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 Dorie said she originally made these as “scavenger cookies” to use what she had, so that told me I really couldn’t go wrong here.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!

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.

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!

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!

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