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: 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.

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: Thanksgiving Bars

October 20, 2020 at 8:37 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 1 Comment
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thanksgiving bars

I’m often pretty meh on fruit and chocolates combinations, so I thought about passing on these Thanksgiving Bars, which have a cranberry-raspberry filling inside a walnut and cocoa double-crust. Also, I thought they sounded kind of weird and I don’t normally associate raspberries with Thanksgiving. My TWD friends who made them for the last posting all gave them excellent reviews though, so I didn’t want to skip a good thing…FOMO baking, I guess.

As it turns out, I do like these! That’s probably predictable, though, right? Haha. I reduced the sugar in the cranberry jam by about a third because I prefer it not to be too sweet, although I didn’t skimp on the sparkly sugar coating on the top crust. I like the way that top layer of dough conforms while baking around the whole raspberries in the filling, giving it pretty bumps. These are good with a scoop of ice cream or 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!

Everyday Dorie: Salted-Chocolate Hot Fudge Sundaes

September 25, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Posted in everyday dorie, groups, ice creams & frozen, sweet things | 10 Comments
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salted-chocolate hot fudge sundaes

Since I can’t saddle up to the sundae bar at Morgenstern’s right now, I’m bringing the sundae bar home with these Salted-Chocolate Hot Fudge Sundaes. Sure, you can make a sundae with just a scoop or two of ice cream and a glug of sauce on top, and I often do simply that, but why not put a little more care into it on a Friday night? This sundae has a scoop each of coffee and vanilla ice creams, toasted slivered almonds, chocolate bits sprinkled with smoked sea salt and a generous amount of homemade hot fudge sauce. A whipped cream squiggle and a cherry on top finish it off. Where’s my spoon?

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Caramelized Cinnamon-Milk Chocolate Tart

September 8, 2020 at 12:04 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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caramelized cinnamon-milk chocolate tart

This Caramelized Cinnamon-Milk Chocolate Tart was a yummy treat. The ganache filling (made with milk chocolate and cinnamon-infused caramel…I used ground cinny instead of a stick) reminded me of a candy bar, so that made we want to top it with salty peanuts. I’ll make this one again when I have some extra sweet tart dough around. 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: Classic Brownies

September 1, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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classic brownies

It’s back-to-school time (or something like that?) and we’re studying the classics…Classic Brownies, that is. No crazy mixing method, no ganache topping, no swirl of tahini, these are straight-up brownies with a nice crust and loads of walnuts, which you can leave out, if you must.

Brownies are perfect for sharing. I packed these up in a takeout container and brought them to an outdoor, socially-distant meet-up with my gym trainer friends in Prospect Park. It was nice to be outside (even though I fear the sun), drinking wine and eating brownies with people I’ve missed.

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: Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies

June 16, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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peanut butter and fudge brownies

I can’t really say much about these Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies because my mouth is too full- they are crazy good! Peanut-studded dark chocolate brownies with a layer of PB frosting and a chocolate glaze on top…I mean, come on. I made a 1/3 batch in a loaf pan just to save my figure. I took a cheat on the glaze topping and used some (different) chocolate-caramel glaze I had leftover from a Bundt cake I’d made for a friend a couple of weeks ago. It’s softer than the one in Dorie’s recipe, which sounds like it sets up like a firm sheet on top, and you can see that in my picture. I added some rainbow sprinkles because Pride Month!

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan (a similar version is also here). 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: Carrément Chocolat, The Simple Loaf

February 25, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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carrément chocolat, the simple loaf

This Carrément Chocolat cake has a fancy French name but it’s just a “simple loaf.” Actually, it’s an outstanding chocolate-chocolate chip loaf. Why did we wait so long to bake this? Why did I only make a little half-recipe cake? Life’s regrets…

The cake batter is basically whizzed up in stages in the food processor, so that is simple. There’s a bit of prep to take care of first though, and that’s to make a batch of salted chocolate to chop up for chips that get mixed into the batter. This is just as it sounds: melted dark chocolate with sea salt mixed in (you can take a shortcut and buy a couple of nice sea salted dark chocolate bars at the store instead). Dorie says to spread the chocolate out and freeze it hard before chopping. Frozen chocolate is a shardy mess to chop up, so I’d recommend setting it up in the fridge instead. I actually tempered my chocolate, which I’m used to doing at work, and let it harden at room temperature so it cut fairly easily into neat chips.

As I said, I regrettably made only a half-recipe of this cake, but it sounds as though the full batch may be a bit too much for the 8.5×4.5-inch loaf pan called for. Either using a 9×5-inch pan instead or scaling back to 3/4-recipe for an 8.5×4.5-inch tin is something to consider.

I tried to layer the cake batter and salted chocolate chips in my loaf pan to keep the chips from sinking, but they headed right to the bottom anyway. (I would recommend lining your loaf pan with parchment for this reason.) Oh well, that made for a nice little black bottom-style surprise treat. The baked loaf gets brushed with a sugar syrup to help keep it moist. I added espresso powder to my syrup to give it some flavor, but I almost went with rum. I will save that idea for next time.

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 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!

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