When I lived in Brookline, probably the Jewish capital of Massachusetts, one of the bakeries made their rugelach rolled up in a long roll and cut into rectangles. I’d always had it rolled like a crescent roll before, but I appreciate how much more efficient this design is. More filling stays in instead of all over the kitchen and I don’t need any help making a mess in the kitchen.
I almost didn’t bake these cookies because the dough was so delicious raw. I just wanted to eat all of it. No wonder, the dough contains mostly cream cheese and butter. For filling, I did half with raspberry preserves and bittersweet chocolate and the other half just brown sugar and cinnamon. Hands down, the best rugelach I’ve made (and I’ve tried quite a few recipes). Buttery, flaky and rich.
I baked half of them cut side down, as the recipe instructs, and the other half with the dough covered end down which I preferred. Our hosts, Margaret of The Urban Hiker and Jessica of My Baking Heart have the recipe on their blogs, book mark it now!
It seems that my new laptop may have gone missing with fed ex, but I’m hoping to track it down soon so I can be blogging and commenting much more often. Forgive me if I’m late in getting to your blog this week!
Well hurray for more chocolate in the month of Februray. No snow in the Northeast but plenty of rich chocolate desserts. I am happy to be co-hosting this week with the lovely Steph of a Whisk and a Spoon, Jessica of Cookbookhabit and Jaime of Good Eats n’ Sweet Treats.
These tartlets can also be baked as one large tart, which was good because I am not allowing myself to buy any more bakingware. No more room in the cabinets! I used amaretti instead of biscotti in the tart and I’m glad I did. The amaretto taste really came through. I left most of the tart at my brother’s house and he proclaimed that the tart made his week, and noting that the amaretto made it.
The day I baked this, I cut into the tart while it was a little too warm (although waiting the recipe’s prescribed 20 minutes) and it looked less than perfect. That night the amaretti has a soft crunch which was a nice contrast to the rich and creamy filling. I have to say, though, that I really enjoyed the tart the next day after some time in the fridge. I love how the cold makes chocolate taste somehow richer and softer at the same time.
Take a look at Julia in action and some of the wonderful recipes to come (I can’t wait to make the recipe Julia cries over, that has to be amazing!).
Chocolate Truffle Tartlets
recipe by David Ogonowski
1 recipe Chocolate Dough (recipe below), well chilled
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup sugar
2 oz. white chocolate, cut into small dice
2 oz. milk chocolate, cut into small dice
4 biscotti, homemade or store-bought (you can use amaretti di Saronno), chopped
Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and keep at hand. Remove the bottoms from six 4 ½-inch fluted tartlet pans (or use pans with permanent bottoms and just plan to pop the tartlet out once they’re filled, baked, and cooled); spray the pans with vegetable oil or brush with melted butter.
Cut the dough into 6 even pieces. Working with one piece at a time, shape the dough into a rough circle, then tamp it down with a rolling pin. Flour the work surface and the top of the dough and roll it into a circle about 1/8 to ¼- inch thick. As you roll, lift the dough with the help of a dough scraper to keep it from sticking. If the dough breaks (as it sometimes does), press it back together and keep going-it will be fine once it’s baked. Fit the dough into a tartlet ring, pressing it into the fluted edges and cutting the top level with the edges of the pan. Again, patch as you go. Use a pastry brush to dust off any excess flour and place the lined tartlet ring on the prepared baking pan.
Chilling the Crusts: When all of the shells are rolled out, chill them for at least 20 minutes.
Baking the Crusts: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Prick the bottoms of the crusts all over with the tines of a fork and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the crusts are dry, blistery, and firm. Transfer the baking pan to a rack so that the crusts can cool while you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
Making the Filling: Bring an inch of water to the simmer in a saucepan. Put the butter and bittersweet chocolate in a large metal bowl and place the bowl over the saucepan-don’t let the metal bowl touch the water. Allow the chocolate and butter to melt slowly, stirring from time to time, as you work on the rest of the filling. Remove the chocolate from the heat when it is melted and allow it to cool until it is just slightly warmer than room temperature.
Put the yolks and vanilla extract in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large mixing bowl. Using the whisk or a hand-held mixer, start beating the yolks at medium speed and them, when they are broken up, reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat the yolks and sugar until the yolks thicken and form a slowly dissolving ribbon when the beater is lifted.
