Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Cocoa-Tahini Cookies with Sesame Crunch

June 19, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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cocoa-tahini cookies with sesame crunch

I know I said in my last DC post that we were super on-trend with the Swedish fika snacks, but if there’s one ingredient that’s so hot right now, I think it’s tahini, and it’s not just for hummus anymore. Boy, the month of June has seen the TWD coolness factor go way up– haha! Bring on the tahini in baked goods, I say…these Cocoa-Tahini Cookies with Sesame Crunch are delicious. The tahini gives the cookies a richness and a slight savoriness. The sesame flavor is reinforced with bits of sesame brittle mixed into the batter (I also sprinkled some black and white sesame seeds on top of the cookies before baking), while the cocoa flavor is backed up with a ton of chopped dark chocolate. Yum.

A couple of the folks who made these cookies for the previous posting noted that the homemade sesame brittle gave them some issues and suggested using store-bought sesame snap candy instead. In fact, these cookies were partially inspired by the sesame candies Dorie’s grandma used to buy, so even though I can’t say that I’d ever had them myself until now, I didn’t feel too bad about taking that cheat. I easily found some Greek sesame candy at Sahadi’s, one of my favorite shops in Brooklyn, which I rough chopped so I’d get a few intact bits in each cookie.

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.  (If you are looking for other desserty ideas for your jar of tahini, the tahini and halva brownies from Sweet are also highly recommended by yours truly.)

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Swedish Visiting Cake Bars

June 5, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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swedish visiting cake bars

If you’re as on-trend as I am (hahaha), you’ll have heard of fika, which is not at all a trend in Sweden, but a ritual. It’s a proper sit-down, slow-down coffee break, complete with treats. Of course I am hopeful that something this delightful will turn from Scandi trend to full-on tradition on this side of the Atlantic, too, and I’m willing to do my part to enable it. If I’m ever visiting someone, or having someone visit me, for fika, I’m making Swedish Visiting Cake Bars for treat-time. These bars contain no leavening agent and are thin and dense, but they’re not heavy. They have that almond paste cake taste and feel but are actually flavored with extract. They aren’t too sweet and are an ideal coffee or tea companion.

I made Dorie’s original cake version of these bars something like eight years ago (whelp!). I think the main difference between the two, besides the shape, is that the cake just had a scattering of sliced almonds on top, while the bars have an upgraded topping of crackly sugar-glazed almonds. Making that topping gave me a déjà vu feeling, too…then I looked back and realized I’d used it before on a pear tart. I like this kind of mix-and-match, taking good parts from one thing to improve another.

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 DC: Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

May 15, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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strawberry shortcake cookies

Let’s get one thing straight about these Strawberry Shortcake Cookies– they are cakes. If we are calling them cookies, it’s only because they are little two-bite babies. This is about the easiest sponge cake in the world to make, though, and the batter bakes up into nice little rounds in a muffin tin. Each round is a self-contained shortcake, with a small blob of strawberry compote (I used some roasted strawberries I made for something else a while back, although you could also just use jam) topped with some sweetened whipped cream and sliced berries. I made the sour cream whipped cream because I like the tang alongside the sweetness of everything else. These weren’t hard to make, but they are tasty and pretty. You can make the little sponges ahead of time (I have some in the freezer now) and top them as you need them. As the summer moves along, other berries will work just as beautifully.

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 DC: Vanilla-Brown Butter Madeleines

May 1, 2018 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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vanilla-brown butter madeleines

Oh, madeleines…are you really cookies, or are you cakes disguised as seashells? Personally, I think these Vanilla-Brown Butter Madeleines are little cakes, but however classified, they are delicious. Vanilla and brown butter are two things that make everything better. I’d be happy with just one in a sweet, but both– wow! (Another great treat with this flavor combo is the Brown-Butter-and-Vanilla-Bean Weekend Cake from BCM.) Madeleines are easy to make by hand, but you do need to allow for some chill time in the mold before baking, especially if you want to get the prized hump on the back. I got nice, gentle bumps on the backsides of these. I was pretty pleased with that, because the hump’s been hit-or-miss for me in the past. These have great flavor and texture, and I tossed them in some vanilla sugar while they were still warm.

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 DC: Mocha-Ricotta Puffs

April 17, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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mocha-ricotta puffs

I had to go out and get a tub of ricotta to make these Mocha-Ricotta Puffs, but they’re a great way to use up a bit of extra cheese if you already have it. These puffs are like little cakes, flavored with cocoa and espresso. Actually, as Dorie notes, they don’t really taste of coffee…I wouldn’t mind if that flavor was a bit more pronounced. I do like their soft texture a lot, and the way pretty way they dome and crack. I think I’d like to eat one with a big scoop of coffee ice cream!

