Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Crunchy Granola

January 23, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, cereals, groups, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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crunchy granola

Granola and yogurt with half a banana is my go-to weekday breakfast. I used to make a big batch of my own cereal every couple of weeks, but then I got lazy and started buying it again. New York City, and Brooklyn in particular, is big in the small-batch granola scene (Surprised? I bet not.), and I have dutifully tried every little cutely packaged and expensive hipster brand I can find at local gourmet shops. Some are great, and some not so much, but homemade is even more delicious– and definitely cheaper– than the best brand I know of.

This Crunchy Granola reminds me of how fresh and easy to make homemade granola is. One of the best parts of going DIY is that you can customize your mix and put in all the bits and pieces you like the most (no thanks, goji berries). I like almonds and pecans, dried cherries, seeds and coconut in big chips. I like extra salt and a little less sweet stuff. I like it well-toasted and a combo of clumps and loose bits. One little trick that I usually do with my homemade granola is to toss the coconut on the tray (I use a metal sheet tray) at the very end, turn the oven off and let the tray cool down along with the oven…extra crunchiness without burned coconut. Oh, and never add the dried fruit until the granola’s out of the oven and cooled. I’ve screwed that one up before and it doesn’t taste good. This batch was just perfect though and I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s brekkie.

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: Cabin-Fever Caramel Banana Bars

January 16, 2018 at 10:49 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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cabin-fever caramel banana bars

It’s cold here in New York…I just want to flop on the couch and watch Victoria with a big cookie and a warm drink. Cabin-Fever Caramel Banana Bars make fine TV snacks, although I have to say that this is a cake recipe, not a cookie recipe. But I won’t quibble over semantics– these are yummy, whatever they’re called! The base is a moist brown sugar banana cake that I think would be just as great plain as it is topped with melted chocolate and nuts. The only tweak I’ll make to this next time is that I’ll leave the chopped peanuts out of the cake itself and just keep them on top. Or maybe I’ll do away with the nuts entirely, swipe Mardi’s idea and sprinkle the bars with 100s and 1000s instead.

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: Real Hot Chocolate

January 9, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, drinks, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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real hot chocolate

The East Coast is definitely going through some Real Hot Chocolate weather right now. The bomb cyclone and the polar vortex can only be counteracted with the giant mug. Sometimes hot chocolate can seem like ganache or straight-up melted chocolate. This one is definitely a drink, not an ice cream topping or a churro dip. If you have some milk and some chocolate on hand, you’re in business (ok, sugar, water and salt, too). After heating these ingredients, the hot chocolate gets zapped in the blender, which makes it nice and frothy. I never have marshmallows at home but I do usually have a can of whipped cream (a top-secret weakness), and a squirt of that is pretty darn good on top. Also good with hot chocolate– little donuts. Pro tip.

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: Chunkers

January 2, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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chunkers

Chunkers are basically chocolate held together with more chocolate– awesome! Start with a brownie-like chocolate base, stir in a ton of chopped milk and dark chocolate, as well as dried cherries and cashews, and you get chunky, chewy, gooey globs. I made mine on the small side, but you can go big with them as well. You could mix up the fruit and nuts, too. I can see these taking well to lots of combos. They’re a delicious way to kick off a new year of cookie baking.

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: Chocolate Saucisson

December 19, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in candy, cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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chocolate saucisson

Sometimes I want to make something just because it amuses me. That was the case with this Chocolate Saucisson (or salami). I just love this…especially the powered sugar “mold” on the outside. It’s a confection that’s made all over Europe, but I think the chocolate salami is actually having a moment here in New York. This holiday season I’ve seen them for sale at several of the small “fancy food” shops around Brooklyn and Manhattan. TWD– so on trend!

This seems more like a candy than a cookie to me, although it does have cookies in it. It’s no-bake, with the crushed cookies and dried fruit and nuts bound into a log by a truffle-like chocolate mixture (containing raw eggs, btw). I used Thé Brun cookies that I had leftover from the Moka Dupont I made a couple months ago, apricots and pistachios, but I think you could certainly mix up the add-ins. A little slice of the saucisson is all you need, because it’s really rich. That said, I keep going into the fridge to cut off slivers, so I’m glad I only made a small one!

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Classic Linzer Cookies

December 12, 2017 at 10:43 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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classic linzer cookies

I’d pretty much slack off on making Christmas cookies if it weren’t for TWD. I’m glad for the nudge, though, because it’s fun, and when they’re roll-out cookies like these Classic Linzers, a good excuse to bust out my special cutters. The main recipe for these Linzer cookies is actually a cocoa and spice one. I’ll try that sometime, but here I decided to skip the cocoa powder and most of the spicing and go with Dorie’s classic Bonne Idée alternative instead. This recipe is an almond-based one, although hazelnuts are also traditional for Linzer cookies and I bet can be successfully subbed. The dough is made in the food processor…I love this…so easy.

