Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Moroccan Semolina and Almond Cookies

March 19, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 1 Comment
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moroccan semolina and almond cookies

I really think these Moroccan Semolina and Almond Cookies might be some of the prettiest I’ve made. I love their crinkles and crackles and irregular edges. And their yellow insides peeking out from their powdered sugar coats. The semolina and almond flours in the dough contribute to a sandy texture, and lemon zest and orange blossom water give the cookies bright flavor. The cookie dough balls are rolled in powdered sugar before being pressed like thumbprints in their centers, which gives them their unique personalities. They’re totally charming and perfect with a cup of herbal tea.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Toasted Buckwheat and Chopped Chocolate Sablés

March 12, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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toasted buckwheat and chopped chocolate sablés

These Toasted Buckwheat and Chopped Chocolate Sablés begin with the unusual instruction to toast the buckwheat flour until it darkens and and smells roasted. Buckwheat has a nutty, earthy flavor to begin with, and this extra step really brings that out. I think it changes the texture of the flour a bit, too, making it drier, and in turn making the sablés even sandier. Buckwheat and chocolate is a winning combo, and I liked these, with their flecks of chopped bittersweet chocolate, a lot. Sweet with a touch of savory, they are sturdy and crisp, yet crumbly and tender all at the same time. Seems I’m churning out batch after batch of cookies these days, but I have another winner on my hands so I’m not complaining!

toasted buckwheat and chopped chocolate sablés

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: Honey-Blue Cheese Madeleines

March 5, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, snacks, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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honey-blue cheese madeleines

I like the chance to break out my madeleine pan, and here’s an interesting reason– Honey-Blue Cheese Madeleines. A sweet and savory combo, Dorie says she was inspired to create these mads after enjoying blue cheese and honey together on a cheese plate at a wine bar. That in turn inspired me to pair them with some typical cheese plate accompaniments: a few slices of pear (mine were poached) and some dried fruit and nuts. Vin santo, too, although I think they’d go nicely with most wines, or with a dirty martini, if that’s your jam. These are “cocktail cookies,” after all.

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: Almond Stripes

February 26, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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almond stripes

Despite flipping through Baking Chez Moi probably ten thousand times, I never noticed the recipe for Almond Stripes before the day, just a couple of months ago, when I wrote up our list of remaining recipes. It’s on the back side of a page and there isn’t a picture, so I guess I found it easy to overlook. Well, the group didn’t overlook it, and now it’s been crossed off the list!

This is a simple dough (using almond flour) to put together, but it winds up fairly stiff and can be difficult to pipe out. I was able to force it through a star tip, but all my “stripes” wound up different lengths. They just sort of stopped where they wanted to and I had to go with it. I fancied them up with a chocolate and sprinkle dip to make their wonky sizes less obvious. They wound up looking a lot like the Viennese Sablés, but I think these are a little sturdier, and are a good cookie for dunking in coffee. I added a bit of almond extract to the dough to boost that flavor, as well as the pinch of cinnamon.

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: Smoky Hearts

February 19, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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smoky hearts

I’ve been intrigued by the Smoky Heart roll-out cookie recipe since I bought Dorie’s Cookies. With cocoa, smoked almonds (which I always have at home because they are amazing in salads), smoked paprika and only a touch of sugar, these hearts straddle the line between sweet and savory. They are in the “cocktail cookies” section of the book, and Dories says they pair well with bourbon, Armagnac or scotch. If you wanted to bring them more over to the sweet side, I do think they’d be quite good with an extra tablespoon or so of 10x added to the dough. If you want to take them even more savory, use a hot paprika (or combine what you have with a pinch of cayenne) and an extra touch of salt.

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: Dark Chocolate Mousse

February 12, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things | 9 Comments
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dark chocolate mousse

Dark Chocolate Mousse…so fancy, I decided it was worthy of the good silver. Definitely Valentine’s Day dessert-worthy, too, if you are into rich, creamy, velvety, chocolatey deliciousness. If you are not, I guess come back next week…when I’m making buttery, smoky, heart-shaped chocolate cookies…haha.