Spoon about one third of the yolks onto the cooled chocolate mixture and fold them in with a rubber spatula. Don’t worry about being too thorough. Pour the chocolate into the beaten yolks and gently fold the two mixtures together until they are almost completely blended. Add the cubed chocolates and biscotti, folding to incorporate the chunky pieces.
Baking the Tartlets: Using an ice cream scoop or ¼ cup measure, divide the filling evenly among the cooled shells. Smooth the filling with a small offset spatula, working it into the nooks and crannies as you circle the tops of the tarts. Bake the tarts for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops look dry and the filling is just set. Remove to a rack to cool for about 20 minutes before serving.
Storing: Best the day they’re made, these are still terrific after they’ve been refrigerated—they lose their textual finesse, but the taste is still very much there. For longer keeping, wrap the tartlets airtight and freeze them for up to a month. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.
Have you seen Doomsday Preppers yet? We’re a little obsessed. At first you watch these people storing up food, water, guns, fuel and think they’re crazy. Then you find yourself at BJs filling your cart with tons of pasta, rice, canned vegetables, and peanut butter. After returning home with my stores, I needed to make room which meant cycling out some of the older canned goods. One oversized can of peaches included.
I’ve made this pie once before and it is wonderful despite its looks. Sweet and creamy, and made a day in advance. Perfect Sunday dinner dessert. Now I’m off to do more prepping. Or maybe search for my sanity.
Peaches & Dream Pie
From Baked Explorations
1 recipe of your favorite pie dough
10 canned peach halves, or about 2 1/2 cups fresh diced,peeled peaches
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter,cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Make the Crust
Dust a work surface with a sprinkling of flour. Roll the dough ball out into a 12 inch round. Transfer the dough to a pie dish (Note, I find a deep pie dish works best here) and carefully work it into place, folding any overhang under and crimping the edge as you go. Cover the crust in plastic wrap and place in the freezer while you prepare the filling and topping. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the Filling
In a medium bowl,whisk together the eggs, sour cream, and honey until they just come together. Sprinkle the mixture with the salt, brown sugar, and flour, and whisk until just combined. Set aside.
Make the Topping
Place the sugar, flour, and butter in a bowl. Use your hand to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mix looks like coarse sand.
Assemble the Pie
Arrange the peach halves cut side up on the bottom of the pie shell or spread the diced fresh peaches in the pie shell. Pour the filling over top, making sure it gets in and around the peaches. Sprinkle the pie topping across the filling, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly (place a sheet pan on the oven rack directly below the pie to catch any filling that bubbles over.) Let the pie cool overnight before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Ahhh! An All Recipes recipe! As much as I like to make fun of All Recipes (I love, among many things, the commenters who change everything in a recipe and then rate it low when it isn’t great), every once in awhile you can find a gem.
I owed a friend a birthday treat and he’s a pretty big fan of the blueberry so I settled on this recipe. I used frozen wild blueberries and lots of lemon zest for the bars. The crust was very crumbly coming out of the mixer so I crossed my fingers that it would hold together once baked. It did! I also used two long skinny loaf pans (which equaled the 9x13 listed below) so that I could cut these into slabs. Slabs are where it’s at.
I’m not even a fan of blueberries and I really liked this. It is going on my list of things to make again soon.
Blueberry Crumb Bars
Adapted from AllRecipes.com
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into 8-10 pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries or 3 cups of frozen wild blueberries (don’t thaw them)
1/3 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees f. Grease a 9×13 inch pan (or two 4x13 inch loaf pans if you happen to have them).
In the bowl of a food processor, process together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder in one or two pulses. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Scatter the butter over the flour mix and pulse 3- 4 times. Add the egg and continue to pulse until the butter is in small pea-sized pieces or smaller. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan(s).
In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares or slabs.
I had such big plans for holiday baking. Then I decided it would be a good idea to double the number of spinning classes I taught this week and announce that I was leaving my full time job for a new position. That, and we were out of eggs. Once I finally hit the grocery store last night, I got to baking.
