Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Torta Sbrisolona

September 22, 2021 at 3:15 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 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.

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Caramel-Sugar Pufflets

July 20, 2021 at 10:27 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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caramel-sugar pufflets

I am almost too sugared out with my summer recipe testing job to handle these Caramel-Sugar Pufflets this week. If I hadn’t already had a packet of the base dough in the freezer from the Sour Cream Everything Seed Knots, I may have just quietly skipped them. As with the knots, the dough for these pufflets goes through a series of folds and turns to create flaky layers, but instead of salty, seedy sprinkles between each layer, these get hefty sprinklings of sugar that caramelize in the oven. I really gave these the “French bake,” so the are super crisp and have little lacy caramel bits on the edges. My tastes are trending toward the savory right now, as I’m making and tasting three or four sweet recipes a day, but I can appreciate a small nibble with a cup of coffee.

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 DC: Sour Cream Everything Seed Knots

July 6, 2021 at 4:40 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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sour cream everything seed knots

As soon as I heard the news that today would be 93° with a heat index of 100, I decided it would perfect weather to make a rough-puff- style dough to bake off these Sour Cream Everything Seed Knots. I plan so well. As it turns out, even without A/C, I didn’t have any issues making the yeasted sour cream dough in the food processor, or completing the set of folds and turns that created the flaky layers and worked in the everything seed blend I stirred together. I think it helped that I made a super small batch, and each step took me only about twenty seconds, so my dough didn’t have the chance to warm up too much. The trickiest part came with forming these knots. I think I did ok, but I don’t have much decorative bread or dough forming experience, so I had to read the instructions like fifty times. Anyway, I had one of these knots along with my lunch salad, and it was a delicious, salty, seedy, garlicky treat. Kind of like a flaky breadstick, I also think they’ll go well with a glass of wine and a piece of cheese for sundown snacks.

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!

TWD DC Rewind: Natasha’s Mum’s Fruit and Walnut Bread Bars

June 29, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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natasha's mum's fruit and walnut bread bars

Natasha’s Mum’s Fruit and Walnut Bread Bars wins the award for cutest recipe title. A family recipe given to Dorie by an Aussie friend, these are full of walnuts and dried fruit and definitely have an old-fashioned feel to them. They’re baked off in a loaf pan and cut into slices, and you might at first glance think they are dense fruit and nut bread. But then you bite one, and they are definitely a sweet treat. All the ingredients are bound together by a meringue, and the cookies have a nougat-like chew to them. As for the dried fruit, you can add what you like and what you have on hand. Of course I used walnuts (honestly, pecans or almonds would be great, too, but then you need to change the title), and also dried blueberries and candied ginger. These slice beautifully and are perfect keepers for the cookie tin.

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!

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Coconut Patties

June 1, 2021 at 8:25 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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coconut patties

Boy, when TWD Tuesday is the first day of the month, you can really be caught off guard. I would have shown up empty-handed to today’s cookie party had I not actually made these Coconut Patties for a “before times” gym get-together a couple of years ago.  Also, this picture is an embarrassment…I think my photos have improved slightly. These patties are a twice-cooked coconut macaroon flavored with lime. The first cooking step takes place on the stovetop, as the sugar-egg white-coconut mixture is heated in a pot. Then after a nice four-hour chill, the pattie rounds are formed and baked. The fact that the mixture is precooked and baked cold, keeps the patties chewy inside…the baking really just dries the outside to make a nice crust.

I remember getting several compliments on these. They’re gluten-free, so they’re a good treat to bring somewhere if you don’t know the whole crowd. Dorie gives a rose-flavored variation of these as well, and I’m sure it’s not too hard to come up with some others, too (something Almond Joy-esq would be tops on my list).

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: Pecan-Brown Sugar Crack-Ups

May 18, 2021 at 7:22 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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pecan-brown sugar crack-ups

Pecan-Brown Sugar Crack-Ups are an interactive treat…a cookie baked as a slab that you (or you plus buddies) “crack up” into shards and bits. The dough for these comes together with just a few whizzes of the food processor. What you get are streusel-like crumbs that you press into a sheet tray to bake as one mass. The pecans are completely ground down in processing the dough, but the cookies certainly do have a toasty nuttiness, a delicate texture and a nice brown color. I made just one-third of the recipe, but still formed the dough into the same sized (quarter-sheet) tray used for a full batch. My baked cookie sheet was nice and slim, but not so thin that it crumbled apart, and I was able to break it into some good-sized chunks. We’ve been enjoying bits and pieces of this both at night with a little ice cream and in the morning with a little coffee.

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: Chocolate Chip Not-Quite Mandelbrot

May 4, 2021 at 7:42 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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chocolate chip not-quite mandelbrot

Mandelbrot are Ashkenazi Jewish almond cookies that share a similar shaping and baking method to Italian biscotti. Dorie leaves the nuts out of her Chocolate Chip Not-Quite Mandelbrot and swaps in the mini chips. I didn’t want to buy a bag of mini chips, so I left them out and swapped in a handful of cacao nibs instead (I didn’t measure them). I guess mine are not-quite chocolate chip not quite mandelbrot, but I say it worked nicely.

The dough is baked first as a cinnamon sugar-sprinkled (yum!) log, then sliced, sprinkled with more cinnamon sugar (more yum!) and baked again. The baking method is just like biscotti, but Dorie describes these mandelbrot as cakey, not dry and hard. Hmmm…”cakey” makes me think she means them to be soft, but mine were definitely dry and crisp after the second bake. They were not hard, though, and they were much easier and more pleasant to eat than some biscotti, which you almost have to dunk in coffee in order to not scrape up the roof of your mouth. Also, they sliced like a dream– with no cursing! I liked these very much, and even though I didn’t get quite as many as I should have from the stated yield, with just a third of the recipe, I was set for the week with coffee treats.

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!

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