Springtime Cookies and Curd

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Continuing from the previous post…this is recipe #2 using the cookies from last post.  This looks so simple but for some reason the flavors were so complex…it was delicious!

Word of warning though it can be costly to make if you don’t have some of these ingredients sitting around in your house.  I already had to buy the almond flour for the cookies, then the Rhubarb and Angostura Bitters, Grenadine, and Strawberries.  I always feel so out of place going to my Total Wine store…”excuse me, I am baking and need these, showing them my paper, can you help me. :). The good news is, now I have these supplies and can make this again more easily.

This is a dessert that you make all the components ahead of time and then construct it when you are ready to eat.  There are a few steps!

  1. First bake the Double Baked Double Butter Petite Beurre Cookies
  2. Make the Curd consisting of grapefruit and lemon juice.  This needs to be chilled minimum of 4 hours.  I made this the night before.
  3. Make the Roasted Rhubarb with Bitters.  This is an optional step but I would say this completes the diverse flavors in this dessert.  It gives it a taste that I would equate to cloves or allspice. I am not sure, but wonderful!
  4. Prepare the strawberries with sugar 10 minutes prior to serving.
  5. Assemble the “parfait”…crumble the easy to crumble cookies on the bottom,  spoonful of curd, spoonful of rhubarb bitters, and spoonful of strawberries.  Top with more cookie crumbles.

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I don’t know what we were all expecting, but I can tell you, not something tasting as complex and delicious as this.  The flavors all complimented each other so well…and the textures just put it over the edge.  This was a wonderful surprise…and certainly not the usual dessert I prefer.  I am so glad I gave it a try because I loved it.   I would totally make this again…even those high maintenance cookies  haha!  This one is a keeper for sure!

 

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Double-Butter Double-Baked Petit Beurre Cookies

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On first glance you would think this is a very simple, plain cookie…you would be wrong.  Although this is a plain cookie on its own, it is not simple and is usually used as a part of a more elaborate dessert.

This month we will bake a little differently than in the past.  We will still have two recipes, but this first one will be used in the second.  We have a double duty kind of thing going on.  I have made both as of this posting but will refrain from speaking about the second except to say…it is simple delicious!!!  Any of you who have not made it yet, go the extra mile and make the Rhubarb Bitters to go with it.  I think it takes it over the edge.

Back to our recipe at hand, the plain cookie that is not simple.  These cookies are a VERY fragile butter cookie.  The lengths you have to go to in order to have an unbroken cookie is unbelievable haha…so yay for me for accomplishing the first task 🙂

These cookies actually have a few steps.

Mix up the dough until you have crumbs resembling streusel and turn them out onto a cookie sheet squeezing some together to create different sizes

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  • Bake the mixture, turning the crumbs every 5 minutes.  Cool the crumbs to room temp.
  • When the crumbs are cool, transfer them back to the mixer and add the remaining butter and beat…keeping some of its irregular texture.
  • Shape dough into a disk and roll between parchment paper.  Freeze dough for at least an hour.
  • Using a cookie cutter cut the dough out, knowing the dough will most surely crack as you do this.  We are to take heart that all will end well.
  • Bake the cookies and without moving them off the cookie sheet let them cool to room temp.
  • After the cooling we are “suppose” to then move them gently still on the cookie sheet into the refrigerator and let them chill for 1 hour THEN we can remove them from the cookie sheet.  High Maintenance would you say!!!  (I skipped this step and I still was able to have whole cookies)

We tasted the cookies and thought ok, good but rather bland.  It is a simple butter cookie that crumbles and dissolves in your mouth.  Good…but at this point I was seriously saying to myself, and some of my tasters, I will not be making these again.  Too much work for not enough flavor.  This is where this post ends but the story does not.  Like I said these cookies are used as part of a much more elaborate dessert that had me saying to myself, sure, yes, I can make those cookies again. The next dessert is THAT good.  Stay tuned.  I guess I would say then this one is a keeper! 🙂

Apple Matafan

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This one had me at “Apple”…I am an apple girl.

