Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Martine’s Lemon and Apple Tart

April 28, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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martine's lemon and apple tart

Someone last round described Martine’s Lemon and Apple Tart as being like a lemon bar that happens to have a bit of grated apple in. I can’t find who said it, but she was spot-on, I’m terms of both preparation and taste. It’s a little strange-looking, I will admit, but the filling is sweet-tart and delicious.

I decided to make just two individual tarts, rather than a big one, so I had to take the ingredient list and kind of wing it a bit with the amounts I’d need to fill them. I felt like this fit with the spirit of the recipe though, since Dorie’s friend Martine, who came up with it, sounds like she can cook on the fly. In the time it took my lemon-apple filling to set, my baby sweet tart dough shells did get a little browned, but I guess that’s just the “French bake” Dorie describes elsewhere in the book.

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: Every-Way Shortbread Fans: The Lemon-Poppy Seed Version

April 21, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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every-way shortbread fans: the lemon-poppy seed version

I mentioned last week that I’m now offering coffee or tea service at home every afternoon (don’t you wish you could come over?), and I’m constantly on the lookout for a good saucer treat. Homemade shortbread fits the bill quite nicely. As the name implies, Every-Way Shortbread Fans can go in a lot of different flavor directions. I went down the suggested lemon-poppy seed topped with glaze route. They have a delicious, buttery Scottish shortbread base, flecked with lemon zest and poppy seeds. I love the crisp, sandy texture of these cookies, and baking them in a cake pan is an easy way to form and shape them nicely. Another elevenses winner here.

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 BCM: Green Tea Sablés

April 14, 2020 at 8:39 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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green tea sablés

Now being home 24/7, elevenses seems to have become a thing I do to break up the day. Green Tea Sablés are a perfect side treat for my new-found tradition. We’ve made many varieties of these buttery, sandy cookies by now, and these ones are flavored, not with matcha, but with more delicate green tea leaves. We have (had? *sniff*) beautiful loose leaf tea at work, including one labeled “Japanese Pan-Fried Green Tea,” which I believe is kamairicha. I brought home a couple of tablespoons just before we closed in anticipation of these cookies.

The dough for these sablés is easily made by hand…like, the butter is actually rubbed in with your fingers, which are the cleanest they have even been, I’m sure. Then it is rolled into logs, chilled, and sliced. Okay, is it just me, or are slice-and-bake cookies infuriating? I feel like they are supposed to be the easiest way to cute round cookies, but, in fact, they always totally crumble when I slice them and then I have to press them back into some sloppy, patched together blobs. Or I cut them slanted. Or some cookies are too thick and others are too thin. Rather than let slice-and-bake cookies make me feel totally lame, I have picked up a few tricks from all of our DC baking and did these sablés in a muffin tin to get a nice coin shape. I only made a quarter-recipe of this dough (my lockdown freezer is stacked up with the half-finished coffee cakes and hot cross buns I am apparently hoarding for the apocalypse), so I took out my mini muffin pan and made these petits sablés.

I had enough of that green tea left over to not only make a small pot to go along with the cookies for elevenses, but also to make a bit of green tea sugar for garnish. Because I was baking the sablés in a tin instead of free-form, rather than roll my log in sugar before slicing, I sprinkled the tops of each cookie with it before baking.

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: Little Rascals

April 7, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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“Little Rascals” brings to mind the goofy gang of kids I used to watch on the tube on weekend mornings. These Little Rascals are jam sandwich cookies, though. Very much like Austrian Linzer cookies, this version’s made with walnuts. The dough comes together with a few zips in the food processor before it’s rolled and chilled. Actually, it’s so soft that it’s easiest to with it frozen. I decided to skip over my set of round cutters and reach for my knife to cut these rascals into rectangles. That way, it was one and done, and I didn’t have to deal with any scrap or re-rolling. I have some plum jam in the fridge and I used that here to make my sandwiches. These are sweet and nutty…crisp on the day they are made, softer the day after that, but both ways delicious.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies (it’s also here) by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.

TWD DC Rewind: Puffed Grain and Peanut Butter Cookies

March 31, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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puffed grain and peanut butter cookies

I have a few “harder” recipes to make up for TWD, like Rum Babas and Cannelés, that perhaps I should be tackling with my new found free time, but I still have half a box of puffed mixed grain cereal from when we made Puffed Grain and Miso Cookies back in January (don’t judge) and I want it outta here! Back when we made those miso cookies, I couldn’t help but think that the recipe could be fiddled with and that a sweeter version might be good, too. Now’s the time to revisit that recipe and try my idea out.

I basically just one-for-one swapped out the savory ingredients for sweeter ones. I kept the puffed grains, chopped nuts and dried fruit (I used cherries here), but used a combo of cocoa nibs and shredded coconut for the sesame seeds. For the binding syrup mixture, I kept the brown rice syrup, but used peanut butter for the miso paste, coconut oil for the olive oil, and vanilla for the sesame oil. I turned the oven temperature down to 300° and baked them for 15 minutes, because I thought the original time and temp were a bit too much for the miso cookies. There isn’t anything that really needs to cook here, the baking step is just to glue the ingredients together. I like this lightly sweet version…they remind me of little trail mix pucks.

