Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Fruit and Four-Grain Biscotti

January 15, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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fruit and four-grain biscotti

We’re on a TWD new year health kick this week with Fruit and Four-Grain Biscotti. The recipe specifies certain fruits and grains. Some of those I had and some I didn’t, but I found suitable subs in my pantry for what was missing. Dorie said she originally made these as “scavenger cookies” to use what she had, so that told me I really couldn’t go wrong here. I had the whole wheat flour and rolled oats, so no problems there. I had ground flax instead of whole seeds, oat bran instead of wheat germ and granulated almonds instead of kasha. I used a combo of dried apricots and calimyrna figs as my fruit. I snipped them into bits with scissors, I task find incredibly satisfying. A task I do not find satisfying is slicing biscotti. Dorie says you kind of have to let it go. It still frustrates me. You can see some of my crumbles in the photo…there were other crumbles you can’t see because I ate them!

I made half a recipe of biscotti, which gave me one log to slice up. I brought a few cookies to the trainers at the gym, who got into them right away. The rest we’ve been enjoying with coffee over the last several days. They aren’t not too sweet, have good texture and great flavor.

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 if you haven’t already!

Everyday Dorie: Potato Chowder Lots of Ways

January 11, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Posted in groups, savory things, veggies | 12 Comments
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potato chowder lots of ways

Well, it’s officially frigid here and all I want to make for dinner is soup. Luckily, Cook the Book Fridays picked Dorie’s Potato Chowder Lots of Ways for the recipe of the month. I like the “lots of ways” bit because it pretty much tells me I’ll have room to improvise, which I usually do anyway but having permission is a refreshing change. Hahaha. I actually didn’t really veer too far off base here, just a few tweaks and some flavoring and topping customization. This is really a potato and onion chowder, using just about every allium you can think of: yellow onions, leeks, shallots and garlic. Any not on this list can be added as a topping. I first pre-crisped some turkey bacon bits in my Dutch oven and set them aside for garnish. As the alliums cooked down all soft and sweet, I seasoned them with Old Bay. My dad used to have a boat on the Chesapeake, so I love that stuff. I never peel potatoes if I don’t have to, and didn’t see a reason to here, so I left the skins on mine.

I don’t always love how I feel after eating soup with a cream base, so I skipped the cream here and instead stole a couple of ladlefuls of soup out of my pot (the liquid with some potatoes and onions) and whizzed it really smooth in my blender. I stirred that back into the soup to give the base a thicker, velvety texture and then added about 1/4 cup of 2% milk just to give it a slightly lighter, more chowdery, color. Because I’d been restrained with the dairy in the soup, I felt no guilt when adding a blop of crème fraîche as a topping. Also on top of the “my way” chowder, I sprinkled those bacon bits, some sliced scallion and some tiny potatoes that I crisped up in olive oil, crouton-style. Delicious. I will definitely try this chowder other ways as the season goes on.

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 BCM: Chocolate-Coconut Tart

January 8, 2019 at 11:13 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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chocolate-coconut tart

Our first BCM bake of 2019 and it’s a good one! This Chocolate-Coconut Tart has one of my very favorite flavor combos, with coconut pastry cream hiding under a shiny dark chocolate ganache, all inside a sweet tart crust. I’m glad that cutting back on sweets was not one of my new year’s resolutions, or I guess we are saying “intentions” now, because I do intend to enjoy every bite of these babies. I did decide to responsibly keep myself from going overboard by scaling back the recipe to make a few small tartlets instead of a large format tart.

This recipe has a few components, but I spaced them out over a couple of days to make things manageable. I actually had some of Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough in the freezer and I used that to line my shells. I made the pastry cream (I used all toasted coconut and coconut sugar to boost that flavor) and I stashed it in the fridge, along with my lined tart shells, overnight. The next day, I baked and filled the shells, then made the ganache and topped them off. Easy peasy to make and to eat. It tastes like a fancy Mounds bar. Why did it take us so long to make this?

chocolate-coconut tart

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Coffee-Cardamom Cookies

January 1, 2019 at 11:27 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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coffee-cardamom cookies

Happy 2019, everybody!! I baked and decorated some Coffee-Cardamom Cookies today, so I’d say the new year is starting off quite nicely. These cookies are just the thing to keep the festive spirit from the last couple of weeks going a little longer. With coffee, cinnamon, cardamom and molasses, they’re another type of spice cookie, really. You don’t have to decorate them with royal icing, but if you do, you then have the glue to hold down sprinkles! So I wouldn’t skip it, naturally. These do go well with coffee, as I’m sure you can imagine, and I’m thinking they wouldn’t be too shabby alongside some chocolate ice cream, either. I’ll test that one out tomorrow. Dorie says that the cookies turn crisper as they keep. Right now they’re fairly soft, so I’m interested to observe the change in texture over the next couple of days.

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 if you haven’t already.

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Speculoos

December 30, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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speculoos

I didn’t realize it until much later, but I grew up eating Speculoos. Although my mom’s family is Dutch, so I should have been calling them “speculaas.” But I just called them “windmill cookies.” And I loved them. This was way before cookie butter was a thing in the US, and you could find Biscoff in just about any store. Windmill cookies were a special treat when we visited my Granny Bea in Michigan.

This was actually my second time making this speculoos recipe. I first made it a couple of years ago when we did the Apple Speculoos Crumble recipe. These crispy, spicy little cookies are perfect for coffee, tea or boozy eggnog. I will say mine were almost too crispy (but great for dunking!). Next time, I’ll cut one or two minutes off the bake time and I’ll try them as roll-outs rather than as slice-and-bakes. Maybe I’ll also sprinkle them with flaked almonds like the windmill cookies I grew up with.

