Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Chocolate-Cranberry and Almond Cookies

January 19, 2021 at 8:50 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 2 Comments
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chocolate-cranberry and almond cookies

At first glance, to me, the recipe for these Chocolate-Cranberry and Almond Cookies sounded like a bit of a throw-away….not weird, but just some random stuff squished together to make a cookie. But then I made them and tried them, and I really liked them.

These cookies use Dorie’s “Do-Almost-Anything” chocolate dough, which is a nice dough that holds it’s shape well and can be used for cut-outs, pinwheels, thumbprints, whateves. Take the base dough and mix in bits of tart dried cranberries, roll and cut the cookies and top them with a sugary, meringue-like sliced almond topping. In keeping with my on-going pandemic pantry-purge, and in the spirit of this recipe of random stuff, I used what I had when I made these cookies: dried cherries in place of the cranberries and granulated almonds in place of the sliced. I made just half of this recipe, which was a pretty small amount of dough, so I did something I usually avoid at all costs…I formed it into a slice-and-bake log. I don’t normally like messing with that style of cookie formation, but I thought I wouldn’t get a good yield as roll-outs, without re-rolling scrap a zillion times. They aren’t perfect rounds because I stink at slicing, but they tasted good (sweet, tart and chocolatey), and that’s what matters.

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: Friendship Cookies

January 5, 2021 at 5:41 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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friendship cookies

Happy 2021– to celebrate another year of baking cookies with my friends, I present you with a plate of Friendship Cookies! These are really rugelach, with a flaky cream cheese dough filled with lots of things that play well together. I had a just little bloop of Philly that was exactly enough to make the dough for a quarter-recipe of these cookies. Not getting to invite friends for cookie parties and the “use what ya got” challenge are two 2020 trends that seem to be continuing into this year, so a smaller amount was just fine with me. The one downside to the downsize is that my cookies were a bit squat. The dough is rolled into a circle that’s spread with the filling  and cut like a pizza into triangles, which are then individually spiraled into the rugelach shape. Since I was working with a smaller piece of dough, my rolled-out circle was a smaller diameter and as such, my triangles weren’t long enough for me to get the extra loop in. I don’t know if that makes any sense unless you’ve made the recipe, but you can see that there is something just a bit off about the way these look. You may have to look closely, because I tried to distract the eye with some rainbow sugar sprinkle.

I filled my cookies with cranberry jam (and by that I mean leftover cranberry sauce), boozy golden raisins, toasted walnuts and cinnamon sugar. I had to leave my very best friend out of these cookies…I could tell there just wasn’t going to be any room for chopped chocolate with my smaller dough round…the filling that I already had in there was basically busting out! It’s all good though. These were delicious as-is, and that chocolate will no doubt get used another time.

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

TWD DC Rewind: World Peace Cookies

December 29, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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world peace cookies

This isn’t the first time I’ve made the famous World Peace Cookies, but I did skip making the recipe again 2017, when they were the pick for Dorie’s Cookies. That a cookie could bring about peace is a sweet sentiment for the end of a weirdly unsettling year, so I whipped up a quick batch of these to say farewell to 2020. They might not achieve world peace, but the delicious lightly salty, extra chocolatey flavor of these cookies certainly gives me a good feeling inside.

After mixing my dough (to which I added a 50/50 combo of chopped chocolate bits and cocoa nibs), I formed it into slice-and-bake logs. Then I put the sliced cookie coins into the cups of a muffin tin for baking (rather than just baking them on a sheet tray). Dorie doesn’t use the muffin tin method in her recipe for this cookie, and having tried it out, I might understand why. After the fact, it dawned on me that this dough has a bit of baking soda in it, which is not typical of a sablé, so it was probably designed to spread more than the cookies she usually bakes in a tin. I think they weren’t able to fully expand within the confines of the muffin cups, as each cookie had a raised rim and a slightly sunken interior. I didn’t let this take away my sense of inner peace, though. I considered the center divots the perfect nesting spot for a little spoonful of vanilla ice cream!

So, a very happy new year to you!! For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan (or get it here). Don’t forget to check out the rest of this week’s rewind on the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Mincemeat-Oatmeal (Raisin) Bars

December 15, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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mincemeat-oatmeal bars

These Mincemeat-Oatmeal Bars are Dorie’s “Playing Around” take on her Raisin Bars, with a jammy raisin filling sandwiched between two layers of delicious oatmeal-almond cookie dough. Actually, maybe they are my take on the “Playing Around” take, as I made a very off-the-cuff approximation of a (meatless) mincemeat filling. I don’t even know if I’ve ever had mincemeat, but it is the holidays, so why not give it a shot? I swapped out a couple of spoonfuls of the raisins for candied orange peel, added a few grates of fresh ginger and a big shake of mixed spice and cooked it down in apple juice. Mardi mentioned that she found the Raisin Bars to be too sweet, so I kept that in mind and didn’t sweeten my mix until I’d cooked and thickened it. A little sprinkling of maple sugar was all I thought it needed.

The same cookie dough, made with oatmeal, brown sugar and almonds, forms both the crust and the topping to these bars. It’s like an oatmeal crisp really, and basically any fruit jam would work sandwiched in the middle. I used to make very similar bar cookies for family meal meal at work, using up whatever fruit was on the way out (or often pâte de fruit scrap) for the jam. The only thing I did differently here was to pre-bake the crust layer for ten-ish minutes before finishing the bars. I’m not sure it was necessary, but I knew I’d have these around for a few days, and I planned to bring a couple to the trainers still at the gym, so I wanted to be sure they had a stable base.

