Tuesdays With Dorie -Pfefferneusse

For me, Pfefferneusse are my favorite Christmas cookie. I have a significant amount of German ancestry, and my dad grew up in a German community in NYC. We had three German bakeries nearby that we frequented. I have actually written about Pfefferneusse before, with a recipe for, what I consider to be, the gold standard of Pfefferneusse. They are what I am most familiar with when one would mention the delectable holiday confection.

Needless to say, I have had a number of versions of the cookie… some more like gingerbread, some more like the cookies I have referred to above (made with molasses and anise seed), none as delicate as the version we made for Dorie’s cookies. I have never had a version that didn’t have anise seed in them, and the dough color was so blonde going into the oven, that I worried I had done something wrong. I found the flavor of these to be quite delicate… almost too much so. I used the powdered sugar because, again, that is what I am used to seeing on a Pfefferneusse, but considering how delicate the flavor of these cookies was, I wish I had used the chocolate instead, as I felt like the powdered sugar didn’t really do anything to enhance the flavor.

What did you think, dear reader? 

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Cook the Book Fridays – Grated Carrot Salad

I wound up making only one portion. Or at least one me-sized portion. I do so love a good salad.

Honestly I intended to make enough for me and my hubs for lunch (I am working from home until January), but I was having real problems getting this grated. First, it looks like I must have lost the stem for my grating attachment for my cuisinart, so I took the whole thing out just to have it put it back. Then I was going to just use my box grater, when I was entranced by David’s tales of long curly carrots. I thought, “Ah! I should use my julienne attachment on my mandolin!”, so I used that but my guard kept me from using the whole carrot. I gave up after I had enough for one me-sized serving because I would have had to take PTO for the rest of the day just to get the rest of 1 lb grated.

I liked this salad. I liked the sweetness of the carrots against the lemony vinaigrette. What I really liked was the mouthfeel of the julienned carrots, and the way that it felt when I chewed them. I know that sounds weird, but they were not entirely firm, a little bit soft, with a great bite. And it was surprisingly filling. I would probably make this again… it would go well with roast chicken or grilled meat of any kind. 

If you would like to make this for yourself, you can find the recipe here on Food52. It tells you to add an avocado which the book does not call for, but it is otherwise the same. 

Posted in My Paris Kitchen | David Lebovitz, Sides | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Tuesdays With Dorie – Caramel Tart

At this point I have to say that we are a little overstock.com on desserts. Between the cookies and the Chocolate Caramel Tart from CtBF, and this tart… oy!

I also had plans to make three new desserts to take to my sister in law’s for Thanksgiving, but my hubby has come down with an upper respiratory infection AND pink eye in both eyes, so we are going to be be staying home for the big day. I think, in our 13 years of marriage, we have only done Thanksgiving alone once… since it is just the two of us, we are always generously invited to another family member’s home. So, I think it will be fun! I am going to make Ina Garten’s Ham with Mango Chutney glaze, and then our most favorite trappings. I will pick up a crumb cake and a stollen for us to watch the parade with, which was tradition in my home growing up. And I have a delicious Red Schooner on standby (Voyage 3! The new vintage! A Caymus Malbec!).

Anyway, caramel tart. I finally had enough of my very french-baked tart shells. They have just been too dark! I reduced my heat to 375 and only cooked the tart shell for the initial 25 minutes required. I think I could have cut the time a little more, and have been just fine, too. 

The caramel came together quickly and easily, though I wasted two eggs, which had very delicate yolks that broke too easily. I whisked the eggs and sugar in my stand mixer rather than by hand, and then added the caramel sauce in on the lowest setting. The mix came together easily without any foam created. I did have to bake my tart for 10 minutes longer than the recipe called for; the center was entirely too loose, but was perfect after an extra ten minutes in. And of course, followed up with a chill in the fridge.

To serve I made some Chantilly and I think the tart definitely needed it to balance the richness of the caramel. It was definitely delicious though. Such clear caramel flavoring. We really enjoyed it, and I am happy to say that there are plenty of leftovers for Thanksgiving Day. I can say that I would definitely make this again. So simple in its execution and appearance, but so delicious.

Well, to all of my readers, I wish you and yours and Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for this baking and cooking community we have! 

Posted in Baking, Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Cook the Book Friday – Chocolate Dulce de Leche Tart

Man this was delicious. Also, I have never had occasion to make Dulce de Leche before (tl, dr; put a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of simmering water for like 3.5 hours. The end.), and I could have just purchased La Lechera in the store (we have all sorts of things like that being so close to Cuba and the Caribbean), but why go the easy route? I have almost never taken the easy route. Complication helps me remain intellectually stimulated!

Obviously I was not careful about spreading the Dulce de Leche evenly in my tart shell because I was too obsessed with eating the rest of the can of Dulce de Leche. 

My top looks mottled because of the Malden flakes I sprinkled on top… but the salt sprinkled into the crust and on top was a really nice added touch – it really helped to cut the richnesd of this. And that chocolate custard on top! Ummm… it was all so delicious, and my husband described it as the best brownie but not a brownie ever (ok? Not sure about his description but whatever…). ::Heart Eyes::

Posted in Baking, Dessert, My Paris Kitchen | David Lebovitz | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Tuesdays With Dorie -Peanut Butter Change-ups

This week the Peanut Butter Cookies. One of my husband’s favorites! Since this week has two challenges (both these and the Chocolate Dulce de Leche tart for CtBF) I didn’t get to have any before my non-paleo days were over (we went to Epcot Food and Wine on Saturday, and I preferred to have a slice of tart over cookies) That, however, did not stop my husband, and said he loves these very much. He loves that they are both crunchy and soft at once!

And of course they were quite easy to make, assembled in between tart steps. 

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Tuesdays With Dorie – Apple Speculoos Crumble

I know… I know. You are probably wondering why I made the Apple Crumble when I have been so clearly craving non-fruity desserts. Well, I always do love a good apple crumble, but mostly I wanted to have the next few weeks uninterruped by fruit! Ha ha!

This was quite simple to make. I thought I had bought fuji apples [or ar least that is what the sign at the markey said], but it turned out that I had bought pink crips instead. They were still delicious. I definitely added more sugar to the apples than was called for, and used raisins as well.

And then! I saw these on the end cap and just couldn’t resist!

Yes, they were all in little packages, which is a bit of a PITA but Santa! I know him! Also, do note that the cookies don’t look quite as Santa-ish as the picture on the package ssas, so i don’t feel too terrible about pulverizing the man in the Red Suit. Or at least I did, in my laziness, put the cookies and the butter into the cuisinart, rather than break them and mush them by hand. 
And the aroma wafting through the air was marvelous! The dessert was delicious, and with all good apple crumbles, served with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Gelato. Yum! The biscoff definitely made this… after all, it is otherwise just baked aapple, right? I really liked this one. And there are still two packages of Santa biscoff left! Yum…

Posted in Baking, Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Cook the Book Fridays- Scalloped Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Garlic

I would like to be gluttonous and just grab a giant spoon and eat these scalloped potatoes alone. That roasted garlic! The blue cheese! THE CREAM!! Swoon. my doctor has me on paleo five days a week, but I was lucky enough to enjoy this during my last off day.

It is noted that David advised serving these potatoes with a green salad. Salad is overrated. I served these with a sous vide lamb chop. Too divine. All the lusciousness!

Last note… For those that might be concerned about the blue cheese being too strong, do not be. If you would like to make these (and I very strongly advise adding these to your Thanksgiving table), you may find the recipe here. Be prepared to see these scooped up!

Posted in My Paris Kitchen | David Lebovitz, Sides | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments