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.
Torta Sbrisolona is a traditional cookie that has been around since the Renaissance. Translated from Italian, it means “crumbly cake” but most people think of it as a cookie.
It is “struesel like”, but made with almond flour, corn meal, and chopped almonds..along with flour, sugar, egg yolk, cinnamon, and butter. It is crunchy, sweet enough, and dry the way biscotti is. I had a feeling this would be a hit for us.
Interestingly, in the making of the cookie you make the dough in a food processor and mix only until you have “wet sand”. We are told to drop the dough by squeezed streusel-like morsels. Then, I listened when I read the next instruction…
When all the dough is in, pat it down gently-“gently” bring the important word. You don’t want to crush the clumps, you just want to start them on the road to sticking together.
So I listened.
It sounded like I barely press down and then I was thinking maybe the butter melts it down to make more of a bar. 🤷♀️
The torta gets baked for about 35 min at 325. I could tell right away I was in trouble as my “streusel morsels” were in the same spot as I placed them haha. There was no turning the block out onto a rack…more like dumping it onto a cutting board. Gosh it looked like a mess.
I tried one, and it tasted great…so phew…but what a mess. I left them cooling on the counter. My husband told me he walked by and thought I ran to the store to get more ingredients because it didn’t look done haha. We had a good laugh over the whole thing. Needless to say, they were delicious and if I made them again I will most definitely press harder to make bars!!
Perfect summertime recipe for us to try out this month. This dry rub can be used really on anything…steak, chicken, fish or even corn on the cob or wedges of squash. The beauty of the rub is actually in the color, crust and depth of flavor it gives as it is grilled.
The rub is quite complex…check out the ingredients used:
Old Bay Seasoning
Chinese Five Spice
I wasn’t kidding…there is a lot going on!
The chicken is rubbed generously on both sides and then grilled. We were impressed with the color and crust we did get on our chicken as it seems like with other marinades, a lot falls off.
My husband and I both had similar reactions to this chicken. It was good and it seemed to get better the more you ate, but honestly there is a lot going on…maybe too much. I think personally I don’t care for cinnamon, and maybe the Chinese Five Spice, on meat as I think we have had that before in another recipe as those seemed to be what I tasted. Anyway, it was good and we enjoyed it but like my husband said, he wouldn’t crave it. I would have to agree.
Our recipe this month is a throw back from 1940. Originally called Texas Caviar and created by Helen Corbitt while culinary director of Neiman Marcus in Dallas. Traditionally it is made with black-eyed peas and served on New Years Day for a year of prosperity.
Our take on it uses either black-eyed peas or red, black, or pinto beans. They are mixed with green onion, red onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, tomato, and garlic…corn is also an option so I added it. The salad is then tossed with a vinaigrette made from olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt, smoked paprika, and honey. The whole thing can then be drizzled with hot sauce if so desired.
I am not a fan of beans, so I had to defer to my husband on his thoughts about this “caviar”. He really enjoyed it as a side, but thought it would also work perfectly in a rice bowl with chicken or fish…so that is how he had it the second day. He loved it and said it gave the bowl a lot of flavor..I am guessing primarily from the vinaigrette.
I think this is a keeper and can be used a variety of ways!
I would have to say, it was rather addictive. For something so simple, it sure had a wow factor.
I would also have to admit, I had to look up what pimentos actually were after a friend asked me haha. I was like…the red filling in a green olive 🤷♀️🤦♀️
This particular pimento cheese is easy to make…and other than making sure you have the pimentos…pretty basic ingredient list. We used a combination of extra sharp and sharp cheddar cheese, pimentos, small amount of Mayo and cayenne. We are told to trust the small amount of cayenne, because as the spread chills for the 4+ hours, the heat will intensify.
The heat was perfect…just enough to keep you coming back. This was so enjoyed by everyone, I will most certainly make it again!
I really had no expectations for these bitty bars…I mean a high fiber, gluten free, dark flour dessert…didn’t really create a high desire to have them haha…and Dorie’s description didn’t help much either…”pleasantly dry and grainy texture” 🤷♀️. Although, they did included chocolate, so that is always a plus!
We learn that buckwheat has quite a variation in color…could be almost black, thus giving it its name of black wheat. We are told this flour is very rich and nutty in favor.
I opted to make a half batch as the ‘100 bars’ the full batch made scared me off haha. I still ended up with 50 of the baby bars so this really makes a lot. Other than the buckwheat, the ingredients are very common: eggs, butter, baking powder, salt , sugar, vanilla, optional dark rum, and chocolate.
I am surprised how much we enjoyed these! The nuttiness really came through…almost like there was a slight peanut butter flavor in the chocolate. We felt the texture was better the first few days…they were described as a little “chalky” the longer they sat. That wouldn’t deter me from making them again though…just need to eat them faster haha. I do have the rest of the buckwheat flour, so I would say I can see me making these again. These were interesting…and a keeper!