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 if you haven’t already. Happy New Year!

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Double-Ginger Crumb Cookies

December 18, 2018 at 12:03 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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double-ginger crumb cookies

It’s certainly the time of year to be baking with warm spices, and these Double-Ginger Crumb Cookies are a perfect candidate for your cute holiday cookie box. Or my very classy black plastic take-out box, as the case may be…whatevs, they’ll be eaten up regardless of container. These use Dorie’s Do-Almost-Anything Vanilla Cookie Dough, which makes a deliciously buttery sugar cookie, as the base. Fresh ginger gets worked into that dough, which is then rolled and cut. At the restaurant where I work, we keep a tub of sweetened ginger purée around that we use in a couple of things. I think it is really intense and delicious, so I took home a little blob of it to use in my dough. The next hit of ginger in these cookies comes from a crumb topping scented with ground ginger. I like these a lot. They’re not fancy looking, but lovely tasting, and perfect with tea.

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 if you haven’t already.

Everyday Dorie: Roasted Squash Hummus

December 14, 2018 at 10:21 pm | Posted in groups, savory things, snacks, veggies | 13 Comments
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roasted squash hummus

You know I’m having an exciting Friday night when I’m writing up a blog post about hummus! At least this Roasted Squash Hummus has a little something different going on. In place of the traditional chickpeas, this hummus gets its body from a roasted squash. Of course there’s tahini and lemon, but also some cool ingredients like za’atar and pomegranate molasses. I used a small carnival squash, and although Dorie just has you mash together the ingredients with a fork, I put everything into my mini food processor and gave it a whiz. I plated it up with a smear of thick yogurt, drizzles of olive oil and more pom molasses and a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds. It’s earthy and creamy with a touch of sweetness. This was more interesting than my normal Sunday football food, and I thought it made a nice dip for veggies and pita chips.

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 BCM: Alsatian Christmas Bread

December 11, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, other sweet, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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alsatian christmas bread

Alstatian Christmas Bread (aka baerewecke) is a bit of a project, but it also couldn’t be easier. It’s not a bread that needs flour or yeast, just dried fruit and nuts. Instead of rising time, it needs chopping and mascaerating time…also some shopping time to gather ingredients. This uses all sorts of yummy dried fruit- figs, apples, pears, raisins, apricots and prunes- plus walnuts and almond flour. The fruit is cut and soaked in juice until it’s very soft and makes a sticky paste when mixed with the nuts. Form the paste into logs, bake them until they hold together, and you’re done! This is one of those things that, like fruitcake, lasts a long time and probably even gets better with age. I made mine a few days before I first cut into it, and I still have the second log sitting in my chilly kitchen. I’m thinking of mailing it to my mom in Seattle, because I think she’d like it.

By itself, it’s gluten free, dairy free and vegan. You can nibble on this like a snack or energy bar, but I think it’s also great with cheese. If I make a cheese plate I always like to have some sort of jam or fruit paste on the side, and this is a perfect accompaniment.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Christmas-Spiced Greek Honey Dainties

December 4, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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christmas-spiced greek honey dainties

Greek Honey Dainties are more often known as melomakarona, and I see them all the time in bakeries in NYC. It’s about time I made some of this deliciousness at home. I sadly never seem to get around to making many Christmas cookies, so I took this as an opportunity to get festive and made the Christmas-Spiced Honey Dainties version. The batter is easy to put together and flavored with so many good things, like orange juice and zest and the usual holiday spice suspects. It is a soft dough though, so I chose to refrigerate it for about half an hour before I scooped and shaped the cookies into their traditional ovals.

After baking and cooling, the cookies are drenched a few times over in a honey syrup similar to the one baklava is soaked in and sprinkled with walnuts (which I toasted while the cookies baked). The honey syrup, btw, is amazing! I veered slightly off the recipe, which called for orange peel, cinnamon stick and whole cloves, and used some mulling spice mix that I have in a little tin (it also has allspice berries and star anise pods in it) and finished it off with a splish of Grand Marnier while it cooled. You bet I saved every leftover drop….I think it will be awesome in tea or hot toddys. The cookies, too, are awesome. They must be handled carefully, but they do keep their texture, even with all that syrupy goodness poured over them. So perfect with coffee, and I’ll soon test them with vin santo…if there is probably a Greek sweet wine I should know about pairing with them, please let me know.

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 if you haven’t already.

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Chocolate Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling

November 27, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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chocolate cream puffs with mascarpone filling

Yesterday was a good day for baking, but not so much for photo taking. It was basically black outside and pouring rain at 3:00. My Chocolate Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling were not shown off in their best light (and let’s not even get started about my weird hand). I have to take the bad with the good, I guess. I do love making pastries with choux paste– it’s such a fun dough to make! And turning regular cream puff dough into chocolate cream puff dough is as simple as adding a little cocoa to the mix.

Dorie suggests filling these light chocolate puffs with a rose-scented mascarpone whipped cream. I saw the words “chocolate” and “mascarpone” and could only think “tiramisu” (isn’t that so predictable?) so I skipped the rose and added coffee extract to my filling instead. I made a quickie ganache glaze to dip the tops into and tacked on chocolate sprinkly bits. Delightful. As an aside, I think the tastiest and best way to stabilize whipped cream is to add in a blob of mascarpone and I actually do this often. It lasts for a few days if you want to whip extra, and if you need to frost a cake with whipped cream, this is the way to go.

I tucked half of these puffs, sans cream filling, into the freezer so I can turn them into one of my very favorite other choux desserts, ice cream profiteroles, later in the week. For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here). Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

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