These homemade oreos were on the list for dinner with friends and there daughters last night. They are a familiar enough treat, but the recipe elevates them to something much more special. Deeply chocolate cookies and creamy white chocolate filling. The filling was a little thin, even after I added some confectioners sugar, so it dripped out of the sides. Didn’t seem to bother anyone much.
now, back to the kitchen. cheesecakes, chocolate cakes and candies to come! Must finish up before the Pats game. Hope you all have a nice Christmas.
Thomas Keller’s Oreos
from The Essence of Chocolate, by Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
15 tablespoons (7 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
To make the filling: In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the white chocolate, making sure it is all immersed in the cream. Let stand for 1 minute then whisk to completely melt the chocolate and incorporate it.
Transfer the filling to a small bowl and let it stand for 6 hours, or until it thickens enough to spread. If the filling hardens too much, it can be rewarmed in the microwave.
To make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt on low speed until combined. With the mixer still on low speed, add the butter a few pieces at a time until it is all in the bowl. The dough will be sandy at first, but it will eventually begin to come together. When it does, stop the mixer.
Transfer the dough to a work surface and form it into a block about 5 by 7 inches. Cut the block into 2 pieces. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it is 1/8-inch thick. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut rounds from the dough and place them 1/2 to 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. You can reroll the scraps of dough once to cut more cookies. I stuck the cookies in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before baking to prevent spreading.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool on them for 4-5 minutes. (The cookies will be very soft and fragile when they come out of the oven so you won’t be able to remove them successfully unless you wait a few minutes.) Transfer to a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely.
To assemble the cookies: Turn half of the cookies over so the side that was down on the baking sheet faces up. Whisk the filling briefly to fluff it up. Transfer the filling to a disposable pastry bag and cut a small hole in the tip of the bag. Pipe about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of each cookie you flipped over. Top with another cookie, and gently press the cookies together until the filling spreads evenly to the edge. The cookies keep in an airtight container for 3 days.
Makes about 24 sandwich cookies
I missed this TWD recipe the first go around but I had to go back and make it before the group wraps up. Why? Chocolate, caramel, peanut, shortbread. Satisfies the hunger inside you. Have one for breakfast and it will be your best morning ever.
The base is shortbread, and it was supposed to be pricked with a fork and baked. It was a little fussy with me so I gave it 15 minutes in the freezer first and that did the trick. I substituted honey roasted peanuts to skip a step. With that and some store bought dulce de leche, these were super simple. Alas, not simple to cut and make pretty. I’m pretty sure the folks at work will enjoy them none the less.
The original recipe was selected by Erin. I’ve made some adaptations reflected below.
Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan
For the Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 TBSP powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
For the Filling:
1 1/4 cups honey roasted peanuts
About 1 ½ cups store-bought dulce de leche
For the Topping:
7 ounces bittersweet, coarsely chopped
½ stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8 inch square pan with tin foil, grease it, and put it on a baking sheet.
To Make the Crust:
Toss the flour, sugar, powdered sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Toss in the pieces of cold butter and pulse about 12 times, until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Pour the yolk over the ingredients and pulse until the dough forms clumps and curds-stop before the dough comes together in a ball.
Turn the dough into the buttered pan and gently press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Put the crust in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Prick the dough with a fork and slide the sheet into the oven.
Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, or until it takes on just a little color around the edges. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling. The crust can be made a day ahead.
To Make the Filling:
Divide the nuts in half. Keep half of the nuts whole or in biggish pieces for the filling, and finely chop the other half for the topping.
Spread the dulce de leche over the shortbread base and sprinkle over the whole nuts.
To Make the Topping:
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Remove chocolate from the heat and gently stir in the butter, stirring until it is fully blended into the chocolate.
Pour the chocolate over the dulce de leche, smoothing it with a long metal icing spatula, then sprinkle over the rest of the peanuts. Slide the pan into the fridge to set the topping, about 20 minutes; if you’d like to serve the squares cold, keep them refrigerated for at least 3 hours before cutting.
Cut into 16 bars.
Tracey did a great run down of holiday baking options and these cookies caught my eye. Chocolate peppermint bark on a base of shortbread. So easy and they look so great.
This is one of those recipes that I didn’t read all the way through before making it. I baked the shortbread, took it out of the oven and headed off to the dog park with my boy.