Our blog recipe this month is a peach cobbler, but we are given a berry option in the side notes, so I went that route since we are berry fans. 😍
Cobblers seem to be a dessert that really is good anytime of the year…either eaten warm in the fall and winter or room temp in the spring and summer. A berry cobbler though, really does scream sunshine and summertime.
I went with a mixture of berries: blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. To help with the moisture that can be a problem when cooking with berries, some cornstarch is added to the mix. The berries are placed in the pan and then topped with drop biscuits…the recipe being one for beginners. No cutting in butter, or worrying about working the dough too much or too little. The recipe uses heavy cream and buttermilk. Just a little mixing and that is it. Easy.
The cobbler is baked for 45-55 min, until the topping is golden brown and the fruit juices can be seen bubbling around the edges….then cooled to room temperature and eaten with or without ice cream or whipped cream.
Based on the feedback I received from my tasters…the ones that ate it with a topping, loved it…the ones without, said it was good but a little dry and too much biscuit on top in parts. Since the biscuits are dropped in mounds…the dough could be out of ratio with the berries depending I guess which part you got haha. I am thinking you just don’t notice that if there is ice cream or whipped cream involved. 😂
Seemed like a perfect summertime dessert…and if I make it again, I will be sure to serve it with either ice cream or whipped cream!
We eat a lot of fish…multiple times a week in fact, so for us, this was a fun change-up from our usual go-to recipes.
I did use Mahi in place of the halibut since I had it on hand, but I would think, especially with white fish, any would be interchangeable.
The fish is marinated in a lemon and orange juice and zest combination…scallions, jalapeño, and cayenne round out the spice. The marinade has a duel purpose, marinating and then having been cooked down, then as a drizzle on the finished product. Since my fish was frozen I just used the marinade as a topping which I think worked just fine.
The mango salsa can be made up to two hours before serving which makes the dinner easier to bring together. The salsa includes the mango but also tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, basil, lemon juice and a pinch more of cayenne.
The fish is super easy to put on the table…bake, drizzle, and top. This dish screams summer and freshness. The only complaint we had, was that the overwhelming flavor was the lemon. We thought that could be toned down a bit, but, all in all, very good.
For us I think everything is judged against that salsa we made for the shrimp tacos a while back…I have made that so many times I wouldn’t be able to count haha. I think we would both say we still prefer that fruit salsa but we are always up for trying a new fish dish.
I have to admit when I saw this recipe, it brought back childhood memories of ground beef stuffed green peppers…of which, I was not a fan. 🤷♀️
I realized, after reading, that this is a sophisticated version of that childhood memory…stuffed with layers of interesting ingredients. It reminded my husband and I of the Tian we had made previously. Long roasted vegetables take on new flavors and are so delicious.
These consisted of three main layers:
Bottom: Filling made of bread crumbs, anchovies, lemon…both zest and juice, herbs and seasoning including a pinch of cayenne
Middle: Scattered basil and slice of lemon
Top: Halved cherry tomatoes topped with a drizzle of olive oil and more herbs
The peppers are then baked for about an hour at 425 degrees.
I have a funny story to share. I have never cooked with anchovies and was actually looking forward to making something that called for them. I went to Trader Joe’s, making sure I bought the ones in olive oil as called for in the recipe. This is what I opened as I was making this dish…
What the heck??? No idea what I was thinking at the store 🤦♀️…hopefully the anchovies were right there and I saw olive oil and went with this one. Ugh.
So, I have still not made anything with anchovies, or sardines for that matter haha. I was in the middle of making these when I had opened the can up, started chopping up the “anchovies” and realized my mistake so I went ahead and made them without. The sardines went in the trash…and I had a good chuckle.
My husband absolutely loved these!…even without the anchovies 😂. I tried them too, and they were good but not my favorite vegetable…but that is ok! I think as Dorie told us, these would be so easy to make for a large group and I think would be a huge hit. They look really good and aren’t really all that much trouble to make. I’d say these were a keeper!
I have to admit, I think I made a mistake on these.
I read the intro on this recipe…Dorie tells us these cookies give the everything bagel a run for it’s money. I was like ha…instead of making the seed mix, I would just use the “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning from Trader Joe’s. Sounds brilliant right?
I was thinking these would be a breeze to make…the dough is half of the mixture we made for the Sugar Pufflets but instead of embedding sugar with every roll, fold, and turn…we use the seasoning making this a savory cookie rather than a sweet one.
I made these the same day as the sweet version so it was a fun comparison to try them in a side by side tasting.
Here is where I had a problem…they were very salty. It wasn’t bad that I used the seasoning, I would probably do it again but much, much less. They smelled great baking and tasted good but for me too salty. My husband loved them but not sure how 😂😂.
That is what I get for going with a shortcut haha. Bummer.