Let’s get down to business here. I could tell that Dorie’s (originally Pierre Hermé’s) recipe would have a large yield– the 1 3/4 cup of cream alone tipped me off– so I decided to make just a quarter of the original. (And, btw, I still got 4 reasonable servings, when I thought I’d only get two.) In order to downsize though, I had to modify just a bit. The recipe calls for folding together melted chocolate and whipped cream, which I did as written, along with eggs and yolks that are whipped fluffy with a boiling sugar syrup. I know from past experience that trying to make a pâte à bombe like this out of just a yolk or two and a small amount of sugar can go very wrong. Instead, I decided to get the volume into my single yolk and half an egg by whipping it with the sugar over a water bath, sabayon-style. While I was at it, I added a splash of cognac, you know, because it’s French.

My little switcheroo seemed to work just fine. After I chilled my mousse, I was able to scoop it nicely into my little silver coupes. Dorie says the mousse also makes a nice cake or cream puff filling, but whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles seemed to be a more expeditious way for this chocoholic to enjoy it.

dark chocolate mousse

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Date-Nut Pinwheels

February 5, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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date-nut pinwheels

Ok– wow– these Date-Nut Pinwheels are amazing! And aren’t they so cute? If you love dates like I love dates, then these are a must-make. If you don’t love dates (what, who are you?), I do suspect they’d work with jam, too, especially a thicker one, like fig.

To make these old-fashioned slice-and-bake spirals, you need to make a sweet brown sugar cookie dough and a paste from cooked down dates and chopped walnuts. Actually, I did not cook the walnut bits in with the filling…I sprinkled them over the date paste after I’d spread it onto the rolled out dough. I don’t know if I’m right about this, but I just thought it would be easier to distribute everything evenly that way. No one wants to be jipped of walnuts in their cookie! Then you take your date-schmeared dough and roll it into a log, chill it and slice it into chubby pinwheels.

I made a full recipe of these cookies, but only sliced and baked half of them. The other half of my dough log is in the freezer, but it won’t be there for long. I shared these with the trainers at my gym, and they have requested more. Also, I am requesting more. Haha.

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

TWD DC Rewind: Lemon Sugar Cookies

January 29, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments

lemon sugar cookies

I always look forward to these Rewind weeks to play a bit of catch-up on a TWD recipe that I skipped for one reason or another. As it turns out, I’m not missing much off the list of completed recipes from Dorie’s Cookies, and now that I’ve ticked these Lemon Sugar Cookies off of it, I think I’m just one bake behind (that would be the World Peace Cookies, but I have made them before).

These cookies are classic old-fashioned sugar cookies with a lemon twist. The lemon zest, juice (and also a dot of lemon extract for me) in the dough really do make them bake up with, not only a definite lemon flavor, but also a sunny yellow color. I rolled them in vanilla sugar before baking, hence the speckles. I made just a quarter recipe, and with my cookie scoop, wound up with a baker’s dozen. That extra one was my secret baker’s treat, you can be sure! These were great, and I followed Dorie’s suggested baking time for chewy centers, because that’s how I prefer them.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Saint-Pierre Poppy Seed Cake

January 22, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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saint-pierre poppy seed cake
It’s been a while since we’ve made a simple loaf cake from BCM, and Saint-Pierre Poppy Seed Cake was an easy one to pull off this week. Rather than the standard lemon-poppy seed combo, this uses orange, and the result is a very sunny and not too sweet tea cake. It’s a rich cake, though. In addition to butter and poppy seeds, the batter also contains a good amount of heavy cream.

When I buy organic citrus, I try to remember to freeze the zest if I’ve not already planned to use it. I have a little baggie with packets of various zests in my freezer drawer and I dipped into that here to find some orange zest. Since I was using the frozen zest, I also needed to find some juice. My juice turned out to be Grand Marnier…I guess I’m lucky I don’t have scurvy.

Dorie is not shy with the poppy seeds here– the full recipe has a whole 1/3 cup of them, so make sure they’re fresh or they’ve been properly stored (airtight and in the freezer, as she recommends). Unlike most poppyseed muffin recipes, where I often feel like the couple of tablespoons of seeds are mostly there for looks, you can taste them in this cake, and they crunch. Dorie says this tea cake is meant to be served plain, but I can never resist a little dressing up, so I took home a few slices of candied clementines from work to garnish my pieces.

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: 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!

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