Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Christmas-Spiced Greek Honey Dainties

December 4, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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christmas-spiced greek honey dainties

Greek Honey Dainties are more often known as melomakarona, and I see them all the time in bakeries in NYC. It’s about time I made some of this deliciousness at home. I sadly never seem to get around to making many Christmas cookies, so I took this as an opportunity to get festive and made the Christmas-Spiced Honey Dainties version. The batter is easy to put together and flavored with so many good things, like orange juice and zest and the usual holiday spice suspects. It is a soft dough though, so I chose to refrigerate it for about half an hour before I scooped and shaped the cookies into their traditional ovals.

After baking and cooling, the cookies are drenched a few times over in a honey syrup similar to the one baklava is soaked in and sprinkled with walnuts (which I toasted while the cookies baked). The honey syrup, btw, is amazing! I veered slightly off the recipe, which called for orange peel, cinnamon stick and whole cloves, and used some mulling spice mix that I have in a little tin (it also has allspice berries and star anise pods in it) and finished it off with a splish of Grand Marnier while it cooled. You bet I saved every leftover drop….I think it will be awesome in tea or hot toddys. The cookies, too, are awesome. They must be handled carefully, but they do keep their texture, even with all that syrupy goodness poured over them. So perfect with coffee, and I’ll soon test them with vin santo…if there is probably a Greek sweet wine I should know about pairing with them, please let me know.

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 | 7 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: Valentine’s Day Share-a-Heart

February 7, 2017 at 12:33 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 11 Comments
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valentine's day share-a-heart

I know people have different views on Valentine’s Day. Here’s mine– it’s a good excuse to eat a giant chocolate cookie, whether you’re sharing it or not. Dorie’s Valentine’s Day Share-a-Heart cookie dough can be rolled and cut into any size heart your little corazón desires. This is a nice chocolatey dough that’s quickly made in the food processor. It shouldn’t be reserved just for February 14th, though. You can bake up crisp chocolate cats or rocket ships if you’d like. And then go nuts with the decoration. I felt like I should keep it G-rated for the blog, so I just put on a little melted white chocolate and a whole lot of pink sanding sugar. Besos!

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. It was also Dorie’s #cookiesandkindness selection for the month of February, so you can find the share-a-heart recipe on her site, too. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll. 

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Pfefferneusse

December 20, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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pfefferneusse

I feel like every Christmas someone mentions Pfefferneusse to me as a favorite holiday cookie…that name is so distinctive that I’ve never forgotten it, but I had yet to make or even try them myself until last week.  One thing I know now is that pfefferneusse make really great coffee cookies. They’re dry and firm (but mine were not hard or crunchy)– good keepers– and a natural nibble alongside a cup of hot coffee or tea. They have a lot of spices (even dry mustard–what?!) and some orange zest, but all come together in a nice, mellow way. I liked these little round cookies both covered in powdered sugar and dipped in chocolate glaze.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. It’s also Dorie’s #cookiesandkindness selection for the month, so you can find the pfefferneusse recipe on her site, too. 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: Chocolate Truffles

December 13, 2016 at 8:12 pm | Posted in BCM, candy, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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chocolate truffles

My mom used to make her own Chocolate Truffles every year and bring them with us to Christmas dinner at Grandma’s house. They were delicious…soft, creamy and rich…and boozy with Cognac, too. Not so child-friendly, but it was a once-a-year treat, so we’ll cut her some slack. Also, it was the ’80s, so no one cared. Why my mother has stopped making these, I am not sure, but I wanted to recreate them myself with this recipe.  I added in a glug of Cognac to the ganache and rolled the truffles in cocoa powder, just like she did.

At the restaurant where I work, I’m the chocolatier (it always embarrasses me to say that, btw). I make primarily molded chocolates and piped decorations but I’ve learned to work with chocolatey stuff pretty quickly. I even manage to keep my jacket and apron mostly clean these days (the bowl that I work from is often another story). If you have “hot hands” you may find the truffle rolling process frustrating and super messy.  Using a little cookie scoop can help to preshape them before rolling them in your hands. Food-safe gloves help with the mess, too.