For the base recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of this week’s rewind on the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Garam Grahams

March 17, 2020 at 10:29 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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garam grahams

Boy– a lot has happened in a week! The restaurant I cook for in the now-ghost town of NYC is closed, and while my job is 86’d for the time being, I am thankful to be healthy and will try to put my self-isolated energy into some long-neglected household organization projects, as well as some more fun cooking and baking stuff. I’ll start here….with cinnamon and honey and earthy notes of cumin and coriander, these Garam Grahams ride the line between sweet and savory and are in the “cocktail cookies” section of the book. Like the last time we made graham crackers, these are speedily whizzed together in the food processor. Unlike the last time we made them, though these have garam masala and black pepper for a funky Indian-ish twist. Sounds weird, but tastes good.

They’re finished off with a dusting of sugar, salt and pepper before going into the oven. I don’t know if you can really tell from the photo, but I used a coarse gold sanding sugar to give them a bit of Bollywood sparkle. I think they go as well with wine or beer as they do with a cup of chai or coffee…whichever best helps calm anxious nerves.

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 BCM: Coco Rochers

March 10, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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coco rochers

Coco Rochers…what are those? Turns out, they are coconut macaroons. Just four ingredients (unsweetened coconut, sugar, egg whites and vanilla) get heated up for a gently cooked batter that’s then chilled, scooped and baked. I have to confess to you that I added a pinch of salt, too, so I guess that’s really five ingredients. If you want to make it six, add a chocolate drizzle or dip…something I’ll do next time, for sure. My unsweetened coconut is the very fine and fluffy desiccated stuff. I was able to pack the mix pretty tightly into my cookie scoop, and it made for macaroons that were a lot like the Manischewitz-type ones in a can. I’m a big fan of those, by the way. I made just 1/4 batch with the one egg white I had already separated in the fridge. I’m wishing I had more, but they are easy enough to make again anytime.

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: Almond Crescents

March 3, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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almond crescents

I feel as though I say this with like every other cookie we make, but these Almond Crescents are the perfect coffee or tea treat. Tasty, slightly nutty, crispy and a bit delicate, buttery, sugar coated, cute…shall I go on? I used the guidelines that Dorie gives in the recipe intro to make my cookies on the smaller side. They looked kinda runty when I formed them, but really pleasantly plumped up in the oven. (BTW, when I first looked at this recipe I wondered if maybe I should try toasting the almond flour before using it for even more nutty flavor. But then I forgot all about it. Does anyone regularly do this with almond flour?)

Now comes the snafu! When I took my bag of powdered sugar out of the cupboard I saw that I had, well, almost nothing left. The first cookie I coated was the bottom right one. You can see that I was basically throwing what sugar I did have around–so wasteful! You can track my work up the sheet tray, getting more and more tight-fisted with it…there was just a sprinkle at the end remaining for the one on the top left. I ate that one first.

I shared these, like I often do, with the trainers at the gym. The owner made it a point to tell me a couple of days later how much he liked them. And as I was leaving today, he called out, “More almond crescents!” So I guess I’ll need to get another bag of 10x and make a second batch (or be forced to do extra pull-ups!).

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 BCM: Carrément Chocolat, The Simple Loaf

February 25, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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carrément chocolat, the simple loaf

This Carrément Chocolat cake has a fancy French name but it’s just a “simple loaf.” Actually, it’s an outstanding chocolate-chocolate chip loaf. Why did we wait so long to bake this? Why did I only make a little half-recipe cake? Life’s regrets…

The cake batter is basically whizzed up in stages in the food processor, so that is simple. There’s a bit of prep to take care of first though, and that’s to make a batch of salted chocolate to chop up for chips that get mixed into the batter. This is just as it sounds: melted dark chocolate with sea salt mixed in (you can take a shortcut and buy a couple of nice sea salted dark chocolate bars at the store instead). Dorie says to spread the chocolate out and freeze it hard before chopping. Frozen chocolate is a shardy mess to chop up, so I’d recommend setting it up in the fridge instead. I actually tempered my chocolate, which I’m used to doing at work, and let it harden at room temperature so it cut fairly easily into neat chips.

As I said, I regrettably made only a half-recipe of this cake, but it sounds as though the full batch may be a bit too much for the 8.5×4.5-inch loaf pan called for. Either using a 9×5-inch pan instead or scaling back to 3/4-recipe for an 8.5×4.5-inch tin is something to consider.

I tried to layer the cake batter and salted chocolate chips in my loaf pan to keep the chips from sinking, but they headed right to the bottom anyway. (I would recommend lining your loaf pan with parchment for this reason.) Oh well, that made for a nice little black bottom-style surprise treat. The baked loaf gets brushed with a sugar syrup to help keep it moist. I added espresso powder to my syrup to give it some flavor, but I almost went with rum. I will save that idea for next time.

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: Lavender-White Chocolate Sablés

February 18, 2020 at 9:12 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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lavender-white chocolate sablés

Back-to-back lavender and white chocolate treats this month! In these Lavender-White Chocolate Sablés, I again used the candied lavender I took from work. I was able to basically crumble it into a powder with my fingers to flavor the cookies. These are baked in a muffin tin…we’ve done this now with many of Dorie’s butter cookie recipes to make perfect circles with crispy rims. Rather than roll out the dough and cut out circles and then deal with scraps, I just portioned it with a little scoop into the greased muffin tin and pressed the balls flat into the cavities with a juice glass. Then I chilled the tin for a couple of hours. I will say, though, that I made a small batch of these (1/8th if I remember correctly) and only had to use the tin once, so this method was quick and easy for that.

These cookies are really crisp and buttery. The lavender is not the in-your-face flavor here that I was worried about…it’s pretty subtle. The white chocolate bits I think are star of these sablés…they get a little caramelized in the oven and sort of butterscotchy. The general consensus seems to be to check on the cookies a couple of minutes early, as they may not need the full 16-18 minutes of bake time.

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

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