Tag Archives: cookies

Tuesdays with Dorie Rewind

img_1201_edited-1

Well hello! It’s been a while since I’ve done a Tuesdays with Dorie post. I have baked a few things over the last few months, but never got around to writing about them. In honor of today’s TWD Rewind Week, I though I would briefly tell you about each of them.

Edouard’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

img_1208_edited-1

At first glance, this looks like a pretty basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but the addition of a generous amount of almond flour takes these up a notch. The almond flour adds so much flavor and a nice chewiness.

I did find that the cookies are best on the day they are baked. While the flavor is still wonderful the next day, they get a little too crunchy. I recommend freezing the scooped out dough so you can bake just enough to eat in a day, whenever inspiration hits!

These cookies were a big hit! So delicious, and perfect for the quintessential after school snack.

Custardy Apple Squares

img_1393_edited-1

I was really looking forward to this recipe! So simple, but it sounds so good. Thinly sliced apples were tossed with a simple batter made from flour, baking powder, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, whole milk, and a bit of melted butter. Pour into a baking dish and wait patiently while it bakes and cools.

Luckily, the reality lived up to my expectations! This was a delicious treat that both my daughter and I enjoyed. It’s a perfect snacking cake for any day.

Pear Tart with Crunchy Almond Topping

img_1407_edited-1

I made this delicious tart for Thanksgiving dessert.

Dorie’s delicious Sweet Tart Dough was filled with lightly caramelized pears, and topped with a crunchy topping made from almonds, egg whites, and confectioner’s sugar.

img_1410_edited-1

Everyone loved this tart! The Sweet Tart Dough recipe is one of my favorites and I am always happy to make (and eat) it. The filling and topping were simple but flavorful. My pears were perfectly ripe and full of flavor, which added to the deliciousness. Can you tell I liked this tart? It was the perfect ending to Thanksgiving dinner.

If you are interested in trying any of these delicious baked goods, you can find the recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s book, Baking Chez Moi.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Cooking

TWD: Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies

Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies

I’m back! I enjoyed my summer off from blogging, but I hope this marks the beginning of more regular posts from me. We’ll see…I have to get myself back in the habit of both blog reading and writing. With the beginning of the new school year, my family is getting used to a new schedule. School starts two hours earlier than we have been used to in previous years! I feel like I have done a good job establishing a new rhythm to my day, now I just need to insert blogging into that new routine.

I am getting my blogging feet wet with a Tuesdays with Dorie recipe: Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies. These are a simple shortbread-like cookie with your choice of jam filling. I used a homemade strawberry-vanilla jam.

Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies

Yum! What a fun recipe! These were easier to make than I expected. You just need to leave plenty of time for chilling the dough. I used a biscuit cutter with a two-inch wide circumference and found that a generous 1/4 teaspoon of jam was just about right. More might have seeped out the sides, and less tasted too skimpy.

If you are interested in trying these tasty cookies, you can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s latest book, Baking Chez Moi.

10 Comments

Filed under Cooking

FFWD: Croquants

Croquants

Happy French Friday!  We’re taking a break from the fishiness this week with a super simple cookie called Croquants.

Croquants are a crisp and crunchy cookie made from nuts, sugar, egg whites, and a small amount of flour.  Almonds and hazelnuts are the most commonly used nuts in Croquants, but I used Dorie’s “house favorite” salted cashews.

These might really be the fastest, easiest cookies I have ever made.  Mixing up the ingredients took about two minutes with a bowl and spatula.  No need to haul out the mixer!

Croquants

I loved these little cookies.  They are light as air and very crisp. The flavor reminds me of something, but I can’t put my finger on it. Using the cashews was a good call, but I imagine they would be very good with almonds too.

Have a great weekend!

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.

10 Comments

Filed under Cooking

FFWD: Speculoos

Speculoos

Merry (day after) Christmas!!  I hope all of you who celebrate had a wonderful day.  We had a lovely time with plenty of good food!

I have a lot of cooking and knitting and even a bit of sewing to catch you up on!  I will tackle them one at a time over the next few weeks, so keep your eye out for new posts from me.

For the last several years the French Fridays with Dorie group has done a Christmas Card Exchange.  This is the first year I participated and it was so much fun! I loved getting the mail each day to see who I got cards from.  Here is a photo with most of the cards I received (I am still waiting on a few…and I have a feeling a few of you are waiting on mine).  I hung them all on our front doors.

