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baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays With Dorie: Amaretti November 18, 2014

Filed under: Baking,Baking With Julia,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 11:29 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie comes from page 320 of Baking With Julia. I have made Amaretti before and the other recipe that I use has a few more ingredients like flour and whole eggs. I also choose to roll those in Pearl Sugar, but this time I followed the recipe given and left out the pine nuts. Which, hindsight I could have included them because I had a bag in the freezer.

I baked them for their set time and then had to add a few minutes. It still seemed like they needed a few more minutes because they were a little too chewy for me in the inside. The ones that baked at the bottom of the oven came out almost perfect. The recipe is simple and very easy to make, but I think I prefer the ones I usually make.

I am posted a bit late in the day because the girls had me running around. I probably could have made them this weekend, but I decided to turn store bought Croissants into this…



ALMOND CROISSANTS, love them so much 🙂

But since we are talking about Amaretti, here is my picture for those too.




Tuesdays With Dorie: Palets de Dames November 11, 2014

I would like to apologize for being MIA for an entire month.

Funny thing is I have actually been baking along, but like always times escapes me or maybe I just fell into a wormhole.  But I did emerge out of that whole over 5 pounds lighter.  That isn’t due to the baking, I am still training for a 5k on Thanksgiving and have been incorporating a lot of other exercises into that.  I have found that I am A LOT stronger now, but I still have a sweet tooth.

So the last time you heard from me I had embarked on my Vegan Adventure in September. Which was fantastic, and I need to fall into the vegan hole again because I really liked the way that I felt.  I ended up diving head first into the omnivore hole, but I have been incorporating more vegetables and more than a few times have enjoyed a home cooked vegan dinner.

Fair warning in advance, anyone that is still following me from my month of vegan food, I have reverted back to my omnivore ways…..for now 🙂

Holy Crap, Dorie came out with a new book.  I knew it was coming, but it surprised me the night we were doing an overnight set up (I work at a bookstore) and it happened to be one of the books on the table we were setting up.  I immediately screamed like a little girl and told one of my co-workers to stop what he was doing.  I ended up placing the book on hold, to purchase the next day because it was already WAY passed close. I also proceeded to hand it to my husband and told him that this was my anniversary present from him 🙂 Which happens to be today.

What a happy coincidence.

This is Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking Chez Moi style.  We start it off with a happy little cookie called Palets de Dames (page 272-274 in Baking Chez Moi).  Essentially it is a butter cookie with a lemon icing. I discovered that my lemons had gone bad, so I used 3 drops of Doterra Lemon Essential Oil.  The cookies turned out great and my 3.5 year old kept stealing them off the counter and eating them.  I really loved having them with my Irish Breakfast tea in the morning.


Since, I was baking  along here are the things that I did make and missed to post.

From Baking With Julia, last Tuesday was the Alsatian Onion Tart located on page 426.


Also, from Baking With Julia, on October 7, 2014 we made the Sunny-Side Up Apricot Pastries located on pages 192-194. I ended up subbing canned apricots because I was unable to find any fresh.  I also made this with vegan pastry cream, so it was vegan because I used Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry.



Tuesdays With Dorie Catch-up: Hazelnut Biscotti and Semolina Bread July 17, 2012


Okay, I have actually been baking a long but I haven’t posted anything.

Imagine that happening.

During the week of July 3, the hosts were Jodi of Homemade and Wholesome and Katrina of Baking and Boys. They were chosen out of a hat to make the recipe for Hazelnut Biscotti. Which is located on page 315 of Baking With Julia.

I was thoroughly impressed by this recipe for hazelnut biscotti. First, I learned anew method of peeling hazelnuts using boiling water and baking soda. It was AWESOME and worked perfectly. I usually just toast them and rub the skins off but this was so much easier and it removed all the skins, unlike just baking them. Granted it is another step if you have to toast the nuts too, but it worked too well not to just take the extra step.

I was actually surprised by the recipe because I have made many biscotti recipes and this one contained no added fat except for those of the egg yolks and in the nuts. When I thought about it it did make sense because added fat will make the product more moist and you want dry biscotti. I have to say that this have to be one of the best biscottis I have ever tasted, if not the BEST. The flavor of the toasted hazelnuts was perfect along with the crunch of the biscotti; perfect with coffee.

This week the hosts are Renee of The Way to my Family’s Heart and Anna of Keep it Luce, and they were picked to host the recipe for Semolina Bread. Which is olcated on page 102 of Baking With Julia.

The only downside of this recipe was the time it takes to make the bread: 2 hour rise for the started, 2 hour rise for the dough, 2 hour rise after shaping, and 35 minutes baking. So as you see, a lot of time. Which explains why I stayed up until 1230 am making this bread, but it was worth it. The bread was actually really simple to make and doesn’t require any kneading. The flavor of the bread reminded me of a bread from my childhood.

Every time we would go visit my grandparents in Pittsburgh they always made sure there were a couple of loaves of Mancini’s bread and a nice stinky provolone in the house. Both are still things I seek out when I visit Pittsburgh or my Grandparents come visit me. One time in college the visited me and I received 2 loaves of bread, provolone on a rope, and pepperoni, yummy. The flavor of Mancini’s is perfect to me, slightly soft and very good toasted Italian Bread. The semolina bread has a slightly firmer texture (reminiscent of dry Mancini’s), and a little bit of a sour flavor (which I assume if from the started). But it will due when I have a craving for Mancini’s bread.



