Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Lavender-White Chocolate Sablés

February 18, 2020 at 9:12 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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lavender-white chocolate sablés

Back-to-back lavender and white chocolate treats this month! In these Lavender-White Chocolate Sablés, I again used the candied lavender I took from work. I was able to basically crumble it into a powder with my fingers to flavor the cookies. These are baked in a muffin tin…we’ve done this now with many of Dorie’s butter cookie recipes to make perfect circles with crispy rims. Rather than roll out the dough and cut out circles and then deal with scraps, I just portioned it with a little scoop into the greased muffin tin and pressed the balls flat into the cavities with a juice glass. Then I chilled the tin for a couple of hours. I will say, though, that I made a small batch of these (1/8th if I remember correctly) and only had to use the tin once, so this method was quick and easy for that.

These cookies are really crisp and buttery. The lavender is not the in-your-face flavor here that I was worried about…it’s pretty subtle. The white chocolate bits I think are star of these sablés…they get a little caramelized in the oven and sort of butterscotchy. The general consensus seems to be to check on the cookies a couple of minutes early, as they may not need the full 16-18 minutes of bake time.

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

Everyday Dorie: Chickpea-Tahini Salad

February 14, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, salads, savory things | 9 Comments
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chickpea-tahini salad

Happy Valentine’s Day– nothing says “I love you” like a salad! I’m really not kidding, especially if it’s a super-tasty one, like this Chickpea-Tahini Salad. Quick and easy to make (if you use canned chickpeas like I did) and really flavorful, this is my kind of lunch. Just take chickpeas, red onion, red pepper and herbs and mix them up in a lemony, garlicky tahini dressing with all the good spices. Grab a fork and enjoy.

I scaled back the recipe to use just one can of chickpeas. Even so, I had leftovers, and the next day I mixed in some canned tuna, celery and cherry tomatoes. Also yum, and my extra dressing was great drizzled all over a shawarma-ish chicken and Israeli salad pita sandwich thingie I made for dinner the other night.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

 

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Lavender-White Chocolate Pots de Crème

February 11, 2020 at 9:27 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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lavender-white chocolate pots de crème

Floral and delicate, yet rich and elegant, Lavender-White Chocolate Pots de Crème may be the answer to, “what the heck should I make for Valentine’s Day dessert?” We made another version of pots de crème not too long ago, and these little baked custards are equally luxurious.

The only lavender I usually have at home is in a potpourri sachet in my sock drawer. Thinking better of breaking it open for this recipe (eww– I would never!), I almost made the mint Bonne Ideé version. Then I remembered that the pastry chef at work candies lavender buds for a bar cocktail, so I asked her for a few spoonfuls to take home for both these and the upcoming sablés for DC. In the finished pots de crème, I found the lavender flavor to be subtle and the white chocolate added even more richness and smoothness to the creamy texture. To help disguise the fact that mine got a bit of a darker yellow layer on top, I decorated these with a bloop of whipped cream, some candied lavender bits and a few white chocolate pearls…btw, looking at the last PdC we baked makes me realize I’m a one trick pony when it comes to food styling!

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Pink Peppercorn Thumbprints

February 4, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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pink peppercorn thumbprints

These sweet and dainty little Pink Peppercorn Thumbprints are a perfect teatime treat. Pink peppercorns and white chocolate are two surprise twists in the dough, which comes together quickly in the food processor. The peppercorns didn’t break down as much in the food processor as they would have in a spice grinder, and I think the little unground bits and pieces were where I noticed their pop of flavor the most. You wouldn’t really know these cookies have white chocolate in the dough because that did get fully incorporated, but it gives them a richness that they wouldn’t have otherwise. Dorie uses strawberry jam in her recipe to fill the thumbprints, but I had some plum in the fridge and used that instead. I think most any jam would do nicely here. In keeping with the pretty in pink theme, I dusted them with pink powdered sugar (sugar sieved along with a crushed freeze dried raspberry).

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

Everyday Dorie: Pasta with Cabbage, Winter Squash and Walnuts

January 24, 2020 at 9:49 am | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, pasta, savory things, veggies | 5 Comments
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pasta with cabbage, winter squash and walnuts

The first bowl of pasta we made this month from Everyday Dorie was a bright, fresh, herbaceous thing. Our second– this Pasta with Cabbage, Winter Squash and Walnuts– is the cozy kind that begs for a glass of red wine by the fire. It’s vegetarian (although I couldn’t help but think some crispy bacon sprinkles would be a pretty good addition), and not heavy, but the flavors and ingredients definitely have the cold weather vibe. I used delicata squash and swapped out the green cabbage for a small bunch of lacinato kale.

Like the first pasta, this one is glazed rather than sauced. Here, the glaze is a sweet and sour agrodolce that’s simply made with honey and cider vinegar in the pan the veggies are cooked in. Dried cranberries give the dish another sweet-tart dimension and toasted walnuts at the finish give it some crunch. I liked this very much, and appreciate that the strong veggie to pasta ratio…just enough spaghetti to twirl around your fork, but the focus is really on the squash and cabbage.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here), and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

 

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Meringue Snowballs

January 21, 2020 at 1:00 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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meringue snowballs

Meringues aren’t something I make on the regular and they don’t really call to me in a bakery display either. It’s not that I don’t like them— I do. Their sweet crispness basically evaporates on the tongue, and that lightness is what I like about them but it’s also what keeps them from being a truly satisfying sweet. These Meringue Snowballs look so cute in the book, though, that I was game to give them a go. Dorie lists several fun ways to color and flavor them beyond the basic white sugar puff….I saw the words “mint chip” and there was pretty much no other option for me (although I kept them au naturel in color).