Christmas Cards

Today for French Fridays with Dorie the group is doing something a little different.  As part of the card exchange, participants could also share a favorite cookie or drink recipe.  Then, if we wished, we could each make one of those recipes and share it on our blogs today.  I decided not to participate in the recipe exchange, so I am doing a make-up recipe instead: Speculoos.

Speculoos are a spicy brown-sugar cookie recipe popular across Europe.  They are especially popular around Christmas-time. I had been meaning to make these cookies for the last couple Christmases, and finally made them this year.

Dorie’s recipe includes a lot of cinnamon (yum!) and a touch off ginger and cloves.  They are sturdy enough to be cut into shapes, but I made simple round cookies.

Watch out!  These cookies with disappear quickly!

Watch out! These cookies with disappear quickly!

I loved these cookies!  Cinnamon cookies are a favorite and these did not disappoint.  Based on how quickly these cookies got eaten, I think everyone in the family liked them.

If you would like to try Speculoos, Dorie’s recipe can be found here on her blog.

9 Comments

Filed under Cooking

FFWD: Almond-Orange Tuiles

Almond-Orange Tuiles
Happy French Friday! I am doing a make-up recipe for French Fridays with Dorie today because I couldn’t find a key ingredient (kumquats) for this week’s recipe.  I have been assured that kumquats will be in the market in a couple weeks, so I will make that recipe soon.  Instead I made Almond-Orange Tuiles.  I am down to only two make-up recipes!  Not including the one I didn’t make this week…so really three.

Almond-Orange Tuiles are a lacy, light, little cookie.  They are very easy to mix together, taking only minutes.  The tricky part happens after they are done baking.  You are to transfer these lacy cookies onto a rolling pin so they can set in their curved shape.  The first one I tried ended up in a little lump on the counter.  It almost slid down between the stove and the counter, but I caught it just in time!

IMG_9590_edited-1
I finally got the hang of making these pretty cookies and I thought they were delicious.  The flavor from the orange juice is subtle but nice.  I ate these on their own, but I think they would be at their best adorning something like ice cream or a creamy cake.  They would also be a nice addition to a dessert buffet.

Have a nice weekend, everyone!

9 Comments

Filed under Cooking

TWD: Palets de Dames, Lille Style

Palets de Dames, Lille Style

Welcome to my very first Tuesdays with Dorie post! We will be baking our way through Dorie Greenspan’s brand new book, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere.

A little history lesson: Over six years ago, Tuesdays with Dorie was begun by a few bloggers wanting to bake their way through Dorie’s book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. When Around My French Table came out four years ago, French Fridays with Dorie was spun off, and I joined that group a few months after it was created. Now that Dorie’s new book is out, Tuesdays with Dorie is taking it on!

I have decided not to try making every recipe from this new book like I am with Around my French Table. I will just do those recipes that sound good to me and that I have time for. I just can’t make that many desserts! Luckily for me, the first recipe the group chose was one that sounded really good to me.

Palets de Dames

The inaugural recipe from Baking Chez Moi is a delicious cookie called Palets de Dames, Lille Style. They are a simple, slightly cakey, iced vanilla cookie.

These cookies are as good as they look! I ate more of these than I care to admit. Their cute size means they are easy to pop into your mouth! My inability to stop eating these just proves that I can’t be trusted to bake every treat in this book and not gain ten pounds.

Palets de Dames

This was a fun recipe to kick off Baking Chez Moi and my participation in Tuesdays with Dorie.

Like FFWD, Tuesdays with Dorie does not share recipes.  We want to encourage people to buy the book. However, this cookie recipe is available online here, if you are interested in giving it a try.

Happy Baking!

19 Comments

Filed under Cooking

Bouchon Bakery Challenge: Palet d’Or

Palet d'Or

It’s my final Bouchon Bakery Challenge!  I wanted to go out with a bang, so I made Palet d’Or (“gold disk”).  It’s a fancy, rich, chocolate cake with chocolate cream filling and chocolate glaze.  A lot of chocolate went into this cake!

This recipe caught my eye as soon as I received my copy of Bouchon Bakery.  It looked like it would stretch my skills a bit, but I wanted to give it a try.  Christmas seemed like the perfect occasion for such a decadent dessert.

