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 BCM: Chocolate Crème Caramel

February 27, 2018 at 12:45 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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chocolate crème caramel

Whether it’s called crème caramel or flan, I am a huge fan. I don’t get people who think it’s too eggy, but I’ll just eat their portion as well, so it’s all good. Actually this Chocolate Crème Caramel doesn’t strike me as eggy at all, since it gets an extra boost of flavor and richness from a good amount of chopped chocolate. You get a smooth chocolate custard with a fabulous liquid caramel sauce. It’s an elegant classic– so easy to make, and doesn’t use any cream! It just may create some new flan fans.

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: 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 BCM: Cheesecake, Alsace Style

February 13, 2018 at 9:16 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, cheesecakes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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cheesecake, alsace style

A Cheesecake, Alsace Style is something very different from the thick and hefty cream cheese cheesecake that New York is famous for. This Alsatian cheesecake is made much lighter with fromage blanc (or a Greek yogurt and heavy cream combo if you can’t find it). It’s the type of cheesecake that soufflés up in the oven and then falls as it cools. If a dessert can be beautiful and schlumpy at the same time, this is it. The base is a tall galette dough crust, and the fluffy filling is dotted with rum-soaked raisins. I used to be a raisin-hater but I appreciate them now, especially when they get a rum bath! Other dried fruits could be used, of course. And the cheesecake is nice served with fruit, too. I spooned some candied kumquat slices and syrup over the top to dress up my slices.

cheesecake, alsace style

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: 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!

TWD Rewind: Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread Cookies

January 30, 2018 at 8:42 am | Posted in BFMHTY, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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brown sugar-pecan shortbread

So, ten years ago at the start of January, my buddy Laurie started Tuesdays with Dorie to bake her way through the copy of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours  that she’d just received for Christmas. What could have been a perfectly fun solo project turned into an even more fun international group bake-along. I have no idea anymore how I first heard about the group (except to say that the food blogging world was much smaller ten years ago), but I jumped on immediately and over the course of several years baked (and took many blurry photos of) every recipe in BFMHTY. Well almost…the very first recipe that Laurie chose to tackle from the book, the Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread Cookies, went unmade by me. And since I was so very close to book completion, it had been nagging at me ever since I put BFMHTY back on the shelf and moved on to BWJ, BCM and DC.

It may take enduring ten years of vague, low-level guilt for me to get around to doing something, but here those cookies are. I made a quarter recipe and instead of rolling the dough and cutting it into squares, I patted it out into a six-inch cake pan lined with parchment. Then I cut my round into wedges while it was still hot with a bench scraper. These are nice and sandy, a little nutty and a little caramely. Book done, guilt gone and cookies on the counter. All’s well.

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or find it here.

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Crunchy Granola

January 23, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, cereals, groups, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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crunchy granola

Granola and yogurt with half a banana is my go-to weekday breakfast. I used to make a big batch of my own cereal every couple of weeks, but then I got lazy and started buying it again. New York City, and Brooklyn in particular, is big in the small-batch granola scene (Surprised? I bet not.), and I have dutifully tried every little cutely packaged and expensive hipster brand I can find at local gourmet shops. Some are great, and some not so much, but homemade is even more delicious– and definitely cheaper– than the best brand I know of.

This Crunchy Granola reminds me of how fresh and easy to make homemade granola is. One of the best parts of going DIY is that you can customize your mix and put in all the bits and pieces you like the most (no thanks, goji berries). I like almonds and pecans, dried cherries, seeds and coconut in big chips. I like extra salt and a little less sweet stuff. I like it well-toasted and a combo of clumps and loose bits. One little trick that I usually do with my homemade granola is to toss the coconut on the tray (I use a metal sheet tray) at the very end, turn the oven off and let the tray cool down along with the oven…extra crunchiness without burned coconut. Oh, and never add the dried fruit until the granola’s out of the oven and cooled. I’ve screwed that one up before and it doesn’t taste good. This batch was just perfect though and I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s brekkie.

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: Cabin-Fever Caramel Banana Bars

January 16, 2018 at 10:49 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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cabin-fever caramel banana bars

It’s cold here in New York…I just want to flop on the couch and watch Victoria with a big cookie and a warm drink. Cabin-Fever Caramel Banana Bars make fine TV snacks, although I have to say that this is a cake recipe, not a cookie recipe. But I won’t quibble over semantics– these are yummy, whatever they’re called! The base is a moist brown sugar banana cake that I think would be just as great plain as it is topped with melted chocolate and nuts. The only tweak I’ll make to this next time is that I’ll leave the chopped peanuts out of the cake itself and just keep them on top. Or maybe I’ll do away with the nuts entirely, swipe Mardi’s idea and sprinkle the bars with 100s and 1000s instead.

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: Real Hot Chocolate

January 9, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, drinks, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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real hot chocolate

The East Coast is definitely going through some Real Hot Chocolate weather right now. The bomb cyclone and the polar vortex can only be counteracted with the giant mug. Sometimes hot chocolate can seem like ganache or straight-up melted chocolate. This one is definitely a drink, not an ice cream topping or a churro dip. If you have some milk and some chocolate on hand, you’re in business (ok, sugar, water and salt, too). After heating these ingredients, the hot chocolate gets zapped in the blender, which makes it nice and frothy. I never have marshmallows at home but I do usually have a can of whipped cream (a top-secret weakness), and a squirt of that is pretty darn good on top. Also good with hot chocolate– little donuts. Pro tip.

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: Chunkers

January 2, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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chunkers

Chunkers are basically chocolate held together with more chocolate– awesome! Start with a brownie-like chocolate base, stir in a ton of chopped milk and dark chocolate, as well as dried cherries and cashews, and you get chunky, chewy, gooey globs. I made mine on the small side, but you can go big with them as well. You could mix up the fruit and nuts, too. I can see these taking well to lots of combos. They’re a delicious way to kick off a new year of cookie baking.

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!

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