I dipped into my fridge jam collection to fill these…some with lingonberry, some with cherry and others with huckleberry. Linzers can be sandwiched with many things, including ganache if you fancy chocolate inside, but a snowstorm of powdered sugar on top is always a must.

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: Princeton Gingersnaps

December 5, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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princeton gingersnaps

I like gingersnap cookies much better than gingerbread cookies. And these Princeton Gingersnaps are a very fine example of a good gingersnap. They have ginger three ways: fresh, crystallized and ground. Because Dorie doesn’t mess around. This dough is a snap (haha) to make as well. It’s all done with a few zaps of the food processor. Roll the dough (after chilling) into balls, dip in sugar and bake. They flatten out and get nice and crackly in the oven. I baked them so they had crispy edges but kept a little chew in the middle. Perfection!

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: Brown Sugar Tart

November 28, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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brown sugar tart

Thanksgiving was a bit of a whirlwind, in between getting ready for a very busy dinner service at my restaurant job and pulling off my own dinner at home. I knew I had to find a place on my menu for this week’s TWD recipe if I wanted to get that done, too. Luckily, a Brown Sugar Tart sounded like a pretty appropriate Thanksgiving dessert. My father, who finds pumpkin pie to be the only acceptable sweet on turkey day, would disagree, but he wasn’t visiting this year. Time to break with tradition!

I did pay attention to the reviews from the folks who made this tart on the first posting of the month. “Too sweet” was pretty much unanimous, so I tried to find little ways to adjust that a bit. The tart filling is just simple custard of heavy cream, eggs, sea salt and light brown sugar, with some optional espresso powder and bits of smokey bacon. I used a combo of light and dark brown sugar for extra flavor and added a little more salt and espresso powder than the recipe called for, until I thought it tasted just right. The bacon was skipped altogether. I thought this would probably be best served in small portions, and made little individual tartlets instead of a larger one.

Once upon a time, we made an espresso-caramel syrup called couleur for a Baking with Julia cake. This is something that I like to keep a bottle or jar of on hand now because it’s really bitter-sweet intense and tasty, and it lasts forever. I thought it might be just the thing to temper the sweetness of the tart filling a bit, especially since Dorie recommends adding instant espresso to the filling anyway (and also serving the finished tart with coffee ice cream). I used that couleur syrup to glaze my finished tartlets and served them with some unsweetened cream and maple toasted pecans and sunflower seeds. I have to say, and I know that I have a huge sweet tooth, I really liked this recipe. I followed some good advice from Diane and served it well-chilled. I even broke out the fancy silver!

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: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Dulce de Leche Filling

November 21, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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pumpkin whoopee pies with dulce de leche filling

It’s Thanksgiving week here, so I guess it’s about time I make some pumpkin treats. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Dulce de Leche Filling sound like a good place to start. Whoopee pies are actually little cakes sandwiched with frosting…that explains why I like them so dang much. These pumpkin cakelettes are very moist, appropriately spiced and studded with cranberries. The recipe calls for fresh cranberries, but I’d already used up my bag making sauce for Thursday’s dinner. I plumped up some dried ones instead, and they worked just fine. Dorie says you can bake the whoops off in a muffin tin for uniform shape, but I chose to go freeform because I didn’t want them looking too much like muffins. I used a cookie scoop to get clean, round potions, and they baked up evenly enough for me to match them up well. The filling for these whoopie pies is supposed to be marshmallow fluff mixed with dulce de leche. Cream cheese frosting is also a natural match. I had this little bit of buttercream in the freezer, and since I’m on a tear to use up the odds and ends in my fridge, I mixed that with DDL and went with it. Delicious.

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: Desert Roses

November 14, 2017 at 12:04 am | Posted in BCM, candy, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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desert roses

“Desert Roses” is an exotic sounding name for the easiest candy you will ever make, using the most plain and simple thing you can think of– cornflakes cereal. That’s right, I present you with cornflakes, bound together into tasty, crunchy little globs with butter and chocolate. Stirring in some shredded coconut, dried fruit and almonds makes them a bit more interesting, and is encouraged.

If these look familiar, it’s because they’re sister sweets to the Chocolate-Cornflake Haystacks we made from Dorie’s Cookies back in May. The Haystacks had similar add-ins (coconut, dried fruit and nuts), but they also had egg and were baked, making them a little chewy. These Roses never see the oven (non-bakers, take note!), though, and are all crunch once they harden up. Now that I’ve sampled both, I prefer the Desert Roses. In fact, I can’t think of a better use for a box of cornflakes.

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

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