Tuesdays with Dorie – Dorie’s Cookies – Rewind – Sebastian’s Remarkably Wonderful Brownies

These brownies take a little more time that my go to brownie recipe. Instead of melting chocolate and butter together and mixing all the ingredients by hand in a single bowl, this recipe is mixed in a stand mixer. The eggs are beaten before adding them to the butter and sugar and then beaten for five minutes in the mixer. The dry ingredients are mixed in by hand at the end. The dough it a bit stiff, so it took me longer than I expected to get everything incorporated.

The resulting brownie is delicious, but was a bit dry for my taste. I prefer a gooier brownie with a higher butter to dry ingredient ratio, so I will stick with my standby recipe (also Dorie’s) in the future. That said, these disappeared rapidly.


Tuesdays with Dorie – Baking Chez Moi – Rewind – Apple Weekend Cake

I made this delicious cake last Thursday but, alas, it did not make it to the weekend. Our family loved this moist, gently sweet cake. It makes a great snack or even better: breakfast.

As sometimes happens with loaf cakes, a small piece stayed behind in the pan when I flipped the cake out. No worries, the cake was still warm so I pushed the piece back in, turned the loaf over and no one was the wiser.

Tuesdays with Dorie – Baking Chez Moi – Palmiers

These were a hit at Easter brunch. So elegant, so tasty, yet so easy to make. And only three ingredients: puff pastry, sugar and butter. I plan to keep some puff pastry in my freezer from now on so that I can make these tasty treats whenever the mood strikes.

The instructions are simple. Thaw the puff pastry. Sprinkle the counter with sugar and roll the pastry into a thirteen inch square on top of the sugar, turning to coat both sides. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with more sugar. Fold two edges to meet at the center, brush with butter, sprinkle with sugar. Repeat. Fold as if a book, slice and bake cut side up. Flip, bake a little longer until golden.

Some of the cookies in my first batch came out too brown. The next batch did not brown as much. It might be the difference in the pans I used. (My husband and I did not mind eating the overly brown cookies!)

I baked these the day before Easter. After allowing them to cool completely, I put them on a serving tray and covered them with plastic wrap. They were crisp and wonderful the next day. I had frozen some matzo morsels earlier in April, so we had a nice light finish to our brunch:

Cook the Book Fridays – Everyday Dorie – Salmon Burgers

These salmon burgers are moist and full of flavor. I had a large vacuum sealed salmon fillet in my freezer that was perfect for this recipe. After defrosting the fillet, I removed the skin and processed chunks of salmon in the food processor. You only need a few pulses to get the salmon to the right consistency. Add the remaining ingredients, then refrigerate the mixture for at least two hours. I was glad I reviewed the recipe mid-afternoon otherwise I would not have allowed time for chilling. The patties form easily, but like most fish cakes, they like to fall apart when transferred or turned. I just pushed them back together. I was skeptical about the short cooking time (two minutes per side) so I added some extra time. They were not as crispy as I would have liked, but they were cooked-through and very tasty. I served them on brioche buns, my go-to burger bun.

Tuesdays with Dorie – Baking Chez Moi – Double Chocolate Marble Cake

My first marbled cake! It was fun and easy to make. To achieve the marbled effect, you mix the entire batter then divide it into two bowls. One bowl gets melted chocolate, the other gets melted white chocolate. I spooned the two batters into the prepared loaf pan, alternating between the two until all the batter was used. Then I zigzagged a knife a through the batter, starting at one short end of the pan and finishing at the other. I did this three times.

I baked the cake for 80 minutes, rotating the pan halfway. A tester came out clean. The edges were a little brown for my taste, but my family said it was good. Well, better than good, delicious. Perfect with a glass of milk.

Tuesdays with Dorie – Dorie’s Cookies – Matzo Morsels

The good thing about no-bake cookies is you can sample the dough before the cookies are “done”. That’s also the bad thing about no-bake cookies. I probably consumed a couple of cookies worth before these babies hit the freezer to set. Oops! A little fell off that one, better taste it.

Easy recipe. Plump raisins and/or dried cranberries in hot tap water. (I used both in my morsels.) Melt chopped chocolate with butter in a bowl set over boiling water. Remove before completely melted and allow the residual heat to melt the remaining chunks of chocolate and butter until smooth. Add salt. Add crumbled matzo sheets to the melted chocolate mixture, then the drained fruit and more chopped chocolate. Note: I used high quality chocolate chips for all the chocolate in this recipe, Chopping chunks chocolate of chocolate is difficult for my arthritic hands, why not use chips? Using a small cookie scoop, place balls of dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Pop in the freezer for twenty minutes.


Tuesdays with Dorie – Baking Chez Moi – Banana-Chocolate Chaussons

Chaussons are the French equivalent of turnovers. This week’s tasty treat has a banana and chocolate filling inside a puff pastry exterior.

