Umami Burger

We don’t eat red meat all that often so this was a treat we were looking forward too.

You begin with sautéing mushrooms and red onion together and then mixing that with a combination of oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and gochujang. I have to tell you, this smelled great and looked amazing.

The onion and sauce mixture is added to ground beef and shaped into four patties. Dorie tells us to cook in a skillet at high heat for 4 min before flipping and cooking another 3. Ours took longer than that to get the patties done in the middle. I wish we could have bbq’d them but I think they would have crumbled with all the mushroom/onion mixture studded throughout.

I have to ask…any of you other bakers think it odd that Dorie suggested “tasting” the beef and onion mixture before forming into patties to see if you need more salt or pepper?? 😳. I mean me personally…I had on gloves just to mix and make the patties haha there is no way I was “tasting” the raw meat. 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️

We had high hopes for this one…liking everything about it, but husband and I both had the same reaction that the flavor got lost in the bun. It was better when you just ate the patty by itself but even then it was muted. I feel like these would have had more of a punch to put the mushroom/onion mix on top of the patty so you could really taste it. We enjoyed trying these but were underwhelmed by the end result. I do think I will try using the mix though with something else as a topping!

Chocolate and Walnut Bars

These bars are based on a memory of a torte Dorie had in Rome. They have the dry, sponge texture found in European cakes along with a walnut flavor studded with chocolate chunks and nuts.

We are warned there is a fair amount of work and bowls required in this bake, but that we will be rewarded at the end. It does make a decent amount, so there was plenty to share and all of my tasters love when that happens! 😍

The bars are made from ground walnuts, flour, butter, sugar…and many eggs! Eight yolks go into the mixture and 8 whites whipped up and folded ever so gently into the batter…after the melted chocolate, chopped chocolate and a small amount of chopped nuts are mixed in. I am always nervous when “gently folding” but I got a good rise and spongy texture so I am guessing I had a soft enough hand. Yay! 😂

After baking, the torte is unmolded and turned upside down onto a cooling rack leaving the smooth bottom as the top as it will be nicer for glazing. While that cools, we prepare a chocolate glaze made from heavy cream, more chocolate, sugar, and water. The top is iced and then set in the fridge to chill for a min of 30 min to set the chocolate top.

The torte is sliced and cut into bars as you need them, but I cut the whole thing up and set off delivering to family and my good friend.

The reactions were all positive..everyone loved them..and loved the texture with the finely chopped walnuts in the bars. My husband thought they would be perfect with coffee in the morning which I am sure he is saving his second piece for exactly that tomorrow haha.

I had an end piece so maybe that is why, but I was surprised that these didn’t seem overly rich or too chocolatey. You would certainly think so with chocolate on top…and also melted and chopped in the batter. I was thinking more like a brownie, but this was something else. Definitely more light and “spongey”. It was a nice surprise and worth the work.

This one is a keeper!


The name Rousquilles means “little wheels” which is appropriate for these white glazed ring cookies that are popular in Barcelona and also the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. Traditionally they are flavored with anise seeds and orange flower water which Dorie tells us can be divisive. We are given the option of making them in a more plain version without the seeds and then milk, instead of the orange flower water…which I did.

The dough, which is pretty simple consisting of flour, confectioners sugar, butter, egg yolk, milk, and honey, is prepared in a food processor and then rolled between parchment paper. We were to use two circle cookie cutters…mine ended up being a glass and and the top of a spice bottle haha! It worked. 🤷‍♀️. The rings can be any size, ranging from small to large. I think mine were on the bigger side since I only got about 15 cookies instead of the 30 the recipe suggested.

After these cook, they are to be iced with a cooked version of a glaze. I had heard from my fellow bakers this is tricky since you don’t have much liquid to work with and just not necessary when there are easier ways to accomplish the same thing. I ended up using the recipe I have from my Grandma for an icing we would use for her sugar cookies. I love that when I looked it up on her handwritten recipe card, she called it “Ornamental Frosting”. I miss her and know she would have loved to have followed this baking journey I have been on. 😍

So, the verdict on these cookies is that they are delicious…simple and perfectly sweet. My husband thought they reminded him of a graham cracker in flavor…and I have to agree…(specifically these big dinosaur shaped cookies I remember from when the kids were young. Anyone else remember those?!! 🤦‍♀️ ) These have just enough flavor and sweetness to keep calling you back for another. The only think I would do differently next time, would be cutting them in another shape. I know not quite the right thing to say since they are called “little wheels” but just plain circles or any shape would taste perfect and not be quite so labor intensive with the double cutout.

We loved these! They are a keeper!