Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Classic Linzer Cookies

December 12, 2017 at 10:43 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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classic linzer cookies

I’d pretty much slack off on making Christmas cookies if it weren’t for TWD. I’m glad for the nudge, though, because it’s fun, and when they’re roll-out cookies like these Classic Linzers, a good excuse to bust out my special cutters. The main recipe for these Linzer cookies is actually a cocoa and spice one. I’ll try that sometime, but here I decided to skip the cocoa powder and most of the spicing and go with Dorie’s classic Bonne Idée alternative instead. This recipe is an almond-based one, although hazelnuts are also traditional for Linzer cookies and I bet can be successfully subbed. The dough is made in the food processor…I love this…so easy.

I dipped into my fridge jam collection to fill these…some with lingonberry, some with cherry and others with huckleberry. Linzers can be sandwiched with many things, including ganache if you fancy chocolate inside, but a snowstorm of powdered sugar on top is always a must.

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: Brown Sugar Tart

November 28, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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brown sugar tart

Thanksgiving was a bit of a whirlwind, in between getting ready for a very busy dinner service at my restaurant job and pulling off my own dinner at home. I knew I had to find a place on my menu for this week’s TWD recipe if I wanted to get that done, too. Luckily, a Brown Sugar Tart sounded like a pretty appropriate Thanksgiving dessert. My father, who finds pumpkin pie to be the only acceptable sweet on turkey day, would disagree, but he wasn’t visiting this year. Time to break with tradition!

I did pay attention to the reviews from the folks who made this tart on the first posting of the month. “Too sweet” was pretty much unanimous, so I tried to find little ways to adjust that a bit. The tart filling is just simple custard of heavy cream, eggs, sea salt and light brown sugar, with some optional espresso powder and bits of smokey bacon. I used a combo of light and dark brown sugar for extra flavor and added a little more salt and espresso powder than the recipe called for, until I thought it tasted just right. The bacon was skipped altogether. I thought this would probably be best served in small portions, and made little individual tartlets instead of a larger one.

Once upon a time, we made an espresso-caramel syrup called couleur for a Baking with Julia cake. This is something that I like to keep a bottle or jar of on hand now because it’s really bitter-sweet intense and tasty, and it lasts forever. I thought it might be just the thing to temper the sweetness of the tart filling a bit, especially since Dorie recommends adding instant espresso to the filling anyway (and also serving the finished tart with coffee ice cream). I used that couleur syrup to glaze my finished tartlets and served them with some unsweetened cream and maple toasted pecans and sunflower seeds. I have to say, and I know that I have a huge sweet tooth, I really liked this recipe. I followed some good advice from Diane and served it well-chilled. I even broke out the fancy silver!

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: Desert Roses

November 14, 2017 at 12:04 am | Posted in BCM, candy, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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desert roses

“Desert Roses” is an exotic sounding name for the easiest candy you will ever make, using the most plain and simple thing you can think of– cornflakes cereal. That’s right, I present you with cornflakes, bound together into tasty, crunchy little globs with butter and chocolate. Stirring in some shredded coconut, dried fruit and almonds makes them a bit more interesting, and is encouraged.

If these look familiar, it’s because they’re sister sweets to the Chocolate-Cornflake Haystacks we made from Dorie’s Cookies back in May. The Haystacks had similar add-ins (coconut, dried fruit and nuts), but they also had egg and were baked, making them a little chewy. These Roses never see the oven (non-bakers, take note!), though, and are all crunch once they harden up. Now that I’ve sampled both, I prefer the Desert Roses. In fact, I can’t think of a better use for a box of cornflakes.

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: Moka Dupont

October 10, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, layer cakes, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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moka dupont

I have a one-track mind when it comes to sweets and I had been pushing to make this Moka Dupont for months. Finally, the time is now! It’s an icebox cake– creamy chocolate frosting and store-bought cookies dunked in espresso– that melds together after a long rest in the fridge. Apparently it’s very popular in France, where it’s made with Thé Brun cookies (which I happily got to use myself because I asked a friend to bring me a packet back from a trip– my souvenir from Cannes!). Over here, Petit Beurre cookies make a good stand-in. The chocolate buttercream frosting is made with butter, sugar, egg and plenty of melted dark chocolate. This is not a light dessert, but I am not one to complain about something being too rich, so I enjoyed every bite.