Making and assembling this cake took a fair amount of time over three days (it can be done in two days), but it was fun to make and none of the steps was difficult.  I learned several new techniques and ended up with a super dessert.

Unmolded cake ready to glaze

Unmolded cake ready to glaze

The Chocolate Cream layer is incredibly delicious!  I may or may not have had a hard time not eating all the leftovers.

The Chocolate Glaze was very interesting in that it used gelatin to help it set.  I have never seen a recipe do this before and I have to say it was the easiest chocolate glaze I have ever used.

All in all, this cake was fabulous!  Everyone ate it very enthusiastically with lots of oohs and ahhs.  What more can a baker ask for?

Palet d'Or

Recipe Notes

  • I do not own a cake ring and didn’t really want to buy one for just one dessert (also, I had trouble finding the exact right size).  I used my 8″ springform pan without the bottom instead.  It was too tall, so I was not able to make the top as smooth as I could with the ring, but I am not selling this cake at a bakery and am not looking for absolute perfection.  The pan worked well for making the layers and freezing the cake.
  • The recipe calls for Brune pâte à glacer (also known as compound chocolate) or plain bittersweet chocolate.  Since it was for such a small amount (to coat one side of each cake layer) I used the regular chocolate and it worked just fine.
  • Instead of garnishing the cake with gold leaf, I used gold edible glitter, which I found at King Arthur Flour.
Cake with glittering Christmas lights reflecting off it

Cake with glittering Christmas lights reflecting off it

Altitude Adjustments

I made several adjustments for altitude (I am at about 4500 ft.).

For the Devil’s Food Cake:   I used a scant 1/2 tsp. baking soda and a scant 1/8 tsp. baking powder.  I used one whole egg and one egg white, for a total of 90 grams of egg.  I added an extra tablespoon of water.  The adjustments seemed to work, as the cake turned out well.

For the Chocolate Cream:  When warming the egg mixture in the double boiler, I took it off the heat when the temperature reached 175°F to account for the lower boiling point.

Slice of Chocolate Cake

Next Month

There is no next month as I intended this to be a year-long project.  However, I will continue to make an effort to use this book and try more recipes.

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking

Bouchon Bakery Challenge: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Welcome to the November edition of my Bouchon Bakery Challenge!  This month I made Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  I was looking for something quick and easy to make, partly because I didn’t have a lot of time this month, and partly because I wanted to try one of the more pedestrian recipes.

The authors describe these cookies as “crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside”.  That’s exactly how mine turned out.  The texture was very pleasing and the flavor delicious.  These are truly excellent cookies!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

While technique for making these cookies is very similar to normal cookie-making methods, I thought the end result was better than average.  I took most of these cookies to Center for Adaptive Riding as a thank-you to the volunteers (my daughter takes lessons there), and the Director asked me for the recipe!

Recipe Notes

  • I made 32 smaller cookies, rather than the 6 extra-large cookies the recipe would have you make.  I baked them for 11 minutes using the convection feature of my oven.
  • I did not bring the dough to room temperature before baking the cookies and I don’t believe it harmed them in any way.  It is probably more important if you make the larger cookies.
  • The amount of egg called for is 62 grams, which is very close to the average weight of one large egg.  I just used one whole egg without weighing it.  In this case, why didn’t they just say “use 1 large egg”?
  • The cookbook discusses the need to sometimes warm the mixing bowl to bring the butter to the correct consistency.  They warm it by holding the bowl over a burner or using a blowtorch(!) on the outside of the bowl.  What I do works very well:  I soak a washcloth under hot water and hold it against the outside of the mixing bowl while I mix.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

If you would like to make these cookies (and you should!), I found the recipe in two places:

StyleBlueprint shares the recipe as it is written in the book here.

I like this version:  Eva Bakes simplified the recipe for those of you who don’t have kitchen scales, or just want to measure out your ingredients for this otherwise simple recipes.

Altitude Adjustments

None.  I don’t generally have to make adjustments for cookies.

Next Month

I want to end this year-long project in style, by making Palet d’Or (page 117), a rich chocolate cake with chocolate cream filling.  It will be our Christmas dessert, so look for the results some time between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking

Bouchon Bakery Challenge: TKOs

TKOs

Why do we procrastinate?  I have always been good at procrastinating.  I was the one starting my papers in college at the last minute and getting them done just in the nick of time.  And I have trouble completing house projects because I don’t have deadlines (I have tried setting my own deadlines, but I’m not fooled).

