Everyday Dorie: Roasted Squash Hummus

December 14, 2018 at 10:21 pm | Posted in groups, savory things, snacks, veggies | 2 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 | 7 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 | 8 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 | 7 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!

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Sweet Potato Pie Bars

November 20, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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sweet potato pie bars

In my family, you cannot get away without having pumpkin pie on the Thanksgiving dinner table. Specifically Grandma W’s pumpkin pie recipe. But it is not yet Thanksgiving (and in reality I’m not going to my parent’s house this year, and therefore I can do whatever I want without my father losing his sh_t), so I’m going to play around a bit. These Sweet Potato Pie Bars are just a little bit of a deviation from my family’s Thanksgiving norm. They are flavored pretty similarly to pumpkin pie, and I added a pinch of cloves to the recipe’s cinnamon and nutmeg, making them even more alike. I used a whole roasted sweet potato and puréed it (like lovielou did) because I think it’s more tasty than the canned stuff, and it made a nice thick filling because it’s also less watery.

The sweet potato filling gets baked over a base of sweet tart dough. You can serve these as is, or add toasty marshmallows on top. Truth be told, I’ve never been crazy about marshmallows, so I made a mascarpone-whipped cream concoction, spiked with rum because I know my father would approve of that, to swirl on top. I liked these cold from the fridge. Although Dorie says they’re best the day they’re made, I thought they held up really well for the three days it took us to eat them.

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 Thanksgiving!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Gâteau Basque Fantasie

November 13, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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gâteau basque fantasie

I am a fan of the gâteau Basque. In fact, I’ve made a couple of rather traditional versions here before, both filled with pastry cream and jammy fruit. This Gâteau Basque Fantasie is Dorie’s fall fantasy version. It has that great cookie-like double crust (seriously, so good!), filled with a cooked down mix of apples, grapes, lots of orange and dried fruit and nuts. It reminds me of mince pie, and I like it a lot. You can act out your own fantasies and switch things up, too. I imagine pears would be great in place of the apples, and you can change the spicing to be whatever you want it to be.

gâteau basque fantasie

The pastry dough seems a little fussy to work with. It’s soft and cracks easily. But really, it’s super forgiving because all that seems to disappear in the oven. Any imperfections come out looking perfectly beautiful, even if you feel you’ve done a rather kooky patch job getting it into the pan. Don’t skip the egg wash and the pretty crosshatch pattern. Of course these are just my fantasy additions, but may I also suggest a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a little glass of vin santo?

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

Everyday Dorie: Maple-Syrup-and-Mustard Brussels Sprouts

November 9, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in groups, savory things, veggies | 19 Comments
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maple-syrup-and-mustard brussels sprouts

I was never the kid who pushed away the dish of brussels sprouts. In fact, they were always a highlight of Thanksgiving dinner, right up there with stuffing! I know…weird, right? When I make sprouts at home, I usually just simply roast them with a little s&p. Sometimes I shred and sauté them. I’m always happy to try out something new, though. These Maple-Syrup-and-Mustard Brussels Sprouts are steamed first and then they’re finished off in a skillet, where they take on some color before being combined with the maple and mustard and some crispy bacon (of the turkey variety for me). They’re sweet and savory and a little zingy. And steaming is a really easy way to cook them, so I don’t know why I haven’t done it before. I have a little container of leftovers that I plan to heat up and top with a fried egg, and I’m so looking forward to it!

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: Cranberry Five-Spice Cookies

November 6, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, snacks, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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cranberry five-spice cookies

When these Cranberry Five-Spice Cookies were being floated around in the month’s nominations, I didn’t realize that they are in the “cocktail cookies” section of the book. This is the section where the cookies lean more savory than sweet…nibbles to go with a glass of wine or an aperitif.  These ones have the texture of sugar cookies, but they are only very lightly sweetened, and are flavored with tart fresh cranberries, salty peanuts and Chinese five-spice powder, an exotic mixture of ground cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise and Szechuan pepper.

A lot of times, I like to cut roll-out cookies like these into squares rather than rounds so I don’t have any waste. I sprinkled these with a little mix of extra sugar, salt and five-spice before baking. Even though they weren’t quite what I had in mind when I cracked open the book to make them, I did like them. I thought a bit of spreadable goat cheese on top went rather nicely.

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

TWD BCM Rewind: Basque Macarons

October 30, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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basque macarons

Why on Earth did I skip out on Basque Macarons last month? There isn’t anything precious or fiddly about this type of macaron…this is an easy recipe to throw together. At its heart, there are just four ingredients: almond flour, egg whites, sugar and salt. Okay, you have to whisk and fold in some of the egg whites, but I made and baked these at 7:00 in the morning and managed not to screw them up, so I’d call them low stress. I did add in a bit of cinnamon and a dash of almond extract for extra flavor. And I pressed a whole almond into the tops of half of them just ‘cuz. But you don’t have to do any of that if you don’t want to.

These bake up with a sweet, crisp shell and a nice, chewy inside. If feel like I say this with every cookie, but they are so good with coffee! I could even give them to my DF/GF bestie, so they win extra points with me.

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

My Newest Gougères from Everyday Dorie

October 26, 2018 at 7:37 am | Posted in groups, savory things, snacks | 20 Comments
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my newest gougères

In case you can’t tell from the over four hundred posts I’ve written, dedicated to the over four hundred recipes I’ve made from her books, Dorie Greenspan is one of my favorite cookbook authors. Anytime she comes out with a new title, I can’t wait to dive in, and of course that’s the case with her beautiful brand-new Everyday Dorie! I have at least two dozen recipes I need to get down to business with soon, but I’m beginning with what she calls “My Newest Gougères,” and I’m making them along with the Cook the Book Fridays group. They’re starting today to cook their way though Everyday Dorie, and I’ll join in as often as I can.

Gougères are made with choux paste, one of my favorite things to make. This newest version is a cheese puff not only loaded with cheese (of course), but also chopped nuts and a bit of Dijon mustard. You can play around with the cheese and nuts. I went pretty classic with a Gruyère and walnut combo. These make a great salty, cheesy snack to have with a glass of rosè. The nuts give them more substance than other gougères I’ve made. I have some more in the freezer and I think they’ll go really nicely with a bowl of tomato soup, too.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan (you can even watch her make them in this video), and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group kicks this one off!

 

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