Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Christmas Spice Cookies

December 6, 2016 at 8:00 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments
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Christmas spice cookies

When I want a cookie, I usually go for something chunky with a lot of stuff in it. It’s not that often that I’m like, “I’ll take a plain sugar cookie.” But then I have a really good one, like these Christmas Spice Cookies, and I’m reminded of just how much I like them.  These cookies begin with a delicious, basic sugar cookie dough (Dorie calls it “Do-Almost-Anything”) that’s then amped up with the usual warm holiday spices. You get a crisp, flavorful, subtly spiced cookie with the perfect sandy texture. I’m not much of a cookie decorator, as you can see…frankly, a child could have done better than the hack job I did here. I need more time and maybe a baking buddy to help me get into that, but even with just a sprinkle of sanding sugar, these were festive and tasty.

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: Caramel Tart

November 22, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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caramel tart

This looks like a pumpkin pie, and given this time of year that would be a logical assumption, but it is in fact a Caramel Tart.  I was expecting something super sweet, chewy and gooey but was surprised.  It really isn’t overly sweet, has more the consistency of a ganache tart and really is fabulous cold, as Dorie recommends.  I made just two individual tartelettes, using a quarter of a recipe, but if I have a dinner party, I won’t hesitate to make a big one.  I put a quenelle of ganache top (more for photo decoration than anything else) and when we ate them, a bit of whipped cream, too…delicious.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Chocolate Crème Sandwiches

November 15, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments
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chocolate crème sandwiches

For our second Dorie’s Cookies recipe, we have a homemade take on the Oreo, Chocolate Crème Sandwiches. These are as you’d expect– sturdy, crisp chocolate cookies with vanilla cream filling sandwiched in between. The cookies are made from a simple roll-out dough. I used a combination of black and Dutch process cocoa to get them extra dark. I had a bunch of dough scrap leftover (which always happens with rolled dough), but I baked it off, too, and tucked it into the freezer in case I need to make cookie crumbs for something one day.  I was a maybe little skimpy with the powdered sugar and butter filling, but these were good! Different flavored fillings would also be fun here.

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 and please join us if you haven’t already!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Apple Speculoos Crumble

November 8, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Posted in BCM, cobbler, crisps, shortcakes, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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apple speculoos crumble

Happy US Election Day…maybe…depending on how you see it.  For voting day, I’ve made patriotic ramekins of Apple Speculoos Crumble. This uses speculoos spice cookies to top apples and (optional) raisins. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and made my own speculoos using the recipe in the book. I have a log of raw dough in the freezer to bake later and post about whenever its time rolls around.

I wasn’t crazy about this one, I have to admit. For me, was like just having loose cookie chunks on top of baked fruit chunks. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, and frankly store bought Biscoff cookies may have worked better consistency-wise, but I prefer a more traditional crisp or crumble topping to what I made here. And I like when the fruit has a bit of thickener in it and gets a little saucier than mine did here, so it’s held together better. Maybe I can fiddle with it a little bit another time.

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: Peanut Butter Change-Ups

November 1, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 16 Comments
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peanut butter change-ups

I hope you didn’t think that just because TWD BWJ has wrapped up I’d go down to only posting two Dorie Greenspan recipes a month. Oh no. Not when she’s just released a shiny new tome on cookies…welcome to Tuesdays with DorieDorie’s Cookies! For our first of over 300 cookie entries (whoa!), I present you with Peanut Butter Change-Ups.

These PB cookies aren’t so dissimilar to the flattened crisscross ones we all usually think of. But these are scooped and since they keep the domed shape, they wind up with a softer center. They have lots of chopped peanuts stirred into the batter and little bit of nutmeg, which is a nice touch.  I love the saltiness of a good peanut butter cookie.  These are a winner in my books. The recipe makes heaps, so it’s perfect for sharing now or for stashing scooped cookie dough in the freezer for baking later.

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 and please join us if you haven’t already!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Pear Tart with Crunchy Almond Topping

October 25, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments
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pear tart with crunchy almond topping

I do like a good baked pear dessert.   Apples and pumpkins will be around for a long while yet, but pears are more delicate and have a quicker season.  Use ’em while you can!  This Pear Tart with Crunchy Almond Topping has Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough holding a mound of lightly caramelized pears and a topping of sweet and crispy glazed sliced almonds.  Pear-plus-almond is a classic combo, and for good reason– it’s delicious!  I did one thing to my tart that wasn’t in the recipe.  I had a little bit of almond frangipane in the freezer that I’d been looking for a home for.  After blind baking the tart shell, I spread it on in a thin later before piling on the pears and the almond topping.  Not a bad call, if I do say so myself.

