I don’t usually think of a thin, lacy tuile as a stand-alone cookie, but more as a crispy sidekick to ice cream or custard. David Blom’s Tuiles are the standard little sweet nibble I’m thinking of. The batter comes together with a quick stir, and it spreads out thin and bubbly in the oven. (Mine did take several more minutes than the recipe stated to bake.) I didn’t bother to curve the warm tuiles over a rolling pin (I did that when I made Dorie’s Translucent Maple Tuiles). And I didn’t bother to decorate them with chocolate squiggles either, but it would be a nice touch. These are good– buttery crisp and lightly orange-flavored.
Tags: baking, chocolate, cookies
These Cocoa Crunch Meringue Sandwiches the group made last month are light and crisp, but rich with chocolate. The cocoa meringue cookies are made in much the same way as French macarons (they even contain nuts), but instead of being left with a little chew in the center, they are baked long and low and all the way, till they are like crunchy chocolate air. Ganache, possibly my favorite form of chocolate, finishes these cookies off. Dorie says to eat the sandwiches chilled, and they’re great that way.
Tags: baking, cookies
Seems it’s been over a year since we’ve made a cookie from BWJ, but now here comes Nick Malgieri’s Cornmeal-Currant Biscotti. These are his take on a classic Venetian cookie called zaletti. They’re rustic, not too sweet, a little lemony and are a nice nibble with coffee, tea or dessert wine. Making the dough was easy to do by hand, but I had to watch the video of the TV episode before I formed and cut them into their traditional diamond shapes. I tried to form them about the same thickness as Malgieri did, but maybe I should have gone a little thinner…I expected them to be crisp and sandy like shortbread, but instead they had a texture reminiscent of a scone, with a bit of grit from the cornmeal. That’s not a bad thing by any means (and three days on, they still seem to keep well), but it left me a bit curious about these cookies. After doing a little more research on zaletti, I saw that the dough is often rolled out thinner before being cut into the diamonds, or else it is simply done in slice-and-bake form. I normally think of something called biscotti as twice-baked, but zaletti just hit the oven once (the recipe does give a twice-baked alternative for those wishing to bake them that way). Forming them thinner would have made them more crisp with their single bake, I’m sure. They have great flavor, though, and we’re still very much enjoying them.
Tags: baking, cookies
I may not be going back to school this week, but in solidarity with the children, I am happy to indulge in some after-school-style snacks. Oh, wait– I don’t have children. More Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies for me, I guess!
These little shortbread cookies are so simple, yet so tasty. I was initially expecting them two be to separate cookies glued together with jam, but instead, two cookies are sealed together to form one, with jam hiding in (and, ehem, sometimes peeking out from) the center. Almost like baby handpies. I made two flavors, sour cherry and concord grape. Despite the fact that my kitchen has basically no climate control, I didn’t really have any trouble with these in the heat. The dough came together in like five seconds and rolled out no problem between two sheets of parchment. I chilled it before cutting and afterwards I chilled the rounds before assembly. As I applied the jam blobs to the bottoms, the dough rounds softened just enough to not crack too much when I sealed on the tops. It all worked out deliciously well.
Tags: baking, cookies
Anyone remember the Snickery Squares from BFMHTY? I think Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars are BCM‘s answer to those. Junky, but in the best possible way, these homemade candy bars have a brown sugar cookie base and a smear of dark chocolate. The star of the show, though, is the layer of caramelized Rice Krispies on top. You may be tempted to skip caramelizing the Krispies and just toss on a handful as-is outta the box, but it is a step that is worth it. (A couple of people used caramel corn instead of Krispies, and that sounds pretty darn good, too.) Also, you’ll wind up with extra caramel Krispies– score! I shamefully admit that I considered eating those extra sugary puffs with milk for breakfast, but decided to save them for ice cream sundaes instead…far less shameful, right?
I heard that the brown sugar cookie base was very crisp and a bit of a mess to cut when baked at the recipe’s stated time and temp (375°F for 22 minutes), so I baked my base at 350°F for about 15 minutes instead. It was easy to cut into bars and ate like a soft, chewy shortbread. I did only make a half recipe in a loaf tin, but if I did a full size batch, I’d still definitely peek in the oven after 15 minutes and see what’s going on.
These bars sounded like they had the potential to be very sweet, so I used a 72% bittersweet chocolate with a tiny pinch of salt sprinkled in to keep it under control. They are rich enough that I could say a little goes a long way, but really, they are moreish enough that I could have eaten the whole loaf pan in one go!
Tags: baking, cookies
Granola and yogurt is my standard weekday morning brekkie. It’s fast, it’s easy and I like it. Sometimes I add a banana to jazz it up but, all in all, I keep it all pretty plain, so it’s fairly healthy. A lot of store-bought granola is anything but, with loads of sugar and add-ins. Store-bought granola bars are usually the same way…more like candy bars than healthy snacks. I eat enough sugar for dessert, so I try to avoid those “extra” sweets during the day. If you wanna control what goes in it, I guess you gotta make it yourself!
