Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rice Pudding and Spiced Hibiscus Syrup

I noticed the recipe for rice pudding and spiced hibiscus syrup when I first got Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi over two years ago.  I saved tea bags to make the syrup, but missed making the recipe with the Tuesdays with Dorie group back in June.

Today's rewind was the perfect opportunity to finally make this dessert.  It's been awhile since I've made rice pudding, but the stirring of the rice with milk and sugar was familiar.

The spiced hibiscus syrup was unlike anything I've ever made.  In addition to the expected water, sugar and vanilla the recipe calls for peppercorns, cardamon pods, orange peel, and dried hibiscus flowers or hibiscus tea bags.  The unusual flavour of the syrup is a nice contrast to the milky, vanilla rice pudding.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Caramel Tart

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie posting is the Caramel Tart from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi.

The crust is made with the Sweet Tart Dough that we have used before in other Tuesdays with Dorie recipes.  I chose to pat it in my brand new tart pan rather than rolling it.  I'd like to get more comfortable with rolling dough, so maybe next time I will try that.

Not having made caramel before I was feeling hesitant about attempting the filling.  I followed the recipe directions as written, with the exception of substituting two whole eggs for the four egg yolks, and it worked out fine.  There was a little bit of solid caramel that I scooped out, leaving a golden brown liquid caramel.

The tart took a few minutes longer to bake than the recipe suggests, perhaps because I used whole eggs.

The flavour of the finished product is good, and would be enhanced with whipped cream.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Peanut Butter Change-Ups

This week I tried out a second recipe from Dorie Greenspan's new book Dorie's Cookies.  Peanut Butter Change-Ups are a peanut butter cookie baked as a mound rather than squished down with a fork as is usual.

The dough is very easy to mix up.  The addition of nutmeg is unusual, but I couldn't taste it in the baked cookies.

I set the oven temperature slightly lower than what the recipe states, and watched the cookies closely.  Despite this caution the bottoms were too brown when I took the cookies out of the oven.  Peanut butter cookies have a lot of fat and I often have this over browning problem, even with using light coloured pans lined with parchment paper and baking in the top part of the oven.

I used my grater to take off the brown bottoms.  The cookies looked and tasted fine and no one was the wiser.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Apple Speculoos Crumble

An apple crumble is my baking creation for this week's Tuesdays With Dorie.  The recipe, from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi, is a straightforward apple crisp except for the topping, which uses crumbled cookies.

The recipe calls for Biscoff or other speculoos spice cookies.  I like eating Biscoff cookies when I fly, but didn't see them at the grocery store.  I used Anna's Ginger Thins instead, and they worked very well.

It was really fun to break up the cookies with my hands, and then mush them up with some butter.  This cookie butter mixture goes on top of chopped apples and everything is baked for 35-40 minutes.

So easy and so delicious.  I will be interested to try this with other fruit.  Banana sounds particularly intriguing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Chocolate Creme Sandwiches

My first impression of Dorie Greenspan's newest cookbook, Dorie's Cookies, is that it looks like a textbook.  It is so square, heavy, and full of coloured photos - it reminds me of my university biology textbook.  I am so looking forward to reading and baking from this book.

For this first posting with the Tuesdays With Dorie online baking group we had a choice to make chocolate sandwich cookies or peanut butter cookies.  I made the chocolate sandwich cookies because I had all the ingredients:  butter, sugar, egg, flour, cocoa, vanilla, salt.

The recipe is clear and helpful in explaining how long to mix as you add ingredients, both for the cookies and the filling.

I have a small kitchen and rolling out dough always seems like such a big production.  With this recipe the dough is frozen for an hour after rolling, and then cut into rounds.  My round cookie cutter is plastic, and I had trouble cutting the frozen dough, but as it warmed the task got easier.

These are tasty cookies, and we will enjoy eating them.