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August 30, 2010
Well, according to Amazon, Around My French Table is officially out in the world! It’s a surprise to me, since I thought the book wasn’t going to be available until October 8, but it’s a great surprise – I’m thrilled it’s arrived. And oh how I hope you will like it!
The book is filled with my favorite recipes (more than 300 of them) for what I think of as ‘elbows on the table’ food from France. It’s the unfussy, delicious food that my friends and I make in France. This is not a by-the-rules book on French food. It’s not Mastering the Art of French Cooking (what else could be?). And it’s not a book of traditional French food (a Basque tortilla made with potato chips is hardly traditional), although it's got its share of time-honored recipes – I can’t wait for you to try the Cheese-Topped Onion Soup! Instead, it’s my personal take on the bright, fresh, simple food that’s being cooked today in the country of my heart. Oh, and there are lots of stories and lots of gorgeous, gorgeous pictures by Alan Richardson.
There’s also a mistake! A serious one! So here’s an important heads-up: When you get your copy of Around My French Table, open the book carefully, look for the little white ERRATUM paper and tuck it into the recipe for Speculoos on page 406. The recipe is missing a vital ingredient: 1 large egg, which should be beaten into the butter and sugar mixture. (The correct/corrected recipe is below.)
No matter how many times a book gets read, by me, the author, and by all the hawk-eyed proofreaders, books always seem to have at least one mistake. This one’s serious and I lost a lot of sleep over it – alotta lotta. I was relieved when my publisher put the erratum into the book and then I lost sleep over whether anyone would find it.
So now you know about it and I hope you’ll tell others: Spread the word, please.
From Around My French Table, More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours
Speculoos are crisp brown-sugar cookies that can be big or small (I make them very small), thin or thicker (mine are medium-thin), spicy or spicier (I lean toward spicier). In general, the predominant spice is cinnamon – indeed, some recipes I’ve seen use cinnamon alone – but a little ginger and a pinch of cloves make the cookies slightly more complex.
As far as I know, there’s no law against eating speculoos in March or June or even September, but no matter when you have them their smell will hint of Christmas and their flavor will just about exclaim it. In fact, in their native Belgium, they are the cookie that celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, the man we know as Father Christmas, or Santa Claus.
These cookies keep really well, making them perfect to pack up in tins and give as Christmas presents.
Be prepared: The rolled-out dough needs to be chilled for at least 3 hours.
Makes about 70 cookies
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 (packed) cup light brown sugar
1 LARGE EGG, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
Whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices together in a bowl.
Working in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Add the sugars and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. ADD THE EGG AND CONTINUE TO BEAT UNTIL IT, TOO, IS BLENDED INTO THE BUTTER AND SUGARS. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until the flour disappears into the soft dough. You may have some flour at the bottom of the bowl, or the dough may not be entirely smooth, but that’s normal. Using your hands (always my first choice) or a spatula, reach into the bowl and knead or stir the dough 2 or 3 times, just enough to eliminate any dry spots.
Divide the dough in half. (The dough is very soft, even after you refrigerate it for several hours, so if your kitchen is hot, you might want to divide the dough into thirds – that way it won’t take you as long to cut out the cookies and the dough won’t soften as much.) Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll the dough between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap until you have a circle that’s a scant ¼ inch thick. As you’re rolling, turn the dough over a couple of times and pull away the paper or plastic, so you don’t end up rolling creases into the dough. Put the rolled-out rounds of dough on a tray or cutting board and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozne, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.)
When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Have a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Choose a cookie cutter – I like to use a scalloped cutter that’s 1 1/4-inches in diameter – and remove 1 circle of dough from the refrigerator. Peel off the top piece of wax paper or plastic and cut out as many cookies as you can from the dough, carefully lifting the cutouts onto the lined baking sheet. Collect the scraps and set them aside to combine with the scraps from the second piece of dough.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are lightly golden and just slightly brown around the edges. Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool.
Repeat with the second round of dough, making certain the baking sheet is cool before you put the cutouts on it. To use the scraps, press them together, roll them into a circle, and chill them before cutting and baking.
Serving: The cookies are just right with coffee, made for espresso and tea and really good nibbled as a snack.
Storing: The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Kept in an airtight container, the cookies will be fine for a week or more.
