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"Baking: From My Home to Yours" (Part 1)


rjwong
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I made the chocolate chip cookies for my granddaughter. I used a good bittersweet bar, chopped up as suggested. I thought maybe she wouldn't like that because 8 years don't necessarily like anything too "gourmet." Quote from granddaughter, "I don't know what you did this time, but don't make those other ones anymore!"

Becca, glad you'll be joining in soon. Make the chicken with bread salad from your Zuni cookbook. It's excellent!

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I got the book last Wednesday and couldn't stop reading through it! I've already made several things, and would have made more if my boyfriend hadn't forcibly restrained me.

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Here are the Snickery Squares. They're delicious, though very rich. I had a little (or a lot) of trouble cutting them, as you can see...I think I should have put foil in the pan, because even though the shortbread didn't stick, it was just hard to pry them out, especially once the chocolate on top had hardened. My boyfriend loves these, and he usually hates nuts, so that's a definite endorsement.

I also made the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, the name of which I don't actually have in front of me...these were addictively good.

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These were actually even better the next day-I think the flavors melded together more, and they were soooo good. The peanut butter was just barely distinguishable, but it and the oatmeal kept them from being as sweet as regular chocolate chip cookies are. I seriously could not stop eating these.

Tonight I'm making the Tarte Tatin-the recipe seems so easy, but I've actually never made one before, and Dorie's recipe seems like a perfect place to start...and then this weekend I'm hosting a brunch party, and at it I plan to serve, among other things, the buttermilk biscuits, the coco nana bread, the blueberry crumb cake, the cran-apple crisps, and the rugelach. I figured it was a good way to try out lots of recipes at once! I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorite baking books. Thanks so much Dorie!

Edited by juliachildish (log)
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Let me add another recommendation for the applesauce spice bars. They are addictive. Last night I also made the double apple bundt cake, which I look forward to trying tonight.

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Wow Patrick this looks so good to me: the oozing glaze and the moist bar.

I can't wait for my copy. And i'm definitely looking forward lots of baking.

Edited by fanny_the_fairy (log)

fanny loves foodbeam

pâtisserie & sweetness

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Let me add another recommendation for the applesauce spice bars. They are addictive. Last night I also made the double apple bundt cake, which I look forward to trying tonight.

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Wow Patrick this look so good to me: the oozing glaze and the moist bar.

I can't wait for my copy. And i'm definitely looking forward lots of baking.

Good to see you on eGullet, fanny! Welcome.

The applesauce spice bars really are good. I usually dont eat very much of what I cook, but I ate a lot of these.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Welcome Becca and Fanny the Fairy -- nice to have more bakers aboard.

And bravo to juliachildish! Your stuff looks great -- can't wait to see what you do this weekend.

Tamiam -- about the Fold Over Pear Torte. It's not so easy to describe, but if you try to imagine the mechanics of the dessert, you'll get it. You're lining a springform pan with pie dough, so that the dough covers the bottom of the pan and then comes up the sides. When you put in the pears etc., the filling won't come all the way up to the top of the dough, so you carefully fold the excess dough down until it touches the filling. It won't cover the filling, it will just make a ruffly border. Take a look at the Cranberry Lime Galette on page 365 -- the fold-over part of the dough on the torte will look like the edges of the galette. Hope this helps.

Last night I did a demo for Bon Appetit magazine in New Jersey. It was an Italian-themed dinner and I did a bread salad, fisherman's soup and the Lenox Almond Biscotti from my book for dessert. It was in a Thomasville furniture showroom, so there was no kitchen, just a gas burner put on a gorgeous dining room table. (I was petrified of spilling anything and terrified of burning the tabletop, but all was fine.) I had a handmixer on a long extention cord and a metal mixing bowl, but gave up the mixer after a couple of seconds because it was so noisy I couldn't talk over it, and I made the dough the old-fashioned way with a rubber spatula and a minimal amount of elbow grease. The dough was slighty more compact, but it came together really nicely and it reminded me once again of the pleasure of doing things by hand.

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Hi Everyone!

I just discovered eGullet yesterday! When I opened this up and saw that there are a ton of cooking and baking obsessed people like me...well, I can't explain how happy I was! I just purchased the book at Costco, and spent the entire night tabbing the recipes I want to make. I am so sad that I won't be able to bake anything until next Tuesday (friend in town...doing the tourist stuff). I look forward to joining in on the conversations, successes and messes. Talk to you soon!

Happy baking!

