TWD DC Rewind: Cherry-Nut Chocolate Pinwheels

November 30, 2021 at 8:46 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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cherry-nut chocolate pinwheels

I pulled what now seems to be my signature move on these Cherry-Nut Chocolate Pinwheels: I baked them on time and then totally didn’t feel like writing a post about them. I guess now I easily have something to post for Rewind week. Please don’t think that means I didn’t like these. Not so– I actually liked them a lot! A cooked down dried cherry and walnut paste is rolled up inside Dorie’s Do-Almost-Anything Chocolate Dough. What’s not to like? They even held their shape (a fear of mine with pinwheels, and slice and bake cookies in general)! I decided to decorate them with the optional white chocolate drizzle, but it sort of hides the spiral of goodies going on. These have kind of a fruit cake vibe, and I think they would make great holiday cookies.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Coco-Almond Thumbprints

November 16, 2021 at 9:25 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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cocoa-almond thumbprints

One candy bar that I would never trade away in my Halloween stash was always the Almond Joy, and these Coco-Almond Thumbprints are pretty much the homemade cookie version. Dorie originally concocted these gluten-free sweets to be a Passover dessert, and you can see (and taste) the resemblance to macaroons. They are so easy to make that they can be a year-round anytime treat: just whiz coconut, almonds, sugar, a pinch of salt if you’d like and egg whites in the food processor. Roll that mix into balls, give ’em the thumbprint press and stick ’em in the oven. Once baked they get a generous spoonful of chocolate ganache to fill their bellies.

These were so good…the cookies stayed chewy like a macaroon and the ganache never set completely firm. I would have been happy to childishly hoard them for myself in the back of my closet (which is where I used to hide my Halloween candy pumpkin so my brother wouldn’t raid it), but some dude who seems to never go to the office anymore was on to the fact that I was baking cookies, so I was forced to share.

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 DC: Pecan-Butterscotch Shortbread

November 2, 2021 at 8:11 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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pecan-butterscotch shortbreads

I’ve been working on another recipe testing job for an upcoming cookbook, and my diet over the past two weeks has been largely puff pasty-based. In an effort to get all my nutrients, I did manage to clear some time and an oven rack to squeeze in these Pecan-Butterscotch Shortbreads. These crispy, buttery, brown sugary rounds have bits of toasted pecans and milk chocolate, and a nip of Scotch (or rum because I don’t have any) to boot.

I don’t think I’ve met a Dorie shortbread that I didn’t love, and these are no exception, but the full recipe makes forty cookies. That’s probably thirty more than two people need to be eating in a “normal” week, much less a week of countless other baked goods. Also, these are made in a muffin tin, and there’s no way I’m doing four rounds of baking in the one tin I have. I scaled back the recipe and just made a quarter of the dough to get ten cookies. I also didn’t bother with the rolling and cutting step…I scooped the dough into my muffin tin and gave each cookie a little pat down to flatten and fill the cavities. I took some shortcuts, but I don’t think they hurt anything…in fact, these are so tasty, I’ll probably have an empty cookie tin in no time and wish I’d made more!

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 DC: Chocolate and Hazelnut Bars

October 5, 2021 at 10:40 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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chocolate and hazelnut bars

These Chocolate and Hazelnut Bars should technically be made with walnuts, but I’m going through another one of those pantry purge phases again, and I’m not buying anything I don’t have if I can make a clean swap for something I do have. Seriously, I want everything in my fridge and cabinets to go away. And also all the stuff that sits on my counter because I don’t have enough space in my cabinets. Everything is giving me agita these days, but you are not here for complaining– you are here for cookies!

Some of Dorie’s cookies are more like cake that’s been baked or cut into cookie shapes, and this is another example. She based the recipe on a torte she had in Rome once upon a time, and it’s a separated egg and nut flour sponge with glaze on top. Cut it into bars and call it cookies! The recipe makes quite a large quantity, a 9×13 pan, so I cut it down to a third and baked it in an 8.5×4.5 loaf for the two of us. The hazelnuts worked great here, as they are a natural combo with chocolate, and my glaze was really some homemade hot fudge sauce (keeping in purge-mode) that was made with essentially the same ingredients. Be prepared to dirty every bowl and small appliance in your kitchen if you make these, but also be prepared for something very tasty.

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 DC: Torta Sbrisolona

September 22, 2021 at 3:15 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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Torta Sbrisolona

Torta Sbrisolona is a cookie made from crumbs. Its name even means “crumbly cake,” as a streusel-type mix that includes sandy stuff (cornmeal and almond flour) as well as chunky stuff (roughly chopped almonds) is scattered over the bottom of a cake tin. Just a gentle press into the tin is recommended by Dorie, and so I tried to ride the fine line between not compacting the crumbs too much, and having cut pieces that did not totally fall apart. In the end I had just one square that split in half when I cut it and a some errant crumbles. I like the crumbly texture and the bits of almond throughout, and the fact that they aren’t too sweet. I can definitely see these pairing well with cheese, as Dorie notes, although I went with plums and ice cream.