I even procrastinate fun things, like making these cookies.  Why?  I knew all month I wanted to make these cookies in time to write about them today, but I still made them at the last minute.

TKOs

Oh well, let’s talk about these cookies.  They are called TKOs (Thomas Keller Oreos) and are Bouchon Bakery’s take on the classic American cookie.

Now this is what Oreos should taste like!  Not too sweet, but very chocolatey.  The filling is very clever:  it is a white chocolate ganache that is cooled and then whipped to become thick and spreadable.

I did things a little differently.  Instead of 8 large sandwich cookies I made 21 smaller cookies.  Also, rather than piping the filling in concentric rings of teardrops, I used a 1/2″ tip and piped a plain dollop onto each cookie.

Dollops of Filling

I should have rolled out the cookie dough a little thinner, but I got a bit impatient with it.  I froze the dough scraps to turn into chocolate cookie crumbs at a later date.

If you are interested in trying TKOs, you can find the recipe here.

Recipe Notes

  • While mixing the dough, I could not get it to come together.  It was just a bunch of crumbs.  I added ice water a tablespoon at a time until it began to come together, 8 tablespoon total.  Even then, it was very crumbly and I had to really press it together.  I’m not sure if this a problem with the recipe or just a result of my very dry climate, but it’s something to be aware of.
  • The recipe doesn’t mention it, but these cookies really should be chilled before serving.  Otherwise the filling is too soft and presses out when you try to eat it.

Bouchon Bakery Cookbook TKO

Altitude Adjustments

None.  I don’t generally have to made adjustments for cookies.

Next Month

In October, I am going to make Cream Puffs (page 160)!  I will share my results with you on or about October 29th.  Knowing me, I will probably be making them on October 28th.

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking

Secret Valentine Cookie Exchange

The French Fridays with Dorie gang had a Secret Valentine Cookie Exchange (thanks Alice for setting this up!).  We were each assigned a Valentine and we made cookies for them!

My cookies came all the way from Australia!  My Secret Valentine was Gaye from Laws of the Kitchen.  Here is the package, which arrived today:

IMG_4752_edited-1

Gaye packed my cookies very well:

IMG_4754_edited-1

Each pair of cookies was wrapped in parchment paper, then placed in a plastic bag, and then finally wrapped in bubble wrap.  The cookies traveled extremely well, without a single crumb out of place.

IMG_4756_edited-1

Aren’t these cookies gorgeous?  They taste as good as they look!

IMG_4758_edited-1

The card is beautiful too (did you make it?).  Thank you so much Gaye!

IMG_4764_edited-1

I was the Secret Valentine for Adriana at Great Food 360°.  Check out her site to see what I sent her.

Here is the recipe for the cookies I received:

Basic Sugar Cookies

  • 200 g / 7 oz / ½ cup = 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 400 g / 14 oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All-Purpose flour, sifted
  • 200 g / 7 oz / 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.  Beat until just becoming creamy in texture (Tip: Don’t over mix or the cookies will spread during baking).

Beat in the egg until well combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non-sticky dough forms.

Knead the dough into a ball and divide it into 2 or 3 pieces.  Roll out each portion between sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of about 5 mm (or .2 inch).  Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.  (Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in plastic wrap and then refrigerate it for an hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker).

Once chilled, peel off the parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.  Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.  Arrange the shapes on parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30 minutes to an hour. It’s very important to chill them again, otherwise they will spread while baking.

Re-roll the scraps and repeat the process until the dough is used up.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  Bake cookies until golden around the edges, about 8 – 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies.

Cool cookies completely on cooling racks.  Once cooled, decorate as desired.

Makes approx. 36 cookies

Royal Icing

  • 315-375 g / 11-13 oz / 2½ – 3 cups Confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp almond extract, optional

Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined.  Sift the Confectioner’s sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites.  Beat on low until combined and smooth.  Use immediately or keep in an airtight container.

Tip:  Start with the lesser amount of confectioner’s sugar and add more until the desired consistency is reached.  The lesser amount is good for a flooding consistency, and the larger amount is good for outlining.

Tip:  Royal Icing starts to harden as soon as it’s in contact with air, so make sure to cover containers with plastic wrap while not in use.

9 Comments

Filed under Cooking