These Granola Energy Bars are loaded with nuts, seeds, dried fruit (I used raisins, cherries and apricots) and oats, of course, bound together with brown rice syrup. I think the brown rice syrup helps keep the bars chewy, too, but corn syrup or golden syrup would be likely substitutes if you can’t find it easily. These were a cinch to make, and I feel good about what went into them. And they’re filling, too, if you just need a little something to hold you over.
I bought the brown rice syrup at the health food store just for this recipe, so I’m not sure what I’ll do with the rest of the jar…apart from making more granola bars. Perhaps I’ll tweak the recipe to make my own homemade, fresh version of the candy bar kind with mini chocolate chips and peanuts, for dessert, of course.
Tags: baking, chocolate, cookies, dessert, holiday
Every Christmas, I have visions and hopes of a cookie baking extravaganza. And every Christmas, other things (work, visitors, forgetting to buy sugar, general laziness) seem to get in the way…not only is there no baking extravaganza going on in my kitchen, there is not a single cookie to be found. I try my best not to poop out on TWD each week, and lucky for me these Chocolate-Mint Nightcaps from Marcel Desaulniers are, ya know, seasonally flavored. I think I’ve finally make a Christmas cookie– yay!
These are little cocoa sandwich cookies, filled and (night)capped off with a squiggle of dark chocolate and mint ganache (the recipe calls for steeping fresh mint, but a drop or two of peppermint extract is what I used in its place). Before I had even read the recipe, I made the assumption that the cookies would have a fauxreo thing going on…I was a little surprised that I wound up with a cakey batter when I mixed the dough. I made these late in the day and sandwiched a few as soon as they’d cooled. They were so soft and crumbly…even though it was clear that they weren’t going to be crispy wafers, I was not expecting them to fall apart like they did. Kind of of discouraging, but I decided to let the rest of my batch of cookies hang out unfilled overnight. Actually, I decided to let them sleep in the freezer, thinking that would really help them set (whether or not that was necessary, I don’t know). When I put them together with the ganache the next day, they’d firmed up and were like fudgy, minty brownie cookies. Seriously good….I only made a quarter-batch, or I’d definitely leave a couple out for Santa.
Tags: baking, cookies, dessert
The Rugelach That Won Over France is a spiral of cinnamon sugar, coconut, pecans, chocolate and dried cherries. I’ve made other Dorie rugelach once, no twice, before…in fact, hers is the only rugelach I’ve ever made. She uses essentially the same cream cheese pastry dough in each, and it’s great. It’s easy to make in the food processor, pretty easy to roll out and bakes up nice and flaky. But, while this version may have won over France, it wasn’t my favorite flavor combination. I thought it was a little dry compared to the other two, and I realize the difference is likely because they had some sort of jam in the filling and this one didn’t. I’d certainly give this a shot again, but would swap out the chocolate for some fruit jam.
I followed the recipe here, but instead of freezing my rolled up rugelach logs before slicing, I just chilled them in the fridge for a couple of hours. Then I cut them an inch thick, rather than 1/2-inch thick, for chunkier cookies.
Tags: baking, cookies
My husband is half-Sicilian, and he and his family live for Italian-American bakery sweets in a way that I can’t quite understand. I knew he’d be all over Nick Malgieri’s Amaretti cookies because he never passes them up in the case at Court Pastry Shop here in Brooklyn. They’re easy enough to make at home, though…you just need some canned almond paste, and couple of egg whites and some sugar.
R, my husband, also requires pine nuts on his amaretti. Am I right that that makes them pignoli cookies? He has expensive tastes– pine nuts are like $46 a pound here! Luckily I can buy just a small scoop at Sahadi’s. I tried to be cheap with them without looking like I was being too cheap with them. I don’t love amaretti the way that R does, but these are good and just like at the bakery…crispy outside, chewy inside, sweet and full of almond paste flavor.
Tags: baking, cookies, dessert
In case you didn’t think Dorie Greenspan’s sweets were well-represented here (I’ve only made about 300 of them), I’m thrilled to tell you that Tuesdays with Dorie, the BCM edition kicks off today! Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere is Dorie’s latest gem. It’s a huge book filled with recipes– some are French classics, some are French twists and some are not-so-French, but her Parisian friends love them. We’ll be baking from BCM on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, and Laurie, Jules and I hope we’ll see a lot of new bakers join in the fun! The recipes are awesome, the rules are relaxed and there will be group nominations each month to decide what we’ll make– fun!. (Don’t worry– we’re not abandoning Baking with Julia. In fact, we’d love to have more folks jump in as we move through the second half of that book.)
Now, onto Palets de Dames, our first recipe! Palet means “puck” in French. While they may be shaped like little disks, there’s nothing hockeypuck-ish about these little cake-cookies. They’re soft and flavored with vanilla and are a perfect tea or coffee break treat. The cookie dough is actually like making a simple cake batter and the icing is just whisked together. Not too hard, although somehow I did manage to make a little screw up. I think I was actually supposed to dip their bottoms in glaze and serve them upside-down. I did the opposite. Oh well…ce n’est pas grave, as they say. They’re still dainty and cute, and I thought they deserved a little sparkly bling on top of the sweet glaze to celebrate our first BCM post.
That’s so random
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