in the morning. A frittata isn’t just for breakfast though…it makes a perfect lunch or light dinner, too. An anything goes, anytime of day dish, it’s incredibly easy and versatile.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Fennel-Orange Shortbread Wedges

April 6, 2021 at 1:43 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, snacks, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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fennel-orange shortbread wedges

These Fennel-Orange Shortbread Wedges are an apéro hour delight. Just a little sweet with a salty zip, they are finely flavored and fragranced with orange zest and cracked fennel seeds. They have that crisp yet tender texture that earns the name “shortbread.” These are really good with olives and a piece of cheese. And a glass of wine…don’t forget that. I made half of the recipe and patted the dough out into a six-inch cake pan for baking.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and please join us anytime!

Everyday Dorie: Mediterranean Shepherd’s Pie

March 26, 2021 at 8:11 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, other savory, savory things | 3 Comments
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mediterranean shepherd's pie

My usual Saint Patrick’s Day dinner is a shepard’s pie. Well, this year’s been unusual, so I made it with a twist. This Mediterranean Shepherd’s Pie was like Ireland on vacation. And wouldn’t we all like to go on vacation right about now?

This shepherd’s pie has the standard mashed potato blanket on top, but what’s underneath has some surprises. The filling is a mix of sound meat and sausage (I used the turkey versions of both), much like you’d expect, but it’s unexpectedly flavored with sumac, cumin, za’atar and harissa. While I normally use peas and carrots as the veg in my pies, here I added in spinach and winter squash. This was so satisfying and good and I loved the spices. I just made half a recipe, but I still got four pretty hefty servings out of it. I’d never really though about the flexibility of shepherd’s pie before, but now that I’m wise to it, I’ll make it more than once a year!

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Peanut Brownie Sablés

March 16, 2021 at 2:11 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 2 Comments
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peanut brownie sablés

Peanut Brownie Sablés…when two become one. You do actually need to make two different doughs to make this recipe, something that initially sounded very annoying to my lazy self but is actually no biggie. First mix up a peanut butter sablé dough then get cracking on a brownie batter. The brownie just uses cocoa, so there’s no messing with a water bath (also, I followed Mardi’s lead and used room temp butter for that batter). The two separate mixes get paddled together to become the final hybrid dough.

This cookie mash-up was a hit for me. Chocolate and PB is a most winning combo, and these cookies are nice and soft in the middle. I have some more dough in the freezer that I’ll bake off this weekend.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.

Everyday Dorie: Tangerine-Topped Cheesecake

March 12, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, simple cakes, sweet things | 5 Comments
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tangerine-topped cheesecake

I’m looking at this photo of a slice Tangerine-Topped Cheesecake and am wondering why I didn’t actually top it with any tangerine segments. They’re all in the bowl in the background! Ah well, it’s a pretty nice-looking slice anyway, and that citrus did eventually find it’s way on top. This cheesecake has a blend of cream cheese and ricotta, which, along with a long beating time, keeps it light. It’s also basically a crustless cheesecake, with just a dusting of crumbs on the bottom to keep it from sticking. A thick slice of NY-style cheesecake often hits me like a brick (of cream cheese), so I really liked this lighter style. I do enjoy a proper graham cracker crust, though, but I don’t see why I couldn’t make one for this next time. Since we’re just two cheesecake-eaters here at home, I scaled down the recipe and made a third of it my 6″ loose-bottomed pan.

No futzing with a water bath makes this pretty easy to make. The cake mix has plenty of tangerine zest in it, but you could use any other citrus zest or the seeds of a vanilla bean for flavor instead. And who’s to say it has to be tangerine-topped? Berries, figs, poached pears or stewed dried fruit all sound like good toppers to me.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our cheesecakes this week.

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Ms. Corbitt’s Pecan Cake Fingers

March 2, 2021 at 3:35 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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mc. corbitt's pecan cake fingers

Ms. Corbitt’s Pecan Cake Fingers has a name that makes me giggle and is a vintage recipe straight out of the late 50s. A pecan-loaded brown sugar meringue bakes up into something that I guess could be called cake-like, although still recognizable to me as a chewy meringue, and is topped with a thick brown sugar and vanilla-speckled icing.

When I took my baked meringue out of the oven, it had formed a shell that was a bit souffléd with a hollow gap above the rest of the base. This maybe…probably…had to with my mixing, but I knew that wouldn’t cut or ice easily. I decided to dampen the raised shell slightly, press it down onto the rest of the base and pop it back into the low oven for ten minutes to dry and fuse. Success! It seemed fine.

Dorie and Ms. Corbitt make a stiff, moldable icing that is hand-formed onto the tops of the individually sliced cookies. Boy, that sounds time-consuming, even for the 1/3 sized batch I made. I also didn’t want to handle my cookies quite so much (after I’d already had to squash them into submission once), so I altered the icing a bit to be a spreadable frosting that I could more gently apply to the whole slab before cutting. I let my browned butter set to a soft room temp before stirring in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Then I added just a few drops of milk to get it moving. I frosted the slab, let it set up in the fridge for a few and it was good to slice.

These are sweet, for sure, and it’s no wonder our friend Ms. Corbitt cuts them into slim “fingers,” but they are excellent with a cup of strong coffee. The browned butter icing, whichever way you choose to get it on top, is not to be skipped.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here). Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Everyday Dorie: Moroccan-Spiced Chickpea and Noodle Soup

February 26, 2021 at 3:42 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, savory things, soups | 7 Comments
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moroccan-spiced chickpea and noodle soup

It’s now been almost a year that I’ve been providing daily WFH lunch (with clean-up service) to the other person in this house, and I’m always looking to cook things that will do double duty as dinner one night and lunch the next with minimal extra effort. Bonus points for things that make enough for a couple of lunches, as is the case with this Moroccan-Spiced Chickpea and Noodle Soup. This soup is Dorie’s version of harira, a traditional Moroccan soup with tomatoes, chickpeas, lentils and lots of spices. I’ve seen recipes for versions of harira with and without meat, and versions with and without noodles…this one has both, so it’s very hearty and filling.

The optional meat in this soup comes in the form of meatballs, or really balls of meat, as they’re just straight-up ground meat (I used turkey) rolled into small balls. While they do cook in the simmering soup, the balls can definitely use some s&p or they will be under-seasoned.

Overall, though, this soup is very flavorful. I did reduce the 3.5 tablespoons of ground ginger, which sounded like so much (I didn’t even have that much!), it was possibly a typo. Not sure about that, so I’m interested to see what others did. I left out the saffron entirely because my small supply was already reserved for something else, and this soup has so many other strong, fragrant spices in the mix that I thought I could get away with it. The noodles I cooked in separate pot, because I knew I’d have leftovers and didn’t want them to get bloated while sitting in the soup.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

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