Friday, March 23, 2012

cocoa sables - French Fridays with Dorie

My mother loved chocolate.  She also loved to collect bone china tea cups and saucers.  So here we have French Chocolate Butter Cookies on English Bone China.  
My mother, she would have enjoyed these.  

This week's recipe for French Fridays with Dorie is cocoa sables. Sables are the French version of the butter cookie. Dorie Greenspan says they are good for ice cream sandwiches. I'm not going there.  She makes hers bigger around (1.75 inches); mine measured 1.25 inches in diameter before baking, 2 inches baked.  I did make them the same height - 1/2 inch.  So instead of 36, I got 60 cookies out of the recipe. Each cookie computes to 2 weight watchers points plus value.  Somehow, 8 10 of my points went to these darlings today!

Lesson Learned:  My dough did not come together in the mixer bowl using the beater blade.  I confess I didn't let the butter come to room temperature.  I used the "soften butter" setting on my microwave.  Maybe that's why I had some trouble.  I ended up working the dough in the bowl with my hands until it was ready to turn out onto the counter.

But when the dough did come together, it rolled into the logs quite nicely.  One of the logs above, after chilling, getting ready to cut into 1/2 inch "squarcles"

See my "squarcles" ready to go into the oven?

Cooling down.  Somehow they rounded themselves a little more as they baked.

Would I make these again?  I give them a thumbs up, so that's a probably yes.  What's nice about this recipe is that it does not require milk or eggs.  So if I wanted to make cookies and didn't have milk or eggs this is an easy recipe.  To see what others have done with this recipe this week, you can visit French Fridays with Dorie.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Irish Soda Bread - Tuesdays with Dorie

Here's Dolly, just looking up at me with love in her  Ahhh, perhaps she is waiting for 

crumbs to fall from the island countertop, where I had just sliced up some of the Irish Soda Bread.

I was really ready for this one.  After the Rugelach almost took me out, this recipe looked to be almost simple enough that my grandkids could have made it.

I even had all the ingredients on hand.  Too simple for words.  Except I forgot to check the calendar until it was already Tuesday morning and I hadn't made the recipe yet.  Don't panic I say to myself.  This bread doesn't even have to rise.  It will not be a problem (I say to myself).

The buttermilk mixes in with the dry ingredients with a fork pretty easily.  I then add raisins in the bowl before it turns out onto a floured board.  Its pretty sticky, but I don't mess with it much since the recipe tells me not too.  I'm not deviating from the recipe since I am on a "make it now or never" roll.

Cut an "X" on top - and I always use a scissors since I don't have one of those sharp bread dough slicers.  The scissors keeps the dough where it's supposed to stay when making the cut.

It's a thing of beauty.  It's a new favorite bread recipe (and I haven't even tasted it yet).

And it's even cooked all the way through...what a great quick bread recipe.

So, the verdict:  YES.  It will be made again.  And Dolly may even get a taste.  Thanks to Tuesdays with Dorie - Baking with Julia, I have found and enjoyed this recipe.  See what others did with this recipe here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

saint-germain-des-pres onion biscuits: French Fridays with Dorie

How much do I love these?  VERY MUCH.  And since I started Weight Watchers recently (oh, thank you chocolate truffle tarts and know what you did!), these are a glorious ONE Point each.

Adding the onions is a stroke of genius (Dorie's, not mine!)

My weapon of choice for the cutting  - these pastry cutters sure worked fine.  
Set to 1.5 inches and cut up and down, then across and voila!

One lonely little circle among the square soldiers going into the oven.  
That one just happened to pop in my mouth right out of the oven.

So good, they deserve another photo!

So I guess you can tell that I LOVE these biscuits.  Another wonderful recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.  To see what others' did with this recipe this week, you can visit French Fridays with Dorie.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rugelach: Tuesdays with Dorie

Here's my Nana.  She made strudels, she made kimish breads, she made sponge cakes and honey cakes.  She even made her own gefilte fish.  But I don't remember her ever making rugelach.  I think I know's a lot of work, it's a lot of nuts, it's a lot of prunes and raisins, and it's a lot of mess in the kitchen.  But other than that, they were mighty tasty when all was said and done.

Here's my Nana's serving plate.  It holds the rugelach I made for Tuesdays with Dorie.

Cream cheese dough is not hard to make.  Rolling it into a rectangle, well that's another matter.

Rugelach ready to go into oven, with assembly stages in photos underneath.  Yes, I made the prune lekvar (bottom left).  The lekvar may be the best "find" in this recipe.

Would I make this recipe again?  Maybe.  Probably.  We'll see. 

To see what others' did this with this recipe, you can visit Tuesdays with Dorie here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

roasted salmon & lentils: French Fridays with Dorie

Lentils must be the least photogenic foodstuff on earth.  How can you even describe the color to someone?  And depending on the light, the same plate of lentils can look dark brown, tan, or olive drab green.  So, outside to the sunlight to see the real color.  I'm voting for olive drab green.

First the lentils lurk in the bottom of the pot.  Then they puff up and take over the whole shebang.  But when you process a portion and add it back in, its magic.

And they make a nice bed for the roasted salmon.  I must have inexpensive truffle oil, because I didn't think it added anything to the dish.  So, next time, no need for the finish of truffle oil.

Would I make this recipe again?  Yes.  More importantly, would I make lentils like this again --- absolutely.  What a lovely way to have your lentils. Put any protein on top and you're good to go.  

I have yet to find a recipe I don't like in Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.  To see what others' did with this recipe this week, click here.