Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Cranberry Five-Spice Cookies

November 6, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, snacks, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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cranberry five-spice cookies

When these Cranberry Five-Spice Cookies were being floated around in the month’s nominations, I didn’t realize that they are in the “cocktail cookies” section of the book. This is the section where the cookies lean more savory than sweet…nibbles to go with a glass of wine or an aperitif.  These ones have the texture of sugar cookies, but they are only very lightly sweetened, and are flavored with tart fresh cranberries, salty peanuts and Chinese five-spice powder, an exotic mixture of ground cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise and Szechuan pepper.

A lot of times, I like to cut roll-out cookies like these into squares rather than rounds so I don’t have any waste. I sprinkled these with a little mix of extra sugar, salt and five-spice before baking. Even though they weren’t quite what I had in mind when I cracked open the book to make them, I did like them. I thought a bit of spreadable goat cheese on top went rather nicely.

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

Everyday Dorie: My Newest Gougères

October 26, 2018 at 7:37 am | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, savory things, snacks | 20 Comments
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my newest gougères

In case you can’t tell from the over four hundred posts I’ve written, dedicated to the over four hundred recipes I’ve made from her books, Dorie Greenspan is one of my favorite cookbook authors. Anytime she comes out with a new title, I can’t wait to dive in, and of course that’s the case with her beautiful brand-new Everyday Dorie! I have at least two dozen recipes I need to get down to business with soon, but I’m beginning with what she calls “My Newest Gougères,” and I’m making them along with the Cook the Book Fridays group. They’re starting today to cook their way though Everyday Dorie, and I’ll join in as often as I can.

Gougères are made with choux paste, one of my favorite things to make. This newest version is a cheese puff not only loaded with cheese (of course), but also chopped nuts and a bit of Dijon mustard. You can play around with the cheese and nuts. I went pretty classic with a Gruyère and walnut combo. These make a great salty, cheesy snack to have with a glass of rosè. The nuts give them more substance than other gougères I’ve made. I have some more in the freezer and I think they’ll go really nicely with a bowl of tomato soup, too.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan (you can even watch her make them in this video), and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group kicks this one off!

 

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Rosemary-Parm Cookies

August 7, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, snacks, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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rosemary-parm cookies

I like baking savory cookies because it gives me an excuse to open a bottle of wine. Hello apéro! A drink, a snack and a podcast make getting the rest of dinner on the table less of a chore. The Rosemary-Parm Cookies are from the “cocktail cookie” section of the book. They are savory shortbread cookies, delicate and crumbly, and flavored with parmesan, pecans and rosemary. I cut mine into (imperfect) squares rather than rounds so I wouldn’t have any waste, and sprinkled them with a bit of extra grated cheese before baking. They’re salty and cheesy, and I can verify that they go quite nicely with white wine!

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: 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: Goat Cheese and Chive Cookies

May 16, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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goat cheese and chive cookies

These Goat Cheese and Chive Cookies are part of Dorie’s special “cocktail cookies” collection…little savory bites to pair with drinks. I went with white wine, but Dorie says they are great with Prosecco. Maybe I’ll give that a try with the rest of the dough still in the freezer. These are roll-out cookies, and I definitely rolled mine a little thinner than I should have, but you can see that they have flaky-biscuit like layers. They aren’t super-crisp cookies, but that means you can hold a glass of wine in one hand and a cookie in the other and not have them crumble all over your shirt while you snack and mingle (and maybe dance around the backyard like a dork!).

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. It is also Dorie’s #cookiesandkindness selection for the month of May, so you can find the recipe on her site, too. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and please join us if you haven’t already!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Swedish Limpa

August 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 4 Comments
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swedish lid

Baking bread isn’t my typical 90° day activity. I didn’t really have any other choice, though, if I wanted to get Beatrice Ojakangas’s Swedish Limpa made within the first two weeks of this month. Limpa, if you haven’t had it (I hadn’t myself until today), is a rye bread favored with orange zest, fennel, anise and caraway seeds and molasses and brown sugar. It’s often eaten at Christmas time in Sweden…in my house it will be eaten in mid-August.

I don’t have any anise in my spice collection and didn’t really feel like getting any either, since I’m not much of a licorice fan…I just used a bit more caraway and fennel to compensate. The recipe makes two loaves, which is a bit much for us, so I made half. The bread is traditionally baked in round cake pans, but I’ll be putting most of it into the freezer for later. With easy future toasting in mind, I baked my half-recipe in a 9″x5″ loaf pan instead.

