Pain De Gênes Buttons

These almond cookies are really a cross between a sponge and pound cake. Baked into a mini-muffin pan instead of loaf, they become “buttons”…small and cute and full of flavor.

This is a very simple recipe ingredient-wise and I would offer, if you are not a fan of almond flavoring your might not prefer these.

The main ingredient is almond paste which is mixed for two sessions of 5 min while adding very small amounts of flour, cornstarch, butter, and vanilla or rum…along with 2 eggs. We are aiming for a mixture creamy and rather like mayonnaise. I wasn’t quite sure we would get there but we did!

All in all, fairly easy although we are told to “unmold the cookies after baking and if there are a few stragglers, rap the tin against the counter and they will tumble out“. That would not be how I would describe my experience haha. All of them stuck, none of them “tumbled out”, and all required a full individual loosening and pulling out. 😳😂. Not easy at all, but somehow they all made it through rather unscathed.

I would say, you have to enjoy a strong almond flavoring to like these cookies. I did use the almond paste recommended, but maybe if I had made my own, it would have been a little milder in flavor. Anyway, I was the only one who didn’t really care for these…most everyone else loved them.

Cheddar-Seed Wafers

Since we will be completing a cookbook this month…stay tuned on that one…I will be re-joining others in my group who have faithfully baked in 3 cookbooks at the same time. I couldn’t keep up the pace so although I started some recipes in Dorie’s Cookies, there are many I have missed.

I will only be able to claim cooking “half the book” on this one but that is ok haha! This way I will continue to have 2 cookbooks to bake/cook through, so yay!

This recipe is for wafers…a type of cracker really. My husband said they reminded him of crisps you get with a salad at a restaurant.

They smelled really good while baking…a combination of cheddar and black pepper! The mix is comprised of sharp cheddar, butter, salt, pepper, white wine, flour, and seeds. I opted for sesame seeds because I had some on hand.

Since I was having my parents and kids over for my daughter’s birthday dinner…socially distancing as best as we can, I made a double batch and the larger size so everyone could have one. That was actually un-necessary because you really only need a little bit. These are quite tasty, but also heavy/rich with the cheese and butter. I broke some up so we could eat them with our salad.

Everyone enjoyed these but also saying they would be perfect crumbled on top of some tomato soup….think gourmet goldfish!

It is funny because I have been doing this for so long, I just tell the family…ok blog recipe, I need some feedback haha…they know the drill!

Bean and Tortilla Soup

We were excited to try this. One of my husband’s favorites is tortilla soup…he orders it frequently when we go out, and I have a go-to recipe for making it at home. We were curious how this one would compete…and would it replace my recipe that I have used for years.

First thing out of my husband’s mouth was..”wow, looks like restaurant quality”!

I tell you, that is a good start haha.

There are a few things I loved about this recipe

  • that everyone can customize their own with the add-ins
  • it is spicy, but not too spicy
  • it is a lighter version with broth and lots of veggies..the usuals, but also bell pepper and carrots which I haven’t had before in this soup
  • I also liked that some of the onion and bell pepper were reserved and added raw at the end
  • restaurant quality but not a lot of work

We loved this one!…so delicious. It is funny because it isn’t all that different from the one I make but the tweaks that are different, make all the difference! My husband actually said it was good enough to replace our usual tortilla soup. That is really saying a lot. Good one Dorie!

This one is a keeper!

Parisian Macarons

Macarons

Anyone who has watched many baking shows knows…

This is a recipe you approach with respect. This is a technical bake…one where any number of things can go wrong…at any number of times along the way.

I have to say, I was intimidated.

I did my research on this one. I read and re-read the four pages of the recipe. I bought silicon mats, a pastry bag and tip…no using a ziplock this time haha. I found which food coloring is best to use to not add more moisture to the batter. I tried to set myself up for success and I was still nervous.

Rightfully so, right??

These are hard…they take a long time. You have to be patient and vigilant and watchful the whole time…and then after all that time, it comes down to that one moment…

Did I get the foot?!!!

😂😂😂😂

My husband was quite baffled. I had to explain the success or failure had to do solely on the dang foot haha.

I have to say, I was so much more relieved than excited that I got it. Phew!! Interestingly, I got the better foot on the shells that were my overflow batch that were baked on parchment paper. I guess I didn’t need the silicon mats after all haha.

I told all my tasters…Dorie says it is imperative to let them sit for 24 hours before eating them. That was hard for everyone BUT I am guessing well worth the wait because everyone absolutely loved these saying they were the perfect texture…professional even! “FIRE” (that would be my son 😂)

WHOA 😮

I am grateful these turned out….it would have been disappointing otherwise…and we all know it takes a little luck for it to go your way. I think I would be less intimidated the next time. These are quite a show stopping cookie…and taste great, but I don’t think these will become a go to cookie for me. I can’t take the stress haha.

Macaron Biscotti

This was an easy one to complete…we used macarons from our last recipe…a two for one haha.

This is more of a suggestion as a new way to use the macaron shells rather than a true recipe. We are to fully dip the cookies into melted butter and then bake them again. The butter bubbles and spits around the edges of the macarons…soaking it up as they rest and cool on the counter.

The shells take on a new texture and color…these look brown and chocolatey but they are the same purple ones I used in the previous recipe.

Baked this way, the cookies lose their classic crunchy/chewy macaron texture and take on a taste and feel more like shortbread. They were good, but after all the work went into making the classic macaron, I am not sure I could appreciate turning it into a crunchy cookie haha. I can’t say I would ever make macarons to then turn them into biscotti haha. So although good, I can’t see myself making these again.

Miso-Maple-Jammed Sweet Potatoes

Ok, if I am being honest…this one seemed weird to me. 😳

When I think of miso, I am thinking Miso Soup, California Roll, and Spicy Edemame…not sweet potatoes…BUT I have also learned on this cooking journey, that we can be surprised by unlikely pairings that make us think, why have I never done that before??

There are two parts to this recipe: making the jam and roasting the potatoes.

We are given some advice on the best sweet potatoes to use and the info that the jam is not bad on white potatoes as well. So, I happened to have the white sweet potatoes, Dorie’s second choice, and also a russet so that is what I went with since that is what I had on hand. To be honest…again 😂, I was thinking there was a higher probability we would enjoy the russet over the sweet potato.

The jam is easy to make, basically combining butter, white miso-I could only find red, maple syrup, ponzu, sriracha, salt, and pepper. It makes a spoonable mixture when you have it combined.

You can either let your guests split their own or you can cut the potatoes into wedges, press down with a fork to create a few grooves, spoon some jam on and then return to the oven for about 10 min. That is what I did.

I know you are all waiting to hear…were we fans or not? Well…we were all pleasantly surprised at how good this was…I mean really good. The other surprising thing was we all agreed it was way better on the sweet potato. 😳😂 It all got eaten and it was requested to be made again.

It makes me think, there is so much more to be had than just cooking new recipes…at least the way we are doing it. There is no choosing to make something because it sounds good…just the next ones in “cooking the book”. It expands our worlds to new tastes and experiences that we would miss out on if we only chose recipes because we “thought” we would like them. Seriously, deciding to join this group 8 years ago was just the best decision in so many ways.

We are all surprised to say it, but this one is a keeper.