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Okay, I am having a hard time with one of the recipes. The Snickery Sqaures.

I have tried coating the peanuts with the amount of sugar syrup but it is nowhere near enough! They are about 1/3 coated. Dorie if you are reading this, are the measurements correct in the book? 1/3 cup sugar to 3 T water and 1 1/2 cups peanuts? Help, anyone please!

Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

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I can't remember if those are the right measurements, but whatever it said in the book was what I used and didn't have a problem. It's a very thin coating, to be sure-just enough to candy them, not enough to make them into a caramel-type topping. What do you mean when you say they were 1/3 coated? I just stirred them around in the sugar water and then cooked them down until the sugar turned white and then back to caramel, and the peanuts emerged with a thin sugary caramel coating. And even if they're not coated when you first cook them in, once you stir them around while the sugar is cooking, I think that should achieve a fairly even coating.

Does that help at all? If not, Dorie can probably give a better answer than me.

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Raisab -- JuliaChildish's explanation is just what I would have told you. It is a very thin sugar coating -- more the kind of coating the peanuts have in Crackerjack than the kind they have when they're all bumpy and lumpy with sugar. I hope that even if your peanuts weren't perfectly coated, you still enjoyed the cookies.

Welcome FoodieNerd!

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I guess I was expecting a more sugary coating. I just finished assembling the cookies. My son came home and said "hey, you made Cracker Jacks' peanuts". So I guess I made them right. I will report back on the taste, though I made my own dulce de leche from sweetened condensed milk.

Edited by raisab (log)

Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

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Tamiam -- about the Fold Over Pear Torte. It's not so easy to describe, but if you try to imagine the mechanics of the dessert, you'll get it. You're lining a springform pan with pie dough, so that the dough covers the bottom of the pan and then comes up the sides. When you put in the pears etc., the filling won't come all the way up to the top of the dough, so you carefully fold the excess dough down until it touches the filling. It won't cover the filling, it will just make a ruffly border. Take a look at the Cranberry Lime Galette on page 365 -- the fold-over part of the dough on the torte will look like the edges of the galette. Hope this helps.

Dorie, thanks for your response (again :smile: ). I was already thinking that it would look like a Galette from the description in the book--but the name of the dessert had me wanting to make it into a giant turnover.

I want to thank everyone here for directing my attention to the Apple Spice Bars. So good, and yet if I hadn't read the thread, I would have probably overlooked that recipe. I love that they are balanced so well that the fresh taste of apple comes thru loud and clear, rather than being taken over by the spice cake.

Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther
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I began my foray into this book with the World Peace Cookies. This is my second attempt with this recipe and for some reason this time around didn't go as well as the first try from "Paris Sweets". Weird. It's the same recipe! I found the dough very dry so as I sliced the cookies off they tended to fall apart. I soldiered on and followed Dorie's recommendation to just patch them back together.

Continuing on with my chocolate trend, I made the Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk muffins yesterday. They are delicious but not very "pretty" to look at. I was a bit disappointed. The batter is quite dry so when I was distributing it into each muffin cup, I didn't achieve the lovely rounded tops that I had hoped for. I should have used an ice cream scoop or something like that. Oh well...onto the next recipe! I've got a huge hunk of Callebaut bittersweet in my baking cupboard. I may tackle the recipe for the Midnight Crackles cookies.

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Dorie, I have to reveal that I have a deeply engrained fear of making biscuits. Previous efforts have resulted in dense, barely edible hockey pucks. So it was with no small amount of trepidation that tried your Maple-Cornmeal Drop Biscuits this morning. Anxiety rose when the batter seemed drier than than the "very soft" indicated in the instructions.( Canadian flour maybe?) But I soldiered on and the end result was a batch of light, yummy, rustic looking biscuits. They had a great exterior crunch and a light. soft interior crumb. Flakey? no-but still the best I've ever made. I don't think that I'd want to load them up with anything other than lots of butter though. I'd hate to mask the lovely, delicate maple flavour that comes through. If I can master the technicalities I'll upload the photos I took.

I'm well on my way to conquering my fear of biscuit making thanks to you. Next - rolled biscuits. If they turn out as well as these there will be no stopping me.

