Tuesday, December 16, 2008

TWD: Buttery Jam Cookies

This weeks recipe was picked by Heather of Randomodity and the Girl. The recipe can be found on her blog or in Dorie Greenspans Baking book.

I was looking forward to another round of cookies, these were drop cookies so pretty simple to do, no rolling, no cutting, just spoon them on the baking sheet and that's it.
They sounded great, butter, jam, what's not to like? Well they were very, very bland, they lacked taste. It wasn't crunchy, but also not really soft, it tried to be a lot of things, but didn't shine. We all agreed here that this was the recipe we liked least so far.

Oh well, there is always butterscotch pudding next week, butter, booze, what's not to like ;-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

TWD: Grandma's All-Occasion Sugar Cookies

This weeks TWD recipe was picked by Ulrike from Küchenlatein, if you want to make it yourself you can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan's: Baking, From My House To Yours or on Ulrike's Blog.

The cookies were very simple to make, I didn't do anything fancy with them, just wanted to see how they would taste without any additions.
I went the slice and bake way, but I think I cut them a little too thick. The taste was still great, but next time I will do them a little thinner, probably roll them out and use cookie cutters.

Thanks for picking this one Ulrike! We all loved them.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Linzer Sablés

Made it back safely after a fabulous cruise! Our luggage decided to stay away a day longer but apart from that everything was great.

This week's Tuesday With Dorie recipe was picked by me! The first guy who joined the group finally got his pick :-)

I choose the Linzer Sablés, so far I've enjoyed the European style recipes more than the American, maybe because I'm European and my tastebuds are more used to those treats? Anyway, I love the way they look with the jam peeking out of the little hole.

I made mine with raspberry jam which I passed through a sieve, after heating it up, to get rid of the seeds.
They were very easy to make and the taste of the cookies comes close to "speculaas", must be the cloves.

I'm pleased with my choice, it's not my favorite recipe but I would make it again.

Here is the recipe:

When I was a kid, the main street in our neighborhood boasted a bakery every two blocks. We always had freshly made bread from the baker closest to our house and almost as often a box of butter cookies from the baker farthest away. My mother would always ask for an assortment, which meant we ended up with too many of those pink-and-green marzipan cookies and not enough of the linzers, buttery, lightly spiced sandwich cookies filled with raspberry jam that peeked through a little cutout on the top. These were the ones I liked best.
This recipe is not a duplicate of the cookie of my childhood, but it is inspired by it and it brings hack childhood memories. I've made these cookies a bit spicier than the originals- I like that extra zing-and I make the peekaboo cutouts only when I'm in the mood to fuss a hit. The rolling out, which is a cinch, can be done just as soon as the malleable dough is made.

1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 large egg
2 teaspoons water
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raspberry jam or strained apricot jam plus 1 teaspoon water (optional)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Whisk together the ground nuts, flour, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Using a fork, stir the egg and water together in a small bowl.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the egg mixture and beat for 1 minute more. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough. Don't work the dough much once the flour is incorporated. If the dough comes together but some dry crumbs remain in the bottom of the bowl, stop the mixer and finish blending the ingredients with a rubber spatula or your hands.
Divide the dough in half. Working ,,~th one half at a time, put the dough between two large sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap. Using your hands, flatten the dough into a disk, then grab a rolling pin and roll out the dough, turning it over frequently so that the paper doesn't cut into it, until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Leave the dough in the paper and repeat with the second piece of dough. Transfer the wrapped dough to a baking sheet or cutting board (to keep it flat) and refrigerate or freeze it until it is very firm, about 2 hours in the refrigerator or about 45 minutes in the freezer. The rolled-out dough can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just thaw the dough enough to cut out the cookies and go on from there.
Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Peel off the top sheet of wax paper from one piece of dough and, using a 2-inch round cookie cutter-a scalloped cutter is nice for these-cut out as many cookies as you can. If you want to have a peekaboo cutout, use the end of a piping tip to cut out a very small circle from the centers of half the cookies. Transfer the rounds to the baking sheets, leaving a little space between the cookies. Set the scraps aside-you can combine them with the scraps from the second disk and roll and cut more cookies.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden, dry and just firm to the touch. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the second disk of dough, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches. Gather the scraps of dough together, press them into a disk, roll them between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, then cut and bake.

If you'd like to make sandwich cookies, place the jam in a small saucepan or in a microwaveable bowl and stir in the 1 teaspoon water. Bring to a boil over low heat or in the microwave. Let the jam cool slightly, then turn half of the cookies flat side up and place about '/2 teaspoon of the jam in the center of each cookie; sandwich with the remaining cookies.
Just before serving, dust the cookies lightly with confectioners' sugar.

If you want to see how all the other TWD bakers did, hop over to the TWD site and check out the blog roll!

Next week: Grandma’s All-Occasion Sugar Cookies on pages 146-147