I had no idea what a Matafan was but I was willing to try it :).  Many of my fellow bakers had already baked this one so I knew we would be in for a treat.  A Matafan is described to be a cross between a crepe and a griddle cake…basically a pancake.  It was different though.  I was expecting it to have the consistency of a pancake and we thought it was denser, more like a sponge cake.  Regardless of what it is, one thing is for certain, we all loved it and thought it was delicious.  On the plus side, very easy to make.  I would think it would be perfect for a brunch or family breakfast.  Not too much work and not too much bake time.  We actually had it for dinner the night I baked it along with some bacon.  Not sure if it was the Matafan or the addition of the bacon, but my husband thought breakfast for dinner was great that night! 🙂

We did take the advice offered from those who baked this recipe first, that it is best with the maple syrup that was listed as optional.  I tried a bite first without and it was good but somewhat bland.  Once I added just a little syrup it really took this to a new level.  This one is a keeper!

Viennese Sablés

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Viennese Sablés we are told are known as a “Belgian Butter Cookie”, “German Butter Cookie”, and also “French Butter Cookie” but that every American Dorie has made these cookies for have said, “These taste exactly like those Danish butter cookies, the ones that come in the blue tin.”  She was so right…they tasted exactly like them!

These are traditionally piped into a W but can be any shape or form.  I chose to use the star tip as recommended and went with a circle.  There is the option to dust with confectioner sugar after they cool,  but when I told my husband I would be making these he requested I top them with coarse sugar…he said those are the best ones in the blue tin. Haha 🙂

Everyone loved these!

Pailles

 

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Some thoughts about this recipe:

  • Paille means straw
  • These are puff pastry rolled, folded, and then frozen.
  • Once frozen the dough is cut into strips, pinched together, and baked golden.
  • Finally, two are sandwiched together with jam or jelly.  I used lemon curd.
  • You don’t much “make” these pastries as much as you “construct” them
  • Cutting frozen puff pastry is hard on the hands 🙂
  • I only got 4 sandwich cookies out of my batch
  • Seems hard to make these for a group or gathering…you don’t get many and they have to be eaten right away
  • The response was, “Really good…like a lemon bar but a sandwich!”

I think my husband wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the looks of these, but was pleasantly surprised with the taste!  He said they were fantastic…that the lemon was really good but probably any jam or jelly would be just as great.  Apparently much to his surprise…they are a keeper. 🙂

Apple Weekend Cake

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Apple Weekend Cake, we are told, is found all over the country of France…with coffee in the morning or tea in the afternoon.  It really is a simple loaf cake with some added flavoring coming from some dark rum, cinnamon, and vanilla.  The real sweetness comes from the apples.  I added some sparkling sugar on the top of the loaf before baking. You can’t really see it, but it gave a crunch to the cake that all of my tasters raved about.  I would definitely do that again!   All in all, everyone said I shouldn’t save this for a  “weekend cake”, but rather they would love it any day of the week. 🙂

Ps. I love when Dorie gives us instructions like, bake for 60-65 min or until golden, crowned, and cracked in the middle.  Looks exactly like she said.  This one is a keeper!

Chocolate Crème Caramel

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I knew this caramel covered custard was going to be a hit before I made it last week.  Sometimes it is nice to get advance warning from my fellow bakers who made this recipe earlier in the month.  They all said it was fantastic and that was echoed by ALL of my tasters….even those that weren’t quite sure they would like this one.

Everyone said it looked like flan, but did not have the consistency and of course not the taste since it was chocolate.  My tasters said the custard had a mousse like quality and that the richness of the chocolate was perfect.  I used 6, 4 ounce ramekins instead of the 4, 6 ounce…mostly because that is what I had and also it works better for sharing.  I think the size worked out perfectly to hear from my tasters.  They thought it was just the right amount.

One thing I did find interesting was my caramel hardened up in the ramekins before I poured in my custard.  I was scared it would remain that way after cooking and then chilling for so long in the fridge.  You can imagine my delight as I turned this first one over and the liquid caramel flowed out over the top. 🙂