Kathy

PS: I want to make the Chocolate Amaretti Torte and I have a question about the cookies. I couldn't find the Lazzaroni brand and I'm wondering about the size equivalency. The brand I found is Montebovi and the cookies are about 1.5 inches in diameter. Would 12 of these be equivalent to the 6 "doubles" that you recommend? Thanks, K

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I got the book last Wednesday and couldn't stop reading through it! I've already made several things, and would have made more if my boyfriend hadn't forcibly restrained me.

gallery_26574_3683_17067.jpg

Here are the Snickery Squares. They're delicious, though very rich. I had a little (or a lot) of trouble cutting them, as you can see...I think I should have put foil in the pan, because even though the shortbread didn't stick, it was just hard to pry them out, especially once the chocolate on top had hardened. My boyfriend loves these, and he usually hates nuts, so that's a definite endorsement.

I also had a heck of a time cutting the snickery squares. The chocolate cracked in places it wasn't supposed to. I used good chocolate..70% cocoa bittersweet so maybe there is some trick to getting them to cut like the ones in the book? They were very rich but they went qucikly at the picnic I brought them to. For my own tastes I would use some sort of milk chocolate the next time.

I also made the Peanutiest Blondies. I doubled the recipe and baked them in different size bake pans. So the testure was not as dry as the ones in the book. No problem though, these also flew at the picnic. Everyone loved them.

Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

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Here is my rendition of Dorie's lemon poppy seed (p. 10) and chocolate-chocolate chunk (p.19) muffins. They're all packed up and ready to be taken to work tomorrow morning! This is my first "photo post" so bear with me. I'm not too swift with the camera OR the computer.

Tonight, I also made the dough for the Midnight Crackle cookies. Plan to bake them off tomorrow night. This whole thing is becoming quite addictive...

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%7Boption%7D

Here is my rendition of Dorie's lemon poppy seed (p. 10) and chocolate-chocolate chunk (p.19) muffins.  They're all packed up and ready to be taken to work tomorrow morning!  This is my first "photo post" so bear with me.  I'm not too swift with the camera OR the computer. 

Tonight, I also made the dough for the Midnight Crackle cookies.  Plan to bake them off tomorrow night.  This whole thing is becoming quite addictive...

Boy, does your photo make me wish I were one of your co-workers!

The Lemon Poppy Seed muffins are on my rapidly growing "must do" list. Have you nibbled at the edge of one yet? Do they taste as good as they look?

I couldn't agree more with your "This whole thing is becoming quite addictive" observation.

pat w.

Edited by Pat W (log)

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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Made the applesauce spice bars last night. There were only 4 left when I left for work this morning. Thumbs up from the whole family. I was getting tired and was going to skip making the topping, I'm glad I didn't ; it really made the bars special.

I wonder if there will be any left when I return from work :raz:

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lcdm -- I hope you got to taste the applesauce bars before the family dug in.

Sugar Plum -- I think your muffins look great -- hope everyone likes them.

Raisab -- glad your picnickers didn't leave you with leftovers. I've been thinking about how to make it a little easier to get the Snickery Squares out of the pan. You could try lining the pan with parchment; you could try heating the bottom of the pan just a little before you cut them (that would soften the butter at the bottom and unstick the crust a bit); or you could try cutting the 8-x-8 square into three or four pieces, lifting the larger pieces out of the pan, then cutting the larger pieces into serving sizes. As for the cracked chocolate -- you could try scoring the chocolate before cutting or leaving everything at room temperature for just a bit before cutting.

Kim -- I'm thrilled to be part of your biscuit triumph! Can't wait to hear about your next biscuit-making foray. And, by the way, the maple-cornmeal drop biscuits aren't as flakey as the patted-out-and-cut biscuits. As for the amaretti -- I don't have a package here (a rarity), so I can't measure or weigh them for you. From what you're describing, I think 12 of yours would be the right measurement.

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I made two things this weekend:

I had a few egg whites in the fridge that I wanted to use up. So, a quick flip through the book and I stumbled on the Almond Cocoa Meringues. I whipped up a batch of the stuff. Mine did not have the nice peaks that the picture shows, probably because my egg whites were still cold when I whipped them, but over all these were crunchy, chewy and chocolaty.

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For Sunday dessert, to follow a French inspired meal centered around a roast chicken, I made the Far Breton cake. It sounded so inticing and fallish AND it had prunes in it. We were not dissapointed here, this cake/custard hybrid is a sure winner I even had some for breakfast today. I really cannot praise this elegant cake enough, it tastes and feels like a cross between a cake and a custard and the soft almost jammy tea-soaked dried fruit in it add an extra layer of texture and flavor. The toasted almonds are my addition on top, just to add still more texture, but the cake is awsome as is.

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E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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. . .

For Sunday dessert, to follow a French inspired meal centered around a roast chicken, I made the Far Breton cake.