Came back to read that I should have but the chocolate on while warm to melt and spread. Oh well. Melted it in a double boiler and spread it on top. NBD. These cookies are making the rounds a two christmas parties and one dinner this weekend. Now I just have to finalize the rest of the holiday baking for the week ahead…too many options!
Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies
from Bon Appetit, December 2009 (Epicurious)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (I like a mix), chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red-and-white striped hard peppermint candies or candy canes
2 ounces high-quality white chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 13 x 9 x 2-inch metal baking pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of pan with parchment paper or tinfoil, leaving an overhang on both short sides of the pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla, then egg yolk. Gradually add flour mixture, beating on low speed just to blend.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into prepared baking pan, spacing evenly. Using moistened fingertips, press dough to form even layer over bottom of pan. Pierce dough all over with fork.
Bake cookie base until light golden brown and slightly puffed and edges begin to come away from sides of pan, about 30 minutes. Place pan on rack; immediately sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over the top. Let stand until chocolate softens, about 3 minutes. Using small offset spatula, spread bittersweet chocolate over top of cookie in thin even layer. Immediately sprinkle chopped peppermint candies/candy canes over.
Stir white chocolate in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in the microwave on 50% power for 30 second bursts, stirring after each burst.) Transfer the chocolate to a resealable plastic bag, snip a corner and drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. Chill until the white chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
Using the parchment overhang, lift the cookies from pan and transfer to work surface. Using a large knife, cut the cookies into irregular pieces (I like triangles!).
S’mores aren’t just for summer. They are also suitable when you find out that your student intern from China has never had a marshmallow in her life. This was something that needed to be corrected right away. So today, my coworker and I are serving the finest in marshmallow treats. She has the rice crispie treats covered. I made some graham crackers and marshmallows for s’mores.
I’ve made homemade s’mores before and they are time consuming but well worth it (even after work on a monday). The graham cracker recipe comes via Smitten Kitchen. You can find it here. I’ve used Ina Garten’s marshmallow recipe in the past and I’ve had no issues with it. Seeing as this is Tuesday and I haven’t made either TWD recipe yet, I had to switch it up and go with Dorie Greenspan’s Marshmallow recipe. It is early Tuesday morning and I haven’t tried a marshmallow yet but they are set and very cute. I did make them a little too thin but that’s all on me. You can find the marshmallow recipe on Judy’s blog- she was the original host way back when.
Looking forward to a marshmallow party this afternoon where I’ll get to use my blow torch (mini) at work. Until then, I’ll be chained to my desk.
Fresh figs could not be found (affordably, at least), so I went with the ruby red grapefruit option for these mini honey almond tarts. As you can see, I made a few additional changes from the orginal recipe.
A graham cracker crust, for ease really, and a drizzled chocolate topping. Then, a chocolate and grapefruit option. The last was my favorite. Tart grapefruit, nutty and earthy filling, and sweet chocolate on top.
Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table has the original recipe and the grapefruit version.
I’ve made Dorie Greenspan’s bittersweet brownies more times than I can remember. I love the deep chocolate flavor and I couldn’t resist making them again for this week’s recipe. This time I did a German chocolate take on the recipe to bring to my sister in law for her birthday. These are super gooey and difficult to cut but totally decadent and worth a little mess. Here’s my take on the recipe, if you want to try the original- check out Leslie’s Lethally Delicious blog.
Bittersweet German Chocolate Brownies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
For the topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
1/2 cup chopped, toasted and salted pecans
10 oz condensed milk
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-x-9-inch baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.
Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Put the butter in the bowl, top with the chopped chocolate and stir occasionally until the ingredients are just melted - you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.
With a whisk, stir in the sugar. The mixture might get grainy, but it will even out. Whisk in the eggs one by one, then add the vanilla and whisk enthusiastically to smooth the batter. Finally, gently whisk in the salt and flour, stirring only until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake the brownies until the top is dull and a knife inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, usually about 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool while you make the topping.
Make the topping: mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Spread over the top of the warm brownies. Preheat your broiler. Place the brownies under the broiler to brown the topping. Broil until brown on top- about 2-3 minutes (watch closely, it goes quickly). Remover from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
When they are completely cool, turn out onto a rack, lift out of the pan. Cut into squares. I like brownies best refrigerated.