You can assemble a big square or rectangular cake, or plate up individual ones like I did. I had some extra cookies and frosting, so I made each babycake four cookies high instead of three. After a night in the refrigerator, I had a lot of fun decorating these with chocolate curls (I used a vegetable peeler) and some wacky decor called “bronze crunch” that I picked up at Waitrose on my last trip to London. Yes, my cabinets are filled with food souvenirs from foreign lands…I know yours are,too.

moka dupont

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: Simplest Plum Tart

September 26, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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simplest plum tart

The Simplest Plum Tart was a recipe that I wanted to try but was skeptical of at the same time. It’s really just a sweet tart shell and plums. Ok, there are also some cake or cookie crumbs to soak up juice and some cinnamon sugar to add sweetness and bring out a bit of said juice. But there’s no real binder here and the plums are no more than halved and pitted (well, washed, too, of course). I thought it might be a little blah, but if you love plums, there is something quite satisfying about biting into a fat, juicy baked plum half. Dorie suggests serving this with crème anglaise, and maybe after throwing together the simplest tart ever, I should put in at least a little effort to make some custard, but I thought store-bought vanilla ice cream was just as good. Let’s not start to complicate things.

I think this would look so pretty baked in a long rectangular tart pan…I do have one, but like most of my good ideas, I didn’t think of it until after the fact. If I make it again, I’ll use that. I’ll also smear the crust with some almond frangipane. I almost always have some in the freezer, so really it’s just as simple as cake or cookie crumbs.

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

TWD BCM Rewind: Profiteroles, Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce, Benoit Style

August 29, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, other sweet, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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profiteroles, ice cream and hot chocolate sauce, Benoit style

This major sweet tooth has a hard time picking out an absolute favorite dessert, but ice cream profiteroles are definitely on the shortlist. In fact, I get a little angry if I go to a French bistro-style restaurant and they aren’t on the menu! Choux is fun to make at home though, so I’m happy to take care of my profiterole cravings myself every once in a while. These Profiteroles, Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce have an extra twist…the choux puffs are actually filled with pastry cream. Cream puffs and profiteroles in one– a twofer! That’s more than I need, really, but I’d never say no. I had choux piped out in the freezer, I made the chocolate sauce ahead of time and I used shop-bought ice cream, so making a little pastry cream was no big deal. This was a great dessert, of course, and I’m glad I got a chance to make it.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll to see what other folks caught up on this week!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Double-Corn Tea Cake

August 8, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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double-corn tea cake

Double-Corn Tea Cake is a simple summer loaf cake that’s easy to put together and is great with fruit. This recipe is made with both corn kernels and corn flour (not to be confused with cornstarch), which is much more fine than cornmeal. I don’t know that I’ve ever noticed corn flour at the grocery store, but I found it from one of the millers at the Union Square Greenmarket. I’ll have to look for some more ways to use up the bag.

I suppose you could serve this cake like cornbread, although it’s a bit sweeter and more buttery than what I’m used to. I liked it with roasted strawberry sauce and whipped cream and I’ll probably try it toasted with cherry jam, too.

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: Lavender Galettes

July 25, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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lavender galettes

Usually I think of something else when I hear the word galette, but these Lavender Galettes are almost paper-thin crisps, straddling the line between cookie and cracker. I don’t really use lavender much at home, but the bar at work keeps candied lavender on hand for cocktail purposes, and I swiped (after asking, of course- haha) a couple of teaspoons to make these. The dough comes together easily by hand and is flavored with orange zest and olive oil, in addition to the lavender. To get them so thin, each cookie is rolled individually on its own parchment square. This sounds a bit fiddly, but the dough is easy to roll and isn’t too messy when done this way. They bake up flat and light as air, not too sweet and with nice floral notes. We ate them with blackberry ice cream that I sprinkled with a little bit of the candied lavender I had left over. Delicious!

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: Martine’s Gâteau de Savoie

July 11, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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martine’s gâteau de savoie

Martine’s Gâteau de Savoie is the kind of simple cake I’ll want to make all summer long. It’s the perfect thing to go with roasted strawberries, a pile of raspberries, sliced plums, whatever. It’s an easy to make separated egg sponge– no butter, oil or baking powder needed. I baked mine in a mold that’s traditionally used for something I’ve never made called a trois freres cake, but a bundt pan will do nicely here. I have a jar of scented geranium sugar in the cupboard that I made quite a long time ago and always seem to forget about. I made a mental note to bake with it here, thinking that its light floral taste would go nicely with the roasted strawberries I would be serving alongside the cake. I was too embarrassed to photo the extra large blob of whipped cream I also spooned on top, but you can take my word that shortcake-style ain’t a bad thing.

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: Streusel-Topped Rhubarb Lime Tart

June 27, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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streusel-topped rhubarb lime tart

I look forward to a good rhubarb dessert every spring (now summer!), and this Streusel-Topped Rhubarb Lime Tart fit the bill nicely. Dorie’s sweet tart dough and crisp streusel encase a a kinda tart filling of rhubarb, lime and custard. It all balances out nicely…soft, tart insides and crisp, sweet outsides. I made little individual tartlets and guessed the baking time would probably be less than for a full-sizer. I decided to use some roasted rhubarb compote instead of raw chopped rhubarb in my filling, just in case it wouldn’t have time to cook down fully. That was the only change I made. It was delicious, and I see more of these in my future.

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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