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: Christmas Spice Cookies

December 6, 2016 at 8:00 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 15 Comments
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Christmas spice cookies

When I want a cookie, I usually go for something chunky with a lot of stuff in it. It’s not that often that I’m like, “I’ll take a plain sugar cookie.” But then I have a really good one, like these Christmas Spice Cookies, and I’m reminded of just how much I like them.  These cookies begin with a delicious, basic sugar cookie dough (Dorie calls it “Do-Almost-Anything”) that’s then amped up with the usual warm holiday spices. You get a crisp, flavorful, subtly spiced cookie with the perfect sandy texture. I’m not much of a cookie decorator, as you can see…frankly, a child could have done better than the hack job I did here. I need more time and maybe a baking buddy to help me get into that, but even with just a sprinkle of sanding sugar, these were festive and tasty.

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: Pear-Cranberry Roll-Up Tart

November 24, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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pear-cranberry roll-up tart

I’ve had my Thanksgiving dessert plotted out for weeks now (predictably, it will be a pumpkin pie), but if I didn’t, I think that this Pear-Cranberry Roll-Up Tart would be making another appearance on Thursday.  Yes, a “roll-up tart”…intriguing, right?  I’ve never made a roll-up tart before.  I imagined forming it would be like making a strudel with pie dough, but actually it was more like rolling up a burrito.

The filling here is made from seasonally appropriate pears– I used Bosc– and cranberries.  I think baked pear desserts are pretty awesome, and the orange and ginger flavorings in this filling really compliment the pears (and the cranberries, too).

The fruit is rolled inside the very same galette dough we used for our Apple Pielettes last month.  I’m big on this dough.  It couldn’t be easier to  handle and it bakes up really flaky (the sanding sugar on top here is a nice sparkly, crispy touch).  Also, it slices cleanly, so you get a good presentation instead of a crumbly mess.  I’ll certainly be trying it out on a regular pie at some point.

pear-cranberry roll-up tart

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Parmesan Puffs

November 17, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Posted in BWJ, groups, other savory, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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parmesan puffs

It doesn’t matter if I’ve made it myself or if I’ve bought it at the store, I try to never waste a scrap of puff pastry.  So much potential in those little buttery off-cuts…pigs in a blanket, palmiers, Michel Richard’s Parmesan Puffs…I could go on, but let’s focus on the Parm Puffs.  Take your leftover bits of puff, cut them into willy-nilly shapes and fry them up in a bit of oil till they’re puffed and golden.  Then sprinkle them with salt and shower them in good grated parmesan.  Cheesy, buttery and salty– they are the perfect holiday party nibble.  My hostess-with-the-mostess tip of the day: Champagne and fried stuff is a match made in heaven. Continue Reading Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Parmesan Puffs…

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Gingerbread Bûche de Noël

December 23, 2014 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, layer cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 23 Comments
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gingerbread bûche de noël

It’s almost Christmas, and that means it’s time to get fancy in the kitchen!  Something like a Gingerbread bûche de Noël sounds like the right way to celebrate.  Way back in the early days of this space, I made another bûche.  That one was all done up with stumps, meringue mushrooms and faux wood grain…this one’s easier in that it’s just a roulade but it’s still a showstopper and, of course, it still has several steps.  In addition to a gently-spiced geniose-style gingerbread sponge cake, there’s a cream cheese filling, a marshmallow meringue frosting and, for crunch and sparkle, a pecan praline.

If you’re the organized type, you can actually break up the steps and knock out the praline and filling a day in advance, but I did it all start to finish in one afternoon, so I can tell you that it’s procrastinator-friendly, too. I did kind of goof up the cake a bit, and you can see it in the center of the spiral.  I deflated the cake batter while mixing in the butter at the end.  I was pretty annoyed with myself, and worried it would be like eating a rubber mat, but there’s a lot going on with this cake and we also had it with a scoop of eggnog ice cream, so it really wasn’t that noticeable.  Next time, I’ll do better with that.  Although the marshmallow makes a stunning, glossy, snow-white frosting, I had a lot left over…next time, I’ll also try cutting that amount in half.  I’ll reduce the cream of tartar in the frosting a bit as well because I think it gave the marshmallow a slightly acidic taste.  If you’re on the fence about gingerbread (I know not everyone is crazy about it), the flavoring here is very subtle…no molasses or cloves or other dark and mysterious flavors.

gingerbread bûche de noël

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

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