TWD DC Rewind: Cherry-Nut Chocolate Pinwheels

November 30, 2021 at 8:46 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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cherry-nut chocolate pinwheels

I pulled what now seems to be my signature move on these Cherry-Nut Chocolate Pinwheels: I baked them on time and then totally didn’t feel like writing a post about them. I guess now I easily have something to post for Rewind week. Please don’t think that means I didn’t like these. Not so– I actually liked them a lot! A cooked down dried cherry and walnut paste is rolled up inside Dorie’s Do-Almost-Anything Chocolate Dough. What’s not to like? They even held their shape (a fear of mine with pinwheels, and slice and bake cookies in general)! I decided to decorate them with the optional white chocolate drizzle, but it sort of hides the spiral of goodies going on. These have kind of a fruit cake vibe, and I think they would make great holiday cookies.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Coco-Almond Thumbprints

November 16, 2021 at 9:25 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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cocoa-almond thumbprints

One candy bar that I would never trade away in my Halloween stash was always the Almond Joy, and these Coco-Almond Thumbprints are pretty much the homemade cookie version. Dorie originally concocted these gluten-free sweets to be a Passover dessert, and you can see (and taste) the resemblance to macaroons. They are so easy to make that they can be a year-round anytime treat: just whiz coconut, almonds, sugar, a pinch of salt if you’d like and egg whites in the food processor. Roll that mix into balls, give ’em the thumbprint press and stick ’em in the oven. Once baked they get a generous spoonful of chocolate ganache to fill their bellies.

These were so good…the cookies stayed chewy like a macaroon and the ganache never set completely firm. I would have been happy to childishly hoard them for myself in the back of my closet (which is where I used to hide my Halloween candy pumpkin so my brother wouldn’t raid it), but some dude who seems to never go to the office anymore was on to the fact that I was baking cookies, so I was forced to share.

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: 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!

Everyday Dorie: Drop-Biscuit Peach (and Blueberry) Cobbler

August 13, 2021 at 1:27 pm | Posted in cobbler, crisps, shortcakes, everyday dorie, groups, sweet things | 6 Comments
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drop-biscuit peach (and blueberry) cobbler

Is it even August if you don’t make at least a couple of peach desserts? This Drop-Biscuit Peach Cobbler is a quick and easy way to a summer classic. The cobbler topping here is made from more of a batter than a dough…rather than working butter into the dry ingredients, you just stir in a buttermilk and heavy cream combo. And you don’t pat out and cut the biscuits, you just spoon them on top of your peaches (if you have some berries, throw those in, too). What you get is a lighter, cakier topping than a true biscuit cobbler, but it’s great on the cooked fruit. I also made the biscuit shortcake variation of the recipe earlier in the summer.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our cobblers this week.

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