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: 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.

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Parmesan Puffs

November 17, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Posted in BWJ, groups, other savory, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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parmesan puffs

It doesn’t matter if I’ve made it myself or if I’ve bought it at the store, I try to never waste a scrap of puff pastry.  So much potential in those little buttery off-cuts…pigs in a blanket, palmiers, Michel Richard’s Parmesan Puffs…I could go on, but let’s focus on the Parm Puffs.  Take your leftover bits of puff, cut them into willy-nilly shapes and fry them up in a bit of oil till they’re puffed and golden.  Then sprinkle them with salt and shower them in good grated parmesan.  Cheesy, buttery and salty– they are the perfect holiday party nibble.  My hostess-with-the-mostess tip of the day: Champagne and fried stuff is a match made in heaven. Continue Reading Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Parmesan Puffs…

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Swedish Oatmeal Hardtack

July 21, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie | 11 Comments
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swedish oatmeal hardtack

I admit that is was pretty hard to turn on the oven to make crackers in this sticky summer heat.  My main motivation for doing so was really to have cheese and crackers with a cold glass of white wine at the end of the process.  At least Beatrice Ojakangas’s Swedish Oatmeal Hardtack recipe doesn’t use yeast, or I’m sure I would have had an overproofed dough-blob situation going on in my kitchen.

This was actually an easy, make-by-hand dough to knead together.  It has oatmeal in it to give it a rustic texture.  Technically, it calls for quick oats, which I didn’t have.  I approximated them by plusing my regular rolled oats in the food processor a couple of times to break them up a little, and then hydrated them in the buttermilk for a few minutes while I gathered everything else together.  Since the dough uses oatmeal, I thought a little whole wheat would be good, too, and swapped 1/2 cup of AP flour for WW.  With some chilling time and good amount of flour, I was able to roll and cut the dough right on the sheet tray.  I had a hard time getting my first tray to color and crisp in the oven (especially in the center) so I upped the temperature to 350ºand increased the baking time by several minutes.

I’ve never had hardtack before and, based on the name, anticipated a trip to the dentist with a cracked tooth! The texture, however, is not rock hard but a bit sandy. There’s a little sugar creamed into the fat in the dough, so they are slightly sweet, slightly salty.  I bumped up the salt factor a bit by sprinkling a pinch of fleur de sel on top before baking.   They were good with cheese, and also with peanut butter.  As separate snacks, I mean…not too sure about a cheese and PB combo.

swedish oatmeal hardtack

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  The second half of this video shows Beatrice and Julia making the hardtack together.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Savory Puffs

June 16, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie | 13 Comments
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savory puffs

If you are looking for a little nibble for early evening rosé hour on the deck, might I suggest Norman Love’s Savory Puffs?  I love making pâte à choux sweet or savory, I think it’s one of the most fun classics.  This particular recipe is actually a little unusual…instead of just plain old water as the liquid ingredient in the dough, it uses cucumber and onion juice, along with a bit of milk.  I made a reduced-size batch (I skipped the éclair version) so rather than actually juice the cuke and onion, I just grated some of each on a box grater, salted the mix lightly and left it to drain for a while over a sieve.  Then I gave it a final squeeze, measured out the juice that drained off and used it in my choux paste.

I set aside those shreds of veg in the sieve (now relieved of excess moisture) and used them in my puff filling.  Waste not, want not– am I right?  First I chopped them up a bit finer and then stirred them, along with some herbs and seasoning into a mild, soft cheese curd that I like called Cloumage.  The smoked salmon version of the filling sounds delicious, but will have to wait for another rosé hour…perhaps next week, as I still have a few empty puffs in the freezer (and another bottle of rosé in the fridge).  Want to come over?

savory puffs

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (there’s a a video here of Chef Norman making the puffs). Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Ka’kat

May 5, 2015 at 6:57 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 11 Comments
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ka kat

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!  Maybe you are getting a tres leches soaking or quadruple checking a mole recipe to make sure you didn’t miss an ingredient.  If you are thinking about flatbreads today, you’re probably thinking about tortillas, but put Ka’kat on your radar for later.  I had never heard of ka’kat before, but Dorie says they are a very typical Eastern Mediterranean street food.  You can find them everywhere apparently, just like soft pretzels here in New York.  They’re made with a really straightforward yeast dough.  If you make it in the morning after breakfast, you can easily have fresh, warm bread snacks by lunchtime!