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 DC: Rousquilles

September 7, 2021 at 8:08 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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Rousquilles

It’s been a while since I’ve filled up the cookie tin, but I found some good keepers in these ring-shaped Rousquilles. Flavored with orange flower water and anise, Rousquilles have their origins in Catalonia. I don’t think I’ve had them before, but the flavor combo was very familiar…they remind me of another biscuit my Sicilian MIL likes to get at the Italian-American bakeries. The dough comes together quickly in the food processor and then gets rolled and cut into Os. While Dorie mentions in her headnote that she’s seem them sold in every size imaginable, here, she keeps them fairly small. A sugar syrup-cooked egg white glaze gets brushed on top of the cookies after baking. Royal icing or a simple powdered sugar glaze would be easier to pull off (especially if you scale back the recipe like I did…I didn’t have enough syrup in my pot to accurately temp it so I had to do it by eye, and it definitely went over, but whatevs) and likely give the same effect. Of the floral waters, orange is my favorite, and I like the licorice flavor of anise seed a lot more now than I used to, so I really enjoyed having these as my coffee treat for the week.

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 DC: Baby Buckwheat Bars

August 17, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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baby buckwheat bars

The buckwheat flour and chocolate combo is a wonderful one, so I’m excited Baby Buckwheat Bars have finally made center stage. These baby bars are really more like bite-sized cake squares than cookies. Since I don’t need 100 pieces of anything, no matter how teeny, I made just a third of the recipe and baked it in a loaf pan. It was a small amount, so I made it by hand, blatantly ignoring Dorie’s headnote warning that the texture depends on using a stand mixer. I think the baby batch of baby bars came out just fine, but I can see the big kid batch being difficult to hand whip properly. I enjoyed the grainy texture and earthy flavor of these GF bars (a strange-sounding compliment), and the little bits of chocolate throughout. Dorie gives a couple of optional embellishments to this recipe, and I opted for both. One is a nip of booze in the batter. I’m all out of the rum she suggests, but I subbed nocino walnut liqueur. The other is a ganache glaze, which I obviously could not resist and also sprinkled with a little flaky pink salt (I did skip the egg wash on top before baking).

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 DC: Caramel-Sugar Pufflets

July 20, 2021 at 10:27 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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caramel-sugar pufflets

I am almost too sugared out with my summer recipe testing job to handle these Caramel-Sugar Pufflets this week. If I hadn’t already had a packet of the base dough in the freezer from the Sour Cream Everything Seed Knots, I may have just quietly skipped them. As with the knots, the dough for these pufflets goes through a series of folds and turns to create flaky layers, but instead of salty, seedy sprinkles between each layer, these get hefty sprinklings of sugar that caramelize in the oven. I really gave these the “French bake,” so the are super crisp and have little lacy caramel bits on the edges. My tastes are trending toward the savory right now, as I’m making and tasting three or four sweet recipes a day, but I can appreciate a small nibble with a cup of coffee.

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 anytime!

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Sour Cream Everything Seed Knots

July 6, 2021 at 4:40 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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sour cream everything seed knots

As soon as I heard the news that today would be 93° with a heat index of 100, I decided it would perfect weather to make a rough-puff- style dough to bake off these Sour Cream Everything Seed Knots. I plan so well. As it turns out, even without A/C, I didn’t have any issues making the yeasted sour cream dough in the food processor, or completing the set of folds and turns that created the flaky layers and worked in the everything seed blend I stirred together. I think it helped that I made a super small batch, and each step took me only about twenty seconds, so my dough didn’t have the chance to warm up too much. The trickiest part came with forming these knots. I think I did ok, but I don’t have much decorative bread or dough forming experience, so I had to read the instructions like fifty times. Anyway, I had one of these knots along with my lunch salad, and it was a delicious, salty, seedy, garlicky treat. Kind of like a flaky breadstick, I also think they’ll go well with a glass of wine and a piece of cheese for sundown snacks.

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 anytime!

TWD DC Rewind: Natasha’s Mum’s Fruit and Walnut Bread Bars

June 29, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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natasha's mum's fruit and walnut bread bars

Natasha’s Mum’s Fruit and Walnut Bread Bars wins the award for cutest recipe title. A family recipe given to Dorie by an Aussie friend, these are full of walnuts and dried fruit and definitely have an old-fashioned feel to them. They’re baked off in a loaf pan and cut into slices, and you might at first glance think they are dense fruit and nut bread. But then you bite one, and they are definitely a sweet treat. All the ingredients are bound together by a meringue, and the cookies have a nougat-like chew to them. As for the dried fruit, you can add what you like and what you have on hand. Of course I used walnuts (honestly, pecans or almonds would be great, too, but then you need to change the title), and also dried blueberries and candied ginger. These slice beautifully and are perfect keepers for the cookie tin.

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!

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