Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Blueberry-Buttermilk Pie Bars

Blueberry-Buttermilk Pie Bars from Dorie's Cookies are an easy to make two layer square.

The crust is unusual in that it has cornmeal and cornstarch in addition to the usual butter, sugar, and flour.  The topping is a custard made with buttermilk, eggs, butter, and sugar, plus blueberries.

The people I shared this treat with wondered if it was cheesecake.  It tastes great and is something I will plan to bake again.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Streusel-Topped Rhubarb Lime Tart

Most of the time for these Tuesdays With Dorie baking projects I stick fairly closely to the recipe.  This week with the rhubarb lime tart I had to make a change because I really don't like lime.  I substituted orange zest and juice.  Also I left out the tart shell, making this a crisp rather than a tart.  And then I didn't have heavy cream and substituted plain Greek yogurt mixed with milk.

The dessert turned out well, though the orange flavor does over power the tartness of the rhubarb.  Dorie mentions this issue in her introduction to the recipe on page 160 of Baking Chez Moi.  "Rhubarb's tricky:  Mix it with too much sugar, and you mask its character; mix it with too little, and you risk letting its acidity run roughshod over your dessert."  More rhubarb, less orange zest, and a little less sugar might have given me the right taste balance.

I used 4 cups of rhubarb, just over 1 lb. in weight. The custard is light and holds the rhubarb nicely.  The streusel is delicious.  I wonder if cinnamon would be a nice addition.  All in all, a fun experiment.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Dorie's Newest Chocolate Chip Cookies

This chocolate chip recipe, from Dorie Greenspan's Dorie's Cookies, uses white and whole wheat flours and white and brown sugar, with the interesting addition of nutmeg and coriander.  Other spice variations are suggested (instant espresso, cinnamon, or Chinese five-spice powder) but I wanted to try the recipe as written.

The dough is very stiff and I wished I had used the stand mixer instead of the hand mixer.  Dorie recommends refrigerating the dough for at least a day before baking, which I did.  I found the cold dough very difficult to scoop.

I baked the cookies for 10 minutes.  They were puffed, set around the edges but still soft in the middle.  As the cookies cooled they firmed up to a nice, chewy texture.  I can't really taste the spices, there is just a tiny trace of special flavor.

I like heavier chocolate chip cookies made with oatmeal, wheat germ, and coconut.  While this recipe is not my new favorite it certainly was fun to try.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pistachio and Berry Gratins

This baked fruit dessert is a combination of berries, lemon zest and sugar with nut cream.  Previously in Tuesdays with Dorie we've seen almond cream in tarts.  In this berry gratin there is no tart shell, only the berries and the cream.  Pistachios are used instead of almonds, with wonderful results.

It won't be berry season where I live for a couple of months, so I used frozen blueberries.  The dessert would have tasted better with fresh berries.  Lemon, blueberry, and pistachio are three flavours that I love, the the combination was delightful.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Goat Cheese and Chive Cookies

Dorie Greenspan's latest cookbook, Dorie's Cookies, includes 25 savory recipes in a section entitled Cocktail Cookies.  All the recipes are intriguing and I've been looking forward to trying them.  This week for Tuesdays with Dorie I baked Goat Cheese and Chive Cookies.

I have chives growing outside.  It was satisfying to add the freshly cut chives to the dough.



I used a plain black pepper.  The only thing I would change would be using a different, more interesting kind of pepper next time.



As one of my tasters commented, anything with lots of butter and cheese is going to taste good.  We all loved the richness of these cookies.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Plain and Simple Almond Cake

I baked this plain and simple almond cake for a potluck on the weekend.

Made with eggs, sugar, and almond flour with vanilla and a pinch of salt, it is a modest, tan cake.

It is gluten-free.

I dusted the top with confectioners' sugar and served it with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce, another recipe from Baking Chez Moi.

Everyone at the dinner liked this cake.  So much so that I was left with an empty plate.  No photo today.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Chocolate-Cornflake Haystacks

Haystacks are usually not baked.  Dorie Greenspan's recipe adds eggs and some time in the oven at a low heat.  The result is a sweet, chewy treat.

The recipe is very easy to mix up, no mixer required.  I used all the ingredients listed:  eggs, agave nectar, salt, coconut, pecans, raisins, cornflakes, and milk chocolate.  I wondered about substituting honey or corn syrup for the agave nectar, but after some research decided to make the effort to acquire the agave nectar.

To use up the rest of the agave nectar I will plan to make these again soon.  Next time I will use a different, richer milk chocolate.   This is an appealing recipe.