Although this is another recipe in the flatbread section of the book from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, my ka’kat (at least) came out round and chubby.  With sesame seeds on top, they did not look unlike mini bagels.  Ka’kat are often flavored with ground mahleb (also mahlab), which are little tiny cherry kernels.  This spice has a bit of that bitter almond flavor and is used in Middle Eastern, Greek and Turkish baking.  You probably won’t find it at your standard grocery store, but you can get it online (at Penzeys, for example) or in a Middle Eastern market.  I found whole seeds at Sahadi’s here in Brooklyn (I love that place!) and ground them to powder in a spice grinder.  All that said, the mahleb is totally optional.  It gives a very subtle aroma and taste, and I always like to buy an interesting new ingredient, but you can leave it out, no probs.

These were so tasty warm and soft from the oven.  I ate four– no kidding!  But they are little, yeah?  I dipped them into olive oil and dukkah (like I did with the Pebble Bread)…they’d be good with salty butter, too.   I made half a recipe and divided the dough into fifteen ka’kat to fit neatly on one sheet tray.  I have about half of them left in the freezer and I’ll definitely warm them up a bit before eating them.

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: Matzos

April 21, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, quick breads, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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matzos

The Matzo recipe from Lauren Groveman is bread at its most basic.  Really, it’s just flour, salt and water, hand-kneaded and with no real resting period required.  A little ground pepper and some sesame seeds are technically optional, but I wouldn’t skip them…they make a boring-sounding dough interesting and flavorful.

The instructions say to roll the dough as thin as possible.  When I make crackers, I like to roll them out on my pasta machine rather than with a wooden pin.  I did that here, too, and because the machine cranks out long, narrow, strips, I wound up cutting them into smaller pieces than the large, plate-sized matzos shown in the book’s photos.  The smaller pieces seemed also more easy to deal with using the kinda scary-sounding baking-and-flipping-on-a-blazing-hot-sheet-tray technique called for in the recipe.  I only burned myself once, so I’d call that a success!

I got matzos that were much more thin and delicate than the store-bought ones I’ve had.  And did I already mention how good the sesame seeds are in here?  I made a little smoked salmon, dill and cream cheese spread to go with the matzos, and the combo was every bit as addictive as chips and dip.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (there’s also a video of the episode). Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Puff Pastry Pizzettes

October 21, 2014 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, other savory, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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puff pastry pizzettes

I’m no interior designer.  This has been made painfully obvious to me by my home decorating choices (more accurately called mistakes).  Right now I’m trying to choose a few paint colors and I just can’t.  I can’t.  I need a glass of wine and a treat.  Thankfully, that I can do, and easily, too, with Michel Richard’s Puff Pastry Pizzettes.  These little one bite snacky hors d’oeuvres are meant to use up the scraps from the other week’s Sunny-Side Up Apricot Pastries. Homemade puff pastry (heck, even store-bought– it’s expensive!) is a no-waste situation.  I only made two of the apricot pastries so I really didn’t have a whole lot of scrap to go with here and just got six pizzettes.  Even so, I made two versions with goat cheese– one with tomato and the other with sautéed leeks.  I’m annoyed that I forgot to put a little parsley leaf on top of each tomato one…my picture would have been cuter!  See what I mean?  I fail on the design details.

These were a tasty little snack with glass (or two) of wine.  They were best warm, though.  The room temp one I tried had definitely lost some of its crispiness.

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

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