Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Apple Pandowdy

November 9, 2021 at 2:07 pm | Posted in BWD, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 23 Comments
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apple pandowdy

We’re already onto our second recipe from Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple! I was going to do the English Muffins this week, but then you know how it goes. I didn’t get around to making the dough, and apparently English muffins don’t make themselves…but I did have a round of homemade rough puff pastry in the freezer, so Apple Pandowdy it was!

A pandowdy is one of those olde-fashioned desserts I’ve never actually made before. Likely invented to use off-cuts and scraps of pie pastry (an idea I like very much, btw since I never throw out my trimmings), it is assembled like a pot pie, with a fruit filling underneath a top crust. You can spice up your fruit any way you like, but this one has just a simple filling of sliced apples, sugar, lemon and a little butter. My apples let out a lot of juice, but once the pandowdy had cooled, it was actually quite a nice sauce-like consistency. A sprinkle of flour in the filling would probably help bind that up a bit next time.

Even though I was using brand-new dough and not scraps here, I assembled my crust higgledy-piggledy from randomly-sized overlapping triangles and squiggles, as Dorie suggests. Because I used puff pastry, my pieces got very poofy in the oven, and probably didn’t quite conform to the shape of the cooked down apples quite as much as if I’d used a pie dough. I guess it’s still cute in it’s own dowdy way.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet, you can test drive this Apple Pandowdy recipe here. But get the book and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

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 BWD: Miso-Maple Loaf

October 19, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWD, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 18 Comments
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miso-maple loaf

Just when TWD starts winding down one project, Dorie comes along with another challenge to keep us going. We have less than a year’s worth of cookies left to scoop, so why not fold her beautiful new Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple into the mix? Today’s the book release day, and we’re celebrating with cake! We’re going to ease into it, though (I mean, we haven’t done a fancy cake in about a year so we might be a little rusty), with this Miso-Maple Loaf.

This cake is made like a usual loaf cake, but with an unusual ingredient– white miso. Unless you are a super-taster, it’s unlikely you’d pick it out, but it nudges the cake in a slightly savory direction. It doesn’t go too far that way, though…it does have sugar and maple syrup, after all. It’s sturdy and coarse-crumbed cake, as Dorie notes, but it’s also ever so soft. Dorie calls for orange or tangerine zest in the batter (rubbed into the sugar to release max flavor– her patented technique). I used yuzu zest instead, which I had squirreled away in the freezer, and that flavor is definitely the pronounced one in my loaf. We’ve been enjoying slices with a little whipped cream for the last couple of nights.

This is a great preview of what’s to come from this book. We don’t normally post the recipes we make, as you’re encouraged to pick-up a copy and bake with us, but Dorie has given us permission to put this first one up. Thanks so much to everyone, old friends and new, who are joining us for this next adventure, and to Dorie, who has given us at least a hundred more delicious reasons to keep baking on!

Miso-Maple Loaf
from Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan

4 ounces/113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 ¾ cups/238 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup/150 grams granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
finely grated zest of 1 orange or tangerine
¼ cup/70 grams white or yellow miso
¼ cup/60 milliliters pure maple syrup
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
⅓ cup/80 milliliters buttermilk (well shaken before measuring)
¼ cup/80 grams orange marmalade or apricot jam (for the glaze, optional)

Center a rack in the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 1/2-inch loaf pan and dust with flour, or use baker’s spray.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Put the sugar, salt and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl that you can use with a hand mixer. Reach in and rub the ingredients together until the sugar is moist and fragrant; it may even turn orange. Add the butter, miso and maple syrup to the sugar. If using a stand mixer, attach the bowl and fit it with the paddle attachment.

Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl and beater(s) as needed, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. One by one, add the eggs, beating for a minute after each goes in. Beat in the vanilla. The mixture might curdle, but this is a temporary condition. Turn off the mixer, add the dry ingredients all at once and pulse to begin the blending, turning the mixer on and off in very short spurts on the lowest speed. Then, beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated. With the mixer still on low, pour in the buttermilk and blend well. Scrape the batter into the pan, working it into the corners and smoothing the top.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, checking the loaf after 40 minutes and covering the top loosely with a foil or tented parchmentif it’s browning too fast. The loaf is properly baked when it pulls away from the sides of the pan and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the bread rest for 5 minutes, then run a table knife around the edges of the loaf and unmold onto the rack; turn it right side up.

If you’d like to glaze the loaf, stir the marmalade or jam with 1 tablespoon water and heat the mixture in the microwave or over low heat until it comes just to a boil. Using a pastry brush or a spoon, cover the top of the loaf with the glaze. Allow the loaf to cool to room temperature before slicing.

Wrapped well, the cake will keep for about 4 days at room temperature. If it becomes stale — and maybe even if it doesn’t — toast it lightly before serving. If you haven’t glazed the cake, you can wrap it airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months; defrost, still wrapped, at room temperature.

Get the book, Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan, and join us every second and fourth Tuesdays. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

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 be 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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