Tags: Alan Richardson
, Around My French Table
, French cooking today
Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf
| August 30, 2010 3:09 PM
bravo !! the book is out, so exciting dorie ! i can just hear the crowds rushing to the bookstores - or i at least know the amazon site is getting some serious traffic right now ! :)
i can not wait to turn those pages myself and have your latest masterpiece in my hands.
thank you for sharing the corrected recipe here. i am sure the speculoos news will spread fast. and now, maybe... you can get a good night's sleep too ! xo
| August 30, 2010 3:17 PM
Congratulations on your new book. I can't wait to get a copy. I know it will be a new favorite.
| August 30, 2010 3:31 PM
Ordering right now! Thank you for being such a regular inspiration in my kitchen!
Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes)
| August 30, 2010 3:31 PM
Conngratulations on the early release. I'm so happy for you, hope to get my copy soon! And we got a nice preview recipe too. Yayy :) I'll be sure to write the error down!
| August 30, 2010 3:43 PM
Preordered months ago, hope it comes soon!
| August 30, 2010 3:53 PM
SO excited!! Congrats, Dorie. I'm ordering mine pronto. xoxo
| August 30, 2010 4:06 PM
It must be really a pain when you find out you have missed a detail in a printed book. We are so used to editing.
But I'm almost glad for it because now I don't have to wait for the book to be delivered before I can try speculoos, which happens to be one of my favourite cookies. Congratulations on the book's release!
| August 30, 2010 4:09 PM
I've had my copy preordered for months. They sent me an e-mail saying they would be shipping by Sept 7th! So excited.....Thank you in advance for such a wonderful book! ♥♥
| August 30, 2010 4:11 PM
Woo! Can't wait to read this! :)
| August 30, 2010 5:13 PM
Congratulations on the new book! I just can't wait to get my hands on a copy. The speculoos sound and look delicious! I will try them over the weekend :-)
| August 30, 2010 6:45 PM
Mine shipped today...can't wait!
| August 30, 2010 7:39 PM
Congratulations! I think I will have to make Speculoos along with the shortbread for tomorrows TWD post.
I'm sure everyone will find the correction notification in the book. I have found them in other books I've purchased and just written in the corrections. It's hard to overlook a mysterious little piece of paper tucked into a new book. I don't think you have anything to worry about. Relax and celebrate your accomplishment!
| August 30, 2010 8:38 PM
You had me at Cheese-Topped Onion Soup!
| August 30, 2010 10:33 PM
Can't wait to have it in my hands! Need copies for two gifts that I can think of already!
Julia @ Melanger
| August 31, 2010 1:16 AM
I'm already on my way to ordering this now. Can't wait to get hold of a copy. I'm sure it's going to be another well thumbed book in my collection!
| August 31, 2010 7:48 AM
Dorie, mazel tov! I'll be ordering a copy today. I wish you much success with TFB!! xx
Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker
| August 31, 2010 12:00 PM
Dorie, Heartfelt congratulations on the release of your new book! I can't wait to dig in! After spending 2.5 years with Baking I know it will be fantastic, and can't wait to try your favorite savory dishes.
All the best,
| August 31, 2010 12:15 PM
I was so excited to get an email from Amazon last week, notifying me I would have my book by September 1st! I can't wait. BFMHTY has changed my life, and I am so eager to cook from your new book.
| August 31, 2010 12:22 PM
So very excited! Congratulations, Dorie! I am going to look for it in stores too this week.
By the way, have you tried the Speculoos spread? I made a variation on stroopwafels with it last month.
| August 31, 2010 12:25 PM
I can't wait Dorie! I preordered mine as soon as I was able and received word at 2 am that my book had shipped! Yay! Thanks for the head's up, I'll mark the recipe!
| August 31, 2010 12:30 PM
Dorie, Best wishes & congrats on yet another success! You are my favorite cooking maven & I can hardly wait to try out your newest recipes. Don't worry about the error- in the grand scheme of things it's very minor. One mistake in 300+ recipes isn't bad... after all we're only human. Smiling for your achievement. Success is so sweet.
| August 31, 2010 12:35 PM
Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait to see it!