Puff pastry. I haven’t worked it much in the past but know that typically you purchase frozen sheets in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Making turnovers becomes quick and easy because you don’t need to make the pasty first. I went to the frozen food section and was confronted with four choices for puff pastry: the standard Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (containing, as I suspected, a number of things that didn’t sound like they should be in pastry), a gluten-free offering (don’t need that), a vegan puff pastry and an expensive version containing real butter. I went for butter.

I let the pastry thaw enough to be pliable then went to work on rolling it out to the proper size. I did that well enough, cut it as uniformly as I could, then transferred the pieces to a parchment-lined baking sheet to freeze for twenty minutes. I mangled the shape of some pieces during the transfer; more on that later.

I prepped the filling while the pastry chilled: I chopped semi-sweet chocolate chips into smaller pieces and cut up the bananas. Two bananas seemed like too much (I had large bananas on hand) so I only used one and a half. Even with that change, there was way too much filling.

I knew I was overfilling my pastry squares, but I really did not want to waste the delicious filling. Even so, I did not use all the filling. Because a lot of the pastry squares became rectangles as they were transferred to the baking sheet, I decided not to fold them diagonally. And because I overfilled the turnovers, the filling leaked out as they baked. The result was a pan of pastries that was not pastry shop window worthy:

But you know what? They were delicious. There was even one left over the next morning to have with my mocha.

Tuesdays with Dorie – Dorie’s Cookies – Moroccan Semolina and Almond Cookies

There is nothing like the aroma of lemons to make it feel like spring is around the corner. These delightful little cookies have a hint of lemon and make wonderful companions for tea, coffee or a glass of milk. They are made with semolina and almonds flours, baking powder, salt, a small amount of oil, lemon peel infused sugar, eggs, vanilla, and option orange flower water. (I skipped the orange flower water as it is quite pricey.) The dough rolls into tablespoon-sized balls which are rolled into powdered sugar. You press your thumb in the middle of the ball, flattening it and causing it to crack. I found that the minimal cooking time was sufficient to brown the bottoms golden. My preference for texture was when the cookies were still warm from the oven. They get crispier after they cool, but then soften up the next day. Alas, you can only eat so many cookies at one sitting, so most were consumed in the following days, still delicious but without that fresh from the oven perfection.

Cook the Book Fridays – Everyday Dorie – Sweet Chili Chicken Thighs

It doesn’t snow very often in Seattle and when it does we all run to the store, buy everything on the shelves, then stay home and cook. One of my snowstorm meals this weekend was the Sweet Chili Thighs from Everyday Dorie.

I discovered, after the storm hit, that I didn’t have Thai sweet chili sauce. That may not seem like something one would assume is in their fridge, but it’s a staple I usually have on hand. (We have a wonderful local supermarket that has an incredible Asian food department.) So what to do? I mixed a sweet version of fish sauce and Sambal to create my own version of Thai sweet chili sauce. I reduced the soy sauce called for in the recipe to account for the saltiness of the fish sauce and added the Sriracha. Here’s what I used to approximate Thai sweet chili sauce:

Wow! I can’t tell you how this combo compares with Dorie’s original recipe, but I can say it is delicious. This recipe will be a new staple in our house.

Tuesdays with Dorie – Dorie’s Cookies – Date-Nut Pinwheels

These are my first pinwheel cookies. Although I’ve been baking cookies for over fifty years (ouch!) I have never been drawn to a pinwheel cookie. What I’ve been missing! Although it seems like a challenging cookie on paper, all you really need is plenty of time to allow for chilling.

I decided to make these for Super Bowl Sunday. I took the butter out the night before to soften and took out my egg first thing in the morning to come to room temperature. When the egg was the right temperature, I made the filling. I chopped the dates, but not too fine. At first, I thought perhaps the pieces were too large because the filling was not thickening in a few minutes as the recipe said it would. But I kept cooking it until it looked like this:

The dough was easy to mix and roll out. I didn’t get a perfect rectangle, but I figured the ends would be trimmed anyway so I didn’t worry. After the dough spent an hour in the freezer, it was time to spread the filling over the dough. There wasn’t enough filling to spread to the dimensions the recipe called for (perhaps it was too chunky) but it was enough.

Now for the rolling. The dough had softened, but it still cracked in spots as I rolled. I used some of the ragged edges that fell off during rolling to patch the cracks. Into the fridge for an hour , then it was time to slice and bake. I used a serrated knife, which was a good choice:

Pre-baking the cookies looked like this:

As you can see, there are some cracks on the edges, but after the cookies baked, they held together just fine.

These were delicious and well-received by our game day guests. I just wish we had some leftovers!