There was a time in life when I wouldn’t have touched a raisin, but I’ve really come around in recent years and I thought one of these bars with a scoop of vanilla ice cream was, well, *chef’s kiss*. Oh, and the dudes at the gym requested more, but they’re all gone now, so it’s on to the next…

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

Everyday Dorie: Molasses Coffee Cake

December 11, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, simple cakes, sweet things | 5 Comments
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molasses coffee cake

Although, I can assure you, a slim slice of this Molasses Coffee Cake is fabulous with a morning cuppa, it isn’t the hefty streusel-topped sour cream number you might normally think of when you hear the words “coffee cake.” This one’s like a molasses gingerbread with coffee in the batter. Five-spice powder is an interesting twist here on the typical gingerbread spicing, and that glug of coffee adds to the rich dark flavor of the molasses. The white chocolate and coffee glaze on top may be optional…but is it really? I made mine a tad thicker than the Dorie did, just by decreasing the liquid a bit, so it would stay put and hold onto the holiday sparkle I scattered on top.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Mint Chocolate Sablés

December 1, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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mint chocolate sablés

I’d say that the first of December marks the start of cookie season, but isn’t it always cookie season around here? I’ll just put a more festive spin on things this month, starting with these Mint Chocolate Sablés. We make this type of buttery French shortbread on the regular, but this particular sablé has a chocolate base jazzed up with mint oil or extract and little bits of chopped chocolate. Chocolate and mint is a pretty winning combo in my books. If it had occurred to me in advance, I would have bought a nice mint chocolate bar to cut up for the added bits, but, as per usual, my best ideas happen just as I’m about to put something in the oven. These are really good anyway, and I could actually smell their minty-ness while baking…I did add some gold glitter sugar for sparkle, so there’s that. I’m having a cookie tonight with vanilla ice cream and am very much looking forward to it.

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

Everyday Dorie: Parsnip and Cranberry Cake

November 27, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, layer cakes, sweet things | 8 Comments
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parsnip and cranberry cake

This Parsnip and Cranberry Cake was the star of the show for our Thanksgiving-for-two dinner last night. And for leftovers night tonight. And I’m sure for leftovers-turned-into-something-else night tomorrow. It is very good. Originally, this cake is a big triple-layer nine-incher, but since we were solo for the holiday, I scaled the recipe back to a third of that to get two (rather tall) nice six-inch layers. I pretty much expected it to taste like carrot cake, until I realized the spicing is quite different. This one has ground coriander, grated fresh ginger and orange instead of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. It’s filled and frosted with cream cheese icing, but it has a sneaky layer of cranberry sauce inside, too. It also should have had chopped fresh cranberries mixed into the batter and sugared cranberries on top, but I was working with a partial bag of berries, and after making the sauce, I didn’t have any extras. Rather than the berries in batter, I used chopped candied orange zest (and left out the sugared fresh zest in the recipe) and put some bloops of sauce on top of the finished cake, along with some maple-parsnip chips. I don’t always go for the “nearly naked” style of decoration…like someone did the crumb coat and then said “to heck with it”…but here, I thought it was kind of charming with that little bit of cranberry sauce peaking out.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Pain de Gênes Buttons

November 17, 2020 at 11:57 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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pain de gênes buttons

Calling these Pain de Gênes Buttons “cookies” is a stretch. These buttons are really baby cakes, not that I mind at all. The star of the flavor show here is the good bit of almond paste that’s incorporated into the batter (the rum I sloshed in was runner-up). My husband loved these because they reminded him of the almondy treats of his childhood from the Italian-American bakeries in Long Island. I liked their flavor, too, and their texture, which was spongy and dense at the same time. These were another winning treat for the WFH coffee station.

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: Carrèment Chocolat, The Fancy Cake

November 10, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, layer cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments
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carrèment chocolat, the fancy cake

Wow– after six years, this is our final Tuesdays with Dorie recipe from Baking Chez Moi. I’m not crying, you’re crying. Okay, I’m definitely crying, but a slice of Carrèment Chocolat, The Fancy Cake will make me feel better.

This is a chocolate cake that is sleek and slim, but rich and luxurious. A single pan of chocolate cake is sliced into two thin layers, brushed with syrup (which for me was Kahlúa) sandwiched with chocolate pastry cream, glazed in ganache and topped with homemade salted chocolate shards. It’s no wonder that it’s the book’s cover girl, and it’s no wonder that we saved her for our grand finale. I actually made this over the summer for my husband’s birthday. It seemed like a nice treat for a quarantine celebration and a fun project for me. We savored every bite.

My copy of BCM has lived on my kitchen counter for the last six years. It’ll go on the bookshelf now, but I’m sure I’ll take it down often (and, if I’m being truthful, I do have a few things to rewind). We have made close to 150 recipes, and it would be really, really hard for me to pick a favorite..maybe the Caramel-Topped Rice Pudding Cake, maybe the Chocolate Crème Caramel. Clearly I fancy upside-down puddings sitting in a caramel puddle, but I’ve had such fun baking and sharing all kinds of treats with our small group on Tuesdays. Thank you, it’s a highlight of my week. Also, of course, merci to Dorie for teaching, inspiring and encouraging us, and to Laurie, who started TWD back in 2008 with BFMHTY.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out our last BCM TWD Blogroll! We bake on with Dorie’s Cookies, but for this one, c’est fini.

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Cheddar-Seed Wafers

November 3, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, snacks, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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cheddar-seed wafers

Cheddar Seed Wafers, full of cheese and poppy seeds, have a highbrow Cheez-It thing going on. They’re rolled really thin and they bake up delicate, salty, savory and a bit flaky. These are in the “cocktail cookies” section of the book, and they would certainly be an excellent sidekick for a glass of crisp white wine, but I actually had my extra-large wafer broken up into shards with a roasted veggie dish that was heavy on the tomatoes.

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!

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