This tart is really best the day it’s made.  The topping and the tart shell both go a little soggy after sitting overnight…although that sure didn’t stop us from finishing it!

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 BCM: Custardy Apple Squares

October 11, 2016 at 12:25 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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custardy apple squares

This Custardy Apple Square recipe is one I’ve actually made a few times now…maybe three or four.  It was the first recipe I tried out when I got Baking Chez Moi and it’s so simple and tasty that it went right on the “make again” list.  Apple slices tossed in a quick batter that’s whisked by hand get layered in a baking dish.  It goes into the oven kind of a hodgepodge but comes out a stack of beautifully soft apples with a bit of vanilla (and rum, in my case) custard holding them together.  A mandolin makes quick work out of neat, thin apple slices (and of course adds a thrilling element of danger to baking prep–watch your fingers!).  This also reminds me quite a bit of something called Bolzano Apple Cake that I posted about many years ago.  It’s great with whipped cream, but just fine on it’s own.

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

P.S.: Thanks so much for all the kind comments on my last Baking With Julia post! xoxo

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Glorious Wedding Cake

October 4, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Posted in BWJ, cakes & tortes, groups, layer cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 25 Comments
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glorious wedding cake

So folks, we’ve come to the end of TWD Baking with JuliaThe last recipe…I can hardly believe it. I admit that I have skipped a handful of them, but still, 107 completed recipes from one cookbook isn’t too shabby. The biggest and the toughest has been saved for last– a Glorious Wedding Cake! This is three tall, stacked tiers of dense almond cake sandwiched with jam and a crisp layer of almond dacquoise, topped off with rum-laced buttercream and decorated with marzipan fruit. I mean, Martha Stewart even gets not one, but two episodes devoted to this thing. Unfortunately though, no one asked me to make them a wedding cake in the past few weeks, so I had to go small instead of big on this one. Instead of a three tier show-stopper, I made a single tier cutie. Maybe it’s not so glorious, and I guess it’s basically the top tier that married couples put into the freezer for their first anniversary (R and I eloped…no cake for us, so I’m unclear on these traditions).

You may notice that there isn’t an interior shot of this cake. That’s because I definitely did something wrong with the almond cake layers. What, I am still not sure, but I was too stingy to waste all the almond paste and eggs that went into making it, so I just ploughed ahead with what I had. I’ll tell you though that there was a lot of patchwork involved and I am too embarrassed to show you what was going on in there. It was still delicious, so whatevs. No one paid me to make it for them after all.

Since my cake was tiny, the rest came together with out too much trouble.  The dacquoise (almond meringue) layer was wonderful to crunch through and the egg yolk-based buttercream was super luxe.  Rather than the marzipan cherries and raspberries Martha made, I did some strawberries and also some flowers and ivy leaves using the wacky hodgepodge of gum paste flower tools I have in my red pastry toolbox.

glorious wedding cake

A deliciously satisfying ending to BWJ…for the recipe, see Baking with Julia by the wonderful Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll as we say farewell to this book!

P.S.: In case you are wondering about my favorite recipes from the book, the Cheese and Tomato Galette has been made several times at home, and the White Chocolate Patty Cake needs to be!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Edouard’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

September 27, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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Edouard’s chocolate chip cookies

Here’s a new take on just about every American’s favorite lunch box/after school/secret midnight/raw dough sneaking snack.  French-up Chocolate Chip Cookies like Edouard does with a little almond flour.  You get a soft, chubby cookie, but the taste of nuts is not forefront.  I like these best still a little warm from the oven, and I think I’ll sprinkle a little extra salt on the tops of the next round I bake off (I have a lot of dough scoops in the freezer.).

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 BWJ: Brioche

September 20, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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brioche

We’ve used Nancy Silverton’s brioche recipe left and right by now, but we’ve never just made plain brioche with it.  Brioche is one of my favorite breads to make…all eggy and buttery and stuff.  It’s easy to mix and to work with, when the temperature is right.  I’ve made a different Dorie brioche loaf recipe before, so this time, I tried to make brioche à tête.  For some reason I own three of the small fluted molds used for this…why, I don’t remember.  My tête shaping skills need a little work.  These looked more like brioche à goose egg.  No matter, it tasted the same– delicious!  Salty butter and plum jam were my toppings of choice here.

brioche

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

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