This bread is delicious!  I’m the one who added the molasses and sugar to the dough, yet somehow I forgot until the first bite that it would be slightly sweet. And the orange zest, seeds and rye–yum! Seriously, heat wave be damned…I’m glad I turned the oven on for this one. The recipe notes say the bread goes well with meat and cheese, and I believe it, but it’s also not bad with just a smear of salty butter.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Persian Naan

April 5, 2016 at 12:02 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 8 Comments
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persian naan

This Persian Naan flatbread from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid uses the very same dough as the Oasis Naan we did almost four years (what the –??) ago.  So I’ve kinda done this one before, but it’s been a while.  The dough is actually as simple as it gets– water, flour, yeast and salt.  One proof, then shape and bake. The book instructions call for making it by hand…last time I used the food processor…this time I used the KitchenAid…do what you like and rest assured that it will all be good.

The dough bakes up nice and puffy and chewy.  It didn’t brown so well on top, so I brushed a little melted butter on at the halfway point and gave the naan an extra couple of minutes in the oven to get a bit of golden spotting.  This was a nice bread to have with our Sunday morning fried eggs and avocado.  It kind of reminds me of the grocery store Turkish pide bread that I fell in love with when we lived in Oz, but can’t get here.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  There’s also a video of Alford, Duguid and Julia making the bread together, and the authors wrote this article that gives more naan tips.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

TWD BWJ Rewind: Pain de Campagne

March 29, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 7 Comments
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pain de campagne

Joe Ortiz’s Pain de Campagne is my first home sourdough bread experiment.  A whole wheat starter (called “the chef”) is refreshed over a period of several days, hopefully collecting wild yeast from the air in the meantime.  There’s a warning in the recipe intro that you might get a flat loaf– no guarantees in the world of wild yeast.  I could see the change in my starter over the week and I definitely noticed it’s sour smell increasing, so I had some hope for it, at least.

After almost four days, the final dough is ready to be mixed and later shaped.  My bread definitely rose and had a nice shape but it’s quite dense inside.  I didn’t really get any large air holes in the crumb and I see that I need to work on my slashing skills.  Still makes good, flavorful toast though, with a nice crust, and it won’t go to waste.  

pain de campagne

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll to see if anyone else did a rewind this week!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Buttermilk Bread

February 2, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 13 Comments
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buttermilk bread

Lora Brody’s Buttermilk Bread is one I’ve been wanting to make for a while now.  Sounds simple and homey and a nice thing to bake on a cold day.

The recipe in the book calls for making the bread dough in a bread machine, which I don’t have, so I made it in my stand mixer instead.  I  swapped a 50/50 water/liquid buttermilk combo for the water/powdered buttermilk in the recipe.  While I used the full 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast, I think I could have gotten away with just 2 teaspoons. I basically followed the mixing instructions we used when we did the White Loaves years ago, since they seemed pretty standard for this type of bread.  I then switched back to Brody’s instructions for rising and baking.

This made a nice sandwich loaf, and maybe next time I’ll try it in the cloverleaf roll variation.  The bread has maple syrup in the dough, so there’s a hint of sweetness there, and I think the crust is really good (I’m the weirdo who likes the end pieces).  I’m looking forward to pulling slices from the freezer for grilled cheese!

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Camembert in Brioche

December 1, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 8 Comments
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camembert in brioche

The idea of chesse en croute kind of makes me giggle….seems like something from another dinner party era to me.  I do love a good retro treat though, so I was pretty excited to make Lora Brody’s Camembert (or Brie) in Brioche for Thanksgivng pre-dinner snacks.

The recipe in the book calls for making the brioche dough in a bread machine and caramelizing the onions in a slow cooker, but despite my ever-growing collection of gadgets and small appliances, I don’t have either of those in my kitchen arsenal.  I made the dough in my stand mixer instead (subbing warmed lowfat milk for the milk powder and water), with no problem, and followed the instructions to chill it immediately (without letting it rise first) before shaping.  I caramelized the onions in the oven with some thyme…even though I used small Cipollini onions, they did take a couple of hours, and next time I’ll probably just caramelize regular sliced onions on the stovetop.

I didn’t think we could take down the 9-inch wheel of brie the recipe uses, but I wanted a whole wheel rather than just a wedge, so I found a little 4-inch round of camembert and used that.  I only needed to make 1/3 of the brioche dough and use a few Cipollinis to cover it.  My 6-inch cake pans seemed too big to bake the cheese in, so I did it free-form, rolling the dough out into one round parcel that wrapped up the cheese, and making a little decorative twist out of some trim scrap.  Everything held shape very nicely in the oven, I’m happy to report.  Letting it rest for half an hour or so out of the oven keeps the cheese from being too runny and just spilling out of the crust.

Maybe this isn’t so much something from a bygone era as it is a classic.  Gooey, salty baked cheese, sweet onions and buttery brioche…it’s really so very good.  And quite stunning, too…a perfect holiday appetizer for a crowd.  I even reheated a leftover hunk on Friday, wrapped in foil in a low oven, and it was still just the thing with a glass of wine.

camembert in brioche

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  I do think this is the final recipe in the “Savory Pastries” section of the book….wow!  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.

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