Pecan-Butterscotch Shortbreads

My first thoughts making these were…

  • Why are these called butterscotch shortbread when there is no ‘butterscotch’?
  • What exactly is butterscotch?

I feel like when I think butterscotch, all I think of is those yellow hard candies we grew up with 🤷‍♀️

I had to look it up actually.

Butterscotch at its most basic is a mixture of brown sugar and butter, melted and cooked together.

The main difference between caramel and butterscotch is that caramel is made with granulated sugar while butterscotch is made from brown sugar.

Perhaps I am the only one that didn’t know this, but I guess I just never gave it much thought! Learn something new everyday haha!

These shortbread cookies have the usual ingredients of flour, vanilla, salt, pecans, milk chocolate and butter but then we add some more unusual ones. We add in some cornstarch, brown sugar, confectioners sugar, and Scotch whiskey. It is the combo of brown sugar, vanilla, pecans, butter, Scotch whiskey and milk chocolate that give these cookies a decidedly “warm” flavor.

The dough comes together and is rolled out and chilled. The 2in disks are cutout and placed in muffin tins to bake. This gives them a nice crust. The cookies are to sit and cool in the tins for 20 min before unmolding and I have to say I thought this would be a disaster, but no…they popped right out haha. Phew!

This recipe made a lot of these cookies which my tasters appreciated. I am not sure the ‘butterscotch’ flavor came though, but the flavor all together was really good. Everyone loved these!

This one is a keeper!

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Coco-Almond Thumbprints

I knew these would be a hit with my coconut loving family…and the fact they are said to be similar to an Almond Joy…I knew most certainly!!

The cookies are very simple with only four main ingredients: almonds, coconut, sugar, and egg whites…really just a macaroon. Made in a food processor, the cookies retain some of the almond bits since sliced almond are used rather than almond flour. The dough comes together really easily.

I can’t remember ever making thumbprint cookies…probably because they are usually filled with jam and not always a favorite around here…but chocolate filled, is another matter entirely haha. It does take a bit of practice getting the ball and indent uniform, but once you figure out a process, there is really nothing to it. The cookies get popped in the oven and baked.

While the cookies cool, you make a chocolate ganache to fill them. I was questioning myself as I made the cookies, if I was making too big of an indent, but I pretty much used up the chocolate we made so I think my ratios were good!

As I suspected, these were an absolute hit with my family. So funny how both my kids got my husband’s love of coconut 😳…my soon to be daughter-in-law loves it too…so it’s just me and our son-in-law who are odd man out. We are just not a fan but hey, so glad the others love it!

This one is a keeper!

Miso-Maple Loaf

We have exciting news here!

Today, October 19, is release day for author Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook entitled Baking with Dorie, Sweet, Salty, & Simple. This will be the 5th cookbook we, as a baking group (since I have joined), will be baking our way through…recipe by recipe!

I began this baking journey back in 2012, joining the baking group “Tuesdays with Dorie”. At that time we were just starting her latest cookbook which was Baking with Julia. I absolutely fell in love with the idea of baking your way through a cookbook…not just picking the recipes you think you or your family would like. Not only has this become a great hobby and passion of mine, but it has opened my family and friends minds as well to just give something a try!

So for the last 9 years I have baked/cooked/blogged my way through two complete cookbooks of Dories, Baking with Julia and Baking Chez Moi. I have done this with friends around the world that have come together all with the same purpose to bake, create, and share this wonderful experience together. We are currently baking/cooking/blogging our way through two other of Dorie’s cookbooks, Everday Dorie and Dorie’s Cookies. This newest book, Baking with Dorie, Sweet, Salty, & Simple will be added to our baking schedule. It will be a little busy with 6 recipes a month until we finish Dorie’s Cookies, but that won’t be for long.

To kick off the new cookbook today, we all baked Miso-Maple Loaf.

At first glance, before I started this baking group I would have looked at that recipe and possibly moved on. Sounds like a odd combination but, I have grown to trust Dorie and her recipes! This is how she describes this loaf.

Sturdy, course-crumbed and on the brink of savory.