. . .

Now I REALLY have to get this book. I tried a Far Breton once and it was pretty awful (NOT Dorie's recipe) but I really felt it would be great if I could just make it right!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Dorie -- I'm sorry to mention this but I have to bring up one complaint -- the index. When you do another edition, could you please rethink this? Here's an example of what I'm talking about. If you want to make Korova (aka World Peace) cookies, as I did the other week, where will you find them? They are not in the index under "K" or under "W." Instead, I have to look under "cookies, chocolate." Maybe it's just me but, if I know exactly what I'm looking for, it should be more straight forward.

That said, I love the book and am slowly working my way thought new and old favorites. The double apple bundt cake was terrific for Rosh Hashanah and am looking forward to making it again.

For what it's worth, I make a triple batch of the Korova/WP cookies. Sliced and baked one batch immediately and froze the remaining 4 logs. Sliced and baked 2 more this past weekend which were enjoyed by my son's AP Government study group and he and his sister are enjoying at school this week. The remaining 2 logs of dough are awaiting their turn in the freezer. These cookies have such a great texture and are perfect when you really need that hit of cocoa/chocolate. Also, I so love this do ahead and bake when ready approach.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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Midnight Crackles (p.74) are a chocolate lover's dream! They filled our condo with such a wonderful aroma as they were baking this evening. You're right Dorie, a few to nibble on just doesn't do the trick. I'm sure I'll be craving one of these delicious chocolate treats in the wee hours of the morning.

As a recipe note, I found that I had to adjust the baking time slightly to ~9 mins (I have an oven thermometer so I kept it at the suggested 350F). Any longer and the bottoms of the cookies got a little too dark for my liking.

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Elie -- once again your stuff looks great! I'm delighted that you and yours enjoyed the Far Breton. It's an unusual kind of dessert -- you nailed it when you said that its texture is between a cake and a custard -- and one that is not very well known in America, but I've found that everyone seems to love it when they get the chance to try it.

About whipping egg whites: Elie, I think you're right about why your meringues didn't peak -- to get the fullest puff power out of egg whites, they need to be at room temperature or warmer. The next time you want to use straight-from-the-fridge whites, think about warming them in the microwave. Be real careful -- heat them for 10 seconds, stir them, then heat them in 5-second spurts -- just until they feel warm to the touch. The ideal temperature is 75 degrees F, but a little warmer is fine.

Sugar Plum -- I'm starting to feel like Anna N -- I've got the book, but every time I see a picture, I'm ready to drop everything and bake what everyone else has baked. I think I've got to do the Midnight Crackles today!

JFLinLA -- thank you for your observation about the index. I've passed it along to the publisher. (By the way, I did not do the index. In fact, the only cookbook author I've ever known who did her own index was Julia Child. She and her husband did the indexes for both volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but at some point even Julia gave up on indexing and left it to the pros.)

About making batches of World Peace Cookies: JFL, I also make more than one batch of WPC (World Peace Cookies) at a time. While I've never tripled the recipe, I almost always double it, make what I need for the next couple of days, and freeze the other logs.

Also, when I've got a crowd and when I'm making lots of different sweets, I'll often roll one recipe of the dough into 3 rather than 2 logs, that way the cookies are smaller and I get more of them from each recipe.

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JFLinLA -- thank you for your observation about the index.  I've passed it along to the publisher.  (By the way, I did not do the index.  In fact, the only cookbook author I've ever known who did her own index was Julia Child.  She and her husband did the indexes for both volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but at some point even Julia gave up on indexing and left it to the pros.)

thanks for that tidbit! i knew that indexing is a subbed-out job, but love the fact that la julia did it herself!

i love this thread, and i'm reminded about how fabulous this site is ever time i log on and see dorie posting here....how terrific is that?

i'm really not a baker, but this book is terrific, and along with this thread, it has inspired me to break out the baking stuff. i will be making a variation of dorie's chocolate chip cookies in cooking class tonight, substituting the new tiny mini-peanut butter cups from trader joe's for chunks/chips...and you can bet i will be holding up the book, and telling everyone to go get two copies (gifting season is upon us) tomorrow!

i'm wondering--a lot of my students are in the bake sale and class snack phase of life. has anyone tried subbing half whole wheat flour in the applesauce spice bars? if not, i may have to give it a try, as our local schools are crazy about stuff like that...

thanks for this thread, and thanks especially to dorie...great book, and great eG customer service!!!

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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