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 DC: Kamish

April 3, 2018 at 9:19 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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kamish

I had never heard of Kamish before making this recipe. Turns out, it is mandelbrot, a twice-baked almond cookie, and is made just like biscotti. This recipe is full of almonds, and also some cinnamon and coconut. After the first bake, when the dough log is sliced, the individual cookies are even sprinkled with coconut-cinnamon sugar for extra pizzaz before going in for the second time. I let my kamish dry out further overnight in a turned off oven, a suggestion in the recipe’s intro for even crunchier cookies. Of course these are great dipped in coffee. Also, of course, I’ve already eaten up the end bits and all the crumbles.

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 DC: Sunny-Side-Up Meringues

March 20, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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sunny-side-up meringues

I don’t make a lot of meringue cookies, but I do enjoy them. So sweet and crisp, I like the way they basically evaporate in my mouth. These Sunny-Side-Up Meringues playfully resemble eggs, with a nice spoonful of bright yellow curd (made of yolks) sitting in the center of each white vanilla-flavored meringue (made of whites). The recipe calls for homemade lemon curd, but I cheated a bit and brought home some passionfruit curd from work. The tartness of the curd balances nicely with the sweetness of the meringue. The meringues are easy to make, but do require a lot of time in the oven to dry out completely. I let mine sit overnight in a turned off oven for maximum crispness.

Although I got the started recipe yield, I feel like I made my meringues a little too big. Or too round. Or maybe I made the curd crater too big. They look like strange eggs, whatever it is. But they are yummy, and I’m thinking of turning a couple of unfilled cookies into pavlovas, another meringue treat I’m a big fan of.

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 DC: Hamantaschen

March 6, 2018 at 12:33 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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hamantaschen

It’s Hamantaschen time! Or at least it was last week, for Purim, when these triangular filled cookies could be found all over New York City bakeries and gourmet shops. Actually, I think most bagel shops here sell them year-round in the pastry case next to the Italian rainbow cookies and the black & whites. At the bagel shop, they know no season. I have made hamantaschen many times before at home, but have always used a butter-based recipe that’s very similar, actually, to the cookie-like sweet tart dough that we use often with TWD projects. This recipe uses oil instead and makes a very soft dough that’s kind of fiddly and needs a lot of chilling before you can work with it, and then even some more chilling while you are working with it. Mine stayed together pretty well, but I don’t mind if hamantaschen open up or leak a little. That just means there’s lots of filling and will probably be delicious. Soon out of the oven, these are like little jam tarts with a crisp shell. Let them sit awhile and they become soft, like the ones you get at the shops. Dorie’s recipe calls for making your own jam filling from dried fruits, but I cheated and took out apricot and huckleberry jams from the fridge. The apricot are my favorite.

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 DC: Bee’s Sneeze Nuggets

February 20, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, snacks, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 2 Comments
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bee's sneeze nuggets

I am a big fan of the at-home apéro hour. I like to have just a splash of wine and a little something to nibble on while I’m preparing the rest of dinner. Makes prep time more fun. Usually I’ll go for boxed crackers with my cheese, but when the TWD pick is a “cocktail cookie,” things get a bit more exciting. These Bee’s Sneeze Nuggets are inspired by the flavors of a cocktail that’s a spin on a traditional bee’s knees. They’re flavored with gin, honey and lots of lemon, and lean savory rather than sweet. After I mixed the cookie dough and patted it out, I wasn’t sure how big to cut the nuggets. I made them really small and I love how they held their shape, rising up instead of spreading out. They look like tiny biscuits–so cute! (I’ve gotta add that I think nuggets this small would be great floating in thicker soups, in place of croutons or oyster crackers…mental note.)

You can dip them in some extra honey on the side, but to help control stickiness, I glazed each nugget with a dab of honey while they were still warm. Then I ate them with olives and cheese. A proper bee’s knees cocktail would probably be an appropriate drink choice, but due to an incident years ago (I will spare you the details), I am not a big gin drinker, so I went with red wine.

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 DC: Sebastian’s Remarkably Wonderful Brownies

February 6, 2018 at 9:11 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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sebastian’s remarkably wonderful brownies

We’ve done lots of brownies and brownie-like-things with TWD by this point. But brownie possibilities are apparently limitless, so here are Sebastian’s Remarkably Wonderful Brownies. These are cocoa-only brownies, so no need to dip into your chocolate stash. I used Valrhona cocoa powder, which made them quite dark. They are very flavorful and they are the chewiest brownies I’ve ever made, which I guess is due to the long whipping time for the butter (not melted!), sugar and eggs. I like this chew a lot…it is remarkably wonderful.

sebastian’s remarkably wonderful brownies

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!

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