Tuesdays With Dorie: Rugelach March 6, 2012

Filed under: Bread,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 6:34 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was hosted by Jessica of My Baking Heart and Margaret of The Urban Hiker. They picked the recipe for Rugelach, which is located on pages 325-327 in Baking With Julia.

For the recipe it gives you the option of making your own levkar filling, either prune or apricot, or you can just buy one. Levkar is just another way of saying fruit butter, well that is essentially what it is. Since I happened to have some prunes and apricots on hand because I have been making Emma’s baby food, I decided to make both levkars for the filling. To figure out which one I preferred I filled half of a recipe with each. The dried fruit for the filling was a mixture of dried apricots, golden raisins, and figs with walnuts and almonds.

I took my time making these cookies and made it a 3-4 day project. The first day I made both Levkars, and put out my butter and cream cheese to soften overnight. Day two I made the dough and chilled it. Day three I rolled out and filled the dough, and then put it in the fridge overnight. Day four or maybe 5 🙂 I finally sliced and baked them. I decided to not roll them in the cinnamon sugar nut mixture because I didn’t want the hassel, the mess, and I had waited long enough to taste these cookies.

Funny thing happened, at first I was only going to make one levkar so I asked Mike what his preference was and he said prune. I secretly wanted the apricot but I didn’t say anything. Once the cookies were made and we each tried them, I preferred the prune filling and Mike preferred the apricot. I guess things work out that way :). Mike took the extra to work and most of the apricot cookies got eaten. I think that is because Mike told them the other was prune filled and hey were wary.

Oh well, more for me. I figured out that I preferred the prune filling because it brought the flavor of the cinnamon to the front of your taste buds. It was just one of those nice added bonuses when the flavors worked perfectly and accentuated another ingredient which happened to be a favorite of mine 🙂


The End – Tuesdays With Dorie: Kid’s Thumbprints December 27, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 11:30 am
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How many years has it been?
I actually have to look at a calendar just to double check. It took us 4 years to bake through Baking: From My Home to Yours, give or take. I actually joined a couple of months in so I still have some baking catch up to do. I am just in complete shock that this is the last entry for Tuesday With Dorie.
As a present to our fearless leader, Laurie, and her inspiration, Dorie Greenspan, all of the members with Tuesdays With Dorie took a picture of themselves with their cookbook. Well I missed the deadline for this  awesome opportunity because of two things: I procrastinated (as usual) and did not check my email often enough, and my little one distracts me with all her cuteness.
So, to make up for it here is the picture I would have sent in if time were on my side.

What am I going to do with my time?
Well I will be spending most of it with my little girl and then come February, we get to start another new chapter in Dorie baking. I actually am excited 🙂
So, this last recipe was chosen by Dorie herself and she picked her Kid’s Thumbprint which are located on page 163. These little peanut packed cookies were very easy to make and bake. Too bad I didn’t chop up enough peanuts. I fixed this problem by rolling the rest of the cookies in sugar. Mike didn’t seem too keen on jam in the thumbprints so we went with chocolate because who doesn’t love peanuts and chocolate 🙂

I have had some great times baking, posting, and hosting. All of the comments that people have made, even by Dorie herself, have meant so much to me and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a member of this wonderful group of people. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring. Happy baking….and eating 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies April 26, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 7:51 am
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Valerie of Une Gamine dans la Cuisine.  She picked Dorie’s Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies which are located on page 130 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  These cookies are essentially lemon shortbread cookies with a hint of cornmeal in them.

I decided to only make half a recipe, however, I did use the zest from one lemon because I love that citrusy flavor.  The dough came together without any problems, and I just used one bowl and a spatula to mix everything.   The longest anything took was the wait time for the dough to firm up in the fridge before baking.

I probably should have cut these into smaller squares, but they turned out great none the less.  I really liked the flavor of these cookies with the lemon, and I couldn’t really tell that there was any cornmeal in it.  It essentially just gave the cookie a pale yellow color.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Pecan Powder Puffs March 29, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Tianne of Buttercream Barbie.  She picked Dorie’s Pecan Powder Puffs, which are located on page 156 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Every time that I would read the title of the recipe I would think, what is that…without even glancing at the recipe.  My brain would always seems to want it to be some sort of meringue  type cookie, maybe it was just the fact that it said puffs in the recipe.

Once I took a lot at the recipe, I began to realize that this recipe looked very similar to something that my mom would make every Christmas and a cookie that I have taken up making now.  The only difference is that we use walnuts instead of pecans and confectioners’ sugar instead of granulated sugar.  In my family, for some weird reason, we call these cookies Butterballs.  In Mike’s family they call them something along the lines of Rabbit Terds (that is what happens when there are 3 boys in the house).  I would always forget what he called them, and would refer to them as Snowman Poop, which he said should be the new name for them.  Rabbit Terds never felt right to me because we had 2 rabbits growing up and there little nuggets never looked like these cookies.  But I would imagine a Snowman would release something a long the lines of a snowball and since these cookies are rolled in confectioners’ sugar they actually resemble a little snowball 🙂

These cookies are very easy to make, and if you are going to vegan route you will be happy to note that the only thing you have to substitute is Vegan Butter because this recipe contains no eggs.  An extra bonus is that since there is no raw ingredients you can just sit there all day and pick at the cookie dough, which is very yummy.  For this recipe, I actually stuck to the recipe and I used pecans because that actually ended up being the only nut that we had in the house 🙂

These cookies baked up perfectly.  The taste is slightly different since it is made with pecans instead of the walnuts that I am use to, but they had a nice tender butter texture and the pecans added a nice nuttiness to it without it being bitter.