I whipped up a third of the recipe with a hand mixer, scooped them with a cookie scoop and gave them a few swirlies with an offset. After the necessary baking time, I let them hang out in a turned off oven for several hours while I did the day’s errands. When I finally bit into one, it did have that crisp, shattery exterior, but the center was a delicious pocket of chocolate chipped chewiness. I really enjoyed these, I must say, and a scoop of chocolate ice cream turned them into a “proper” dessert quite easily.

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 BCM: Chunky Chocolate Fruit-and-Nut Bars

January 14, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Posted in BCM, candy, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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chunky chocolate fruit-and-nut bars

Dorie describes these Chunky Chocolate Fruit-and-Nut bars as both nougat’s crunchy cousin (a very timely comparison, since we made her Honey-Nut Nougat just last month) and as a homemade version of a Chunky candy bar. The raisin-hating child version of me would not have touched a Chunky with a ten foot pole, but the adult version of me has more evolved tastes and would now gladly consume this mass-produced packaged product. Haha.

This is an easy recipe– it really is. You just need some toasted nuts, some chopped dried fruit and some melted chocolate to make it. It’s totally customizable to your tastes and to the contents of your cabinet. It’s not even really a recipe, it’s just stuff mixed together. And yet, I managed to screw a few things up and fumble my way through it. Ironic, since my day job is actually making chocolate candy.

For my nuts I used cashews, which I burned when I toasted them, so I toasted more. For my dried fruit, I used a pre-mixed blend of golden raisins, cranberries, cherries and blueberries that I buy at TJs. I also put in some crystalized ginger and some candied orange peel. For my chocolate, I used a bittersweet 72%. I decided I didn’t need to eat a full 8×8 pan of this, so I scaled everything back by a third to fit in a small loaf pan I have. Or I tried to, at least…I must have divided the chocolate incorrectly in my head, because I only had enough to coat my add-ins, not to stick them together. I just eyeballed a little more to seal my fruit and nut glob together and pressed it into the pan. Even if it looks a little rough and I needed a nap afterwards, it was all good and tasty in the end (I secretly ate up all the little bits with a spoon and they were fab!), and that’s the moral of today’s story.

Dorie recommends lining your pan with cocoa-dusted parchment paper and then dusting more cocoa on top of the finished chocolate mix and laying another piece of parchment on top as you press it in to the pan. I did line my pan with parchment, and I lined it so it acted as a sling, but I skipped all the cocoa powder and also the top parchment sheet. I’m guessing the cocoa is to help the mass release from the pan, but when chocolate gets cold it contracts, and since this is stored in the fridge, I didn’t see the need for it.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here, along with a great video). Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Everyday Dorie: Pasta with Shrimp, Squash, Lemon and Lots of Herbs

January 10, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Posted in everyday dorie, groups, pasta, savory things | 7 Comments
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pasta with shrimp, squash, lemon and lots of herbs

Some nights after work I come home and do a throw-together pasta situation for dinner. Not a long-simmered Sunday sauce, but quickly cooked odds and ends from the fridge that will all taste good together mixed up with with some noodles. This Pasta with Shrimp, Squash, Lemon and Lots of Herbs is along those lines. I had to go out and get a zucchini to make it, but I had all the other stuff on hand…some shrimp in the freezer, lemon, herbs and butter in the fridge and cherry tomatoes on the counter. I actually had some homemade pappardelle in the freezer that I was looking to use up, but if I hadn’t, I would have just grabbed a box of dried pasta from the cupboard.

I’m always scheming to save steps and (especially) save cleaning a dish or two. Rather than cooking off the shrimp and zucchini separately as the recipe calls for, I started with the squash and then added the shrimp in with it near the end of cooking, just before finishing the “sauce” (really more of a buttery glaze) with the rest of the ingredients and marrying it with the cooked pasta. This was delicious–fresh and not heavy. It will be great in the summer when the squash, tomatoes and herbs are at their peak but it was a nice, bright winter surprise, too.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

 

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Puffed Grain and Miso Cookies

January 7, 2020 at 8:26 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, snacks, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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puffed grain and miso cookies

I buy rice cakes on the regular and usually use them as a vehicle for hummus, nut butter or smashed avo, but it had never really occurred to me that I could make my own version, with add-ins so tasty I could enjoy them just on their own. To be fair, these are Puffed Grain and Miso Cookies, not merely rice cakes, and they have a lot going on, even though they come together in a snap once you have all the ingredients. I was sort of hemming and hawing about having to buy both a bag of puffed rice and a bag of puffed barley, as the recipe calls for…then I spotted a box of Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs, decided seven grains would be even better than two, and went with that instead. I stirred in sesame seeds, cashews (instead of peanuts) and a mix of dries berries and raisins, along with the miso, brown rice syrup and sesame and olive oils. They bake in muffin cups into light, crispy-chewy, sweet-salty little rounds. No bland or stale rice cakes here!

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: Cocoa-Almond Uglies

December 31, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 1 Comment
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cocoa-almond uglies

Cocoa-Almond Uglies– such an unfortunate name for something so tasty! I’d say don’t judge a book by it’s cover but I really don’t think these chocolate-almond meringue blobs are that bad looking. Knobbly with chopped nuts and chocolate, they do kind of do what they want to in the oven. But they’re unique, not ugly, and they’re very, very good. They also happen to be gluten- and dairy-free. The cookies stay chewy inside but have a crispy crust and they have great chocolate flavor. They’re like the cookie version of a Ferrero Rocher. Need I say more? I’ll have one with a glass of bubbles tonight. Happy New Year!!

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here). Don’t forget to check out the rest of this week’s rewind on the TWD Blogroll!

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