Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Zan’s Birthday Cookies

June 21, 2022 at 10:29 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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Zan's birthday cookies

Some baking book authors are into streamlined desserts…one bowl, one whisk and into the oven it goes. Others make you use every bowl you have, a stand mixer, two sets of measuring spoons, two sieves, multiple cookie scoops, who even knows how many whisks and spatulas, and want you to fire up the oven two separate times. Dorie often falls into the second camp, but at least you can trust you’ll get something delicious in exchange for dish duty. Zan’s Birthday Cookies involve making and chilling three different components: a chewy brownie cookie base, a coconut pastry cream and a cocoa streusel topping. Dorie says these layered treats have German chocolate cake vibes (my favorite!) and, minus the pecans, I happily agree.

Making these three components is actually not difficult. You can make them a day (or more) in advance, but I did them all this morning…I like a challenge, plus I had the extra daylight of summer solstice on my side for late afternoon photos. I made a quarter of the recipe and had enough base and crust for nine cookies. I only had enough coconut pastry cream for eight, though, so I gave the ninth one Black Forest vibes instead with a spoonful of cherry jam. Dorie says in the recipe headnote that you’ll wind up with extra streusel to use for something else, but I didn’t want to deal with that kicking around in my freezer so I just loaded up my cookies. More is more. And and extra is extra, so I also added sprinkles (which I saw Mardi do and then I couldn’t not).

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


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  1. I didn’t have quite enough pastry cream either so I just economised on filling – took filling off some and put it on other cookies then spread it very thinly. I like the sprinkles on top. These tasted ok, but for bang for your buck time wise, I’d choose something else. I’m

  2. Sprinkles is non negotiable for a recipe with the word “birthday” in it! Yours looks great!The ratios of this recipe were a bit off – I had LOADS of leftover crumble and also pastry cream (I made 1/2 the recipe). But it was SO good, I’ll forgive Dorie!

    • i agree that the ratios were off. given that i made 1/4 recipe, i should only have made 6 cookies…but i enough base for 9, enough crumb for probably 12, but only enough coconut cream for 6 (although i skimped and stretched it to 8). but, yes, really good anyway!

  3. These did seem like a bit of work…but the fact they turned out so well and everyone loved them helped haha! I like your sprinkles! Makes them so festive.

  4. The ratios were off on a full recipe too. I think the stars are cute. I prepped my cookies a day in advance which worked well. Can you check the spam file in TWD? My post went missing.

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