…that the miso and maple are less of a stand out flavor and more like team players. The loaf otherwise is pretty standard…flour, sugar, eggs, butter, buttermilk, orange zest but it is the combination of them all that creates something new and different. The loaf is mixed together and baked for 55 min…rested and topped with an apricot glaze if so desired. I added the glaze and was glad I did as many of my tasters commented on that part as being a favorite.

The loaf smelled delicious, and tasted even better. Everyone loved how moist and flavorful this was even though it was hard to pinpoint why. We all thought the orange flavor was the strongest coming through, but was mixed up with some mystery as the miso and maple played together. Just as Dorie said, not in the forefront but more of team players.

This was a great kickoff recipe…easy, intriguing, and loved by all. So excited to begin a new cookbook!

This one is a keeper!

Carmalized Onion Galette With Parm Cream

What a delight this recipe turned out to be!

I made this on one of the first cooler days of fall and it couldn’t have been a more perfect paring with a nice salad.

This does take some time, and some planning but I would say it is well worth it.

The onions are caramelized for 40 min…a slow process that shouldn’t be rushed as this is where all the flavor comes from. The onions are combined with some butter, garlic, sugar, rosemary, salt, and pepper…and smell delicious while it cooked down.

Meanwhile as the onions are cooking, you make up the galette dough. A slightly sweet dough that works well to set off the savory onions. The dough is rolled out and popped in the freezer for a minimum of one hour.

When you are ready to bake the galette, the dough is brought out to soften slightly so you can fold the dough without cracking. As that softens slightly, the last step before assembly, is to make the parm cream. Very simply, it is either mascarpone or cream cheese mixed with milk and then finely grated Parmesan is added. I used cream cheese and just like Dorie warns…there is quite a bit of sloshing going on as you get the milk incorporated into the cream cheese. 😂

Now the assembly…the easiest part! The parm cream is spread on the dough, leaving a boarder around the edges to be able to fold onto itself over the onions. Then the onions are placed on top and spread over the cream. The edges of the galette are then folded up and over. Pop it in the oven for about 40 min and it is done.

This smelled so good…and tasted even better! This was one of those recipes that met our expectations and we loved it! I would totally make this again for us…and for guests. It was delicious and seemed quite gourmet for not really all that much work.

This one is a keeper!

Cherry-Nut Chocolate Pinwheels

We are told these cookies look dainty, but have a bit of heft and enough chew to satisfy the monster variety of cookie lovers. The recipe uses the “Do-Almost-Anything Chocolate Dough” which claims to be delectable, easy, and a pleasure to work with.

The dough is a traditional mixture of flour, cocoa, butter, sugar, salt, egg whites, and vanilla. It mixes up really easily, and after tasting the final product I would concur it is delicious…but the “pleasure to work with” I would have a different opinion. 😳

I mixed the dough up and got it rolled out easy enough. It gets popped in the freezer for at least an hour. Meanwhile you make the filling which is made up of dried cherries, finely chopped walnuts, sugar, and water. You simmer the mixture, reducing to a thick spread.

After cooling to room temperature, the fruit filling is spread on the chilled dough. This is where the problems began. We are told to wait a few minutes until you can roll the dough without cracking…well that is a problem because as you wait giving it a try, the dough softens and you no longer have cracking but now you have a softened mess. Ugh. I put the whole thing back in the freezer to harden it up a bit and I was already telling myself these might be a one time deal cookie haha 😂.

I got the thing rolled up, feeling like a sushi chef the way I had to do it…using the parchment paper it was rolled on, as a roller. It worked. I wrapped it up in the parchment and giving that it said to freeze for a minimum of one hour and the trouble I had, I decided to leave it over night

Fast forward to next morning and I figured I would have no problem cutting the dough into rounds. 😳 Not exactly. I even used my sharpest knife and these things were cracking…every last one of them…so after I cut, I had to kind of re-form them on the cookie sheet. It was then, I was thinking this is for sure the last time I am making these hahaha! 😂😂

They get dusted with sanding sugar and popped in the oven. After all that had gone on, I was pretty proud of the pinwheel I got.

The cookies are then given some melted white chocolate drizzled on top to finish them.

As I handed them out to all my tasters…I made it clear…enjoy these, because they probably won’t be made again. 😂 Everyone loved these, which made it even funnier for all the effort that went into producing them.

Final verdict…they are a keeper based on taste, but I don’t think I will be making them again 😂🤷‍♀️