Friday, August 4, 2017

Anytime Tarragon-Apricot Cookies

These Tarragon-Apricot Cookies are the second cookie we've baked from the Cocktail Cookies section of Dorie's Cookies.

I just love them.  A shortbread cookie with dried apricots, fresh tarragon, olive oil, and salt - it sounds strange but tastes so good.

My cookies are more rustic in appearance than Dorie's because I rolled the dough into a log and sliced it into cookies.  The dough was in the fridge for several days before I baked it.  I wondered if that would make the cookies taste strongly of tarragon, but no, they have a delicate flavor.

I am looking forward to baking more interesting and unusual cocktail cookies in the coming months.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lavender Galettes

A galette can be a lot of different things.  Lavender Galettes, from Baking Chez Moi, are a thin, not too sweet, irregularly shaped cookie.

I found these cookies to be a delightful surprise.  Lavender doesn't usually hold much appeal to me.  Certainly baking cookies with lavender was not high on my list of things to do in the midst of summer.  But I was intrigued by Dorie's recipe, and stopped in at the spice merchant to buy a small amount of lavender buds.

I liked the technique of rolling out each cookie on a small piece of parchment paper.  Cutting out cookies is tedious.  This method gives a lovely thin and crisp cookie without all the fuss.

The cookies have an intriguing flavor or lavender, orange, olive oil, and vanilla.  The texture and the taste is very special.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Coffee Malteds

In her recipe for Coffee Malteds cookies Dorie Greenspan explains that she remembers drinking coffee malteds as a child.  When I was young I loved the flavor of coffee, especially coffee ice cream which remains my favorite.

We couldn't find a key ingredient in this recipe, unflavored malted milk powder.  Instead I baked these cookies using Ovaltine, a chocolate malted milk powder.  For the coffee flavor I used instant coffee.

The cookies turned out small and chewy, with a good mocha flavor.  The malt is a tiny hint in the background.  I think they'd be great topped with a bit of melted chocolate.

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.