The Italian Dish
| August 31, 2010 1:00 PM
Dorie, the cover is absolutely beautiful. Can't wait to get it.
| August 31, 2010 1:14 PM
My copy shipped from Amazon today! I can't wait to get it in the mail! So very happy you have another book out!
| August 31, 2010 1:27 PM
Congratulations Dorie!!! I can't wait to see it! Now I know what to ask Santa for Christmas! ;)
| August 31, 2010 2:03 PM
WWWEEEEEEeeeeeee , this is So exciting! Thanks Dorie for all the fun. Can't wait to see mine, which I am ordering today.
| August 31, 2010 2:17 PM
Wow! The cookbook is absolutely stunning. That cover photograph is worth the price of the book. I can't wait to get my copy!
| August 31, 2010 2:20 PM
I'm excited to see your new book. I have ordered it already and should have it in a day or two.
I have just recently come to know you as I read the cookie article about you and your son in Bon Appetitt this month.
I look forward to your book.
| August 31, 2010 2:29 PM
The cookbook looks great, can't wait to read it! My family loves speculoos, thanks for the recipe.
| August 31, 2010 2:41 PM
I await my copyand am very excited!
Yes, i will spread the word..no worries!
| August 31, 2010 3:11 PM
Just ordered your new book. I'm a huge fan of speculoos spread...could you find a good recipe for it using the cookies? I've seen a couple on the web but they didn't look right to me. I get my spread at a shop in NYC which in turn gets it from the Wafels and Dinges truck in the South St. Seaport, but I'd love to make it myself!
| August 31, 2010 3:56 PM
Dorrie-the newsletter is a great way to let us know about the correction..Facebook, too!
I should have my book tomorrow-can't wait!
| August 31, 2010 3:56 PM
Dorie-the newsletter is a great way to let us know about the correction..Facebook, too!
I should have my book tomorrow-can't wait!
| August 31, 2010 4:08 PM
Yay! I got the notice from Amazon last night! Can't wait!
| August 31, 2010 4:26 PM
Congrats on the new book, Dorie - really looking forward to it! I was trying to hold out for a Christmas-gift copy (October to December didn't seem like such a long wait) but now I think I'll have to buy it myself!
| August 31, 2010 6:50 PM
I am so, so excited! Can't wait to hold the book in my hands and cook from your recipes.....in Paris again, I hope. Congratulations!!!
| August 31, 2010 7:34 PM
I cannot wait to get my copy! I received an email saying I should have it by the 10th of September.
Give yourself a break...no one is perfect. :)
| August 31, 2010 7:46 PM
I'm very excited to get your new book, and thank you so much for the correction. We're all human, but for the record, of the many many recipes of yours that I have made, I've never had a problem... until it comes to sharing the dish with others :)
| August 31, 2010 8:44 PM
Went straight to amazon and ordered my copy! Looking forward to it. Congratulations to you!
| August 31, 2010 9:59 PM
Thank you, Dorie! I spent some time in Brussels and these little cookies are my favorites! I've never seen a good recipe for them and can't wait to try this one! Your book is on it's way to me - can't wait to see what else is in it!
| September 1, 2010 7:33 AM
I cannot wait to get this, Dorie--these are my favorite kinds of recipes...I will work my through most of them for sure...Will make the cookies soon, too...
| September 1, 2010 8:40 AM
Felicitations! I just ordered my copy from Amazon and can not wait to start trying recipes, it looks beautiful!
| September 1, 2010 7:24 PM
Your book came today and was pleasantly surprised to see what a substantial book it is... and I'm grateful for that as I learn so much from the extra you add to every recipe. When I opened the book it went right to your Potato Chip Tortilla. Because you'd talked about it here I wasn't surprised AND since I had all of the ingredients on hand, I had to make it for supper. I couldn't resist! And yes, I'm one of those who never buys potato chips...lol...but the market had them featured this week for .69 for a 5 oz. bag so again...I couldn't resist! I didn't dream I'd be baking with them! (btw I used a tool that we use in the south for chopping 'greens', instead of my hands for crushing the chips. It worked quite well and no greasy hands.)
The recipe came together nicely, fresh basil from the patio and frozen cilantro were my herbs and of course cayenne pepper added just the right highlight to the tortilla. My pan was 10" instead of 9" but the thickness was perfect to me. I know it's meant to be eaten after it has cooled to room temperature but I kept pinching on it all afternoon and it simply got better and better! It's now at the perfect temperature and eventually I'll take the time to sit and enjoy it properly. But in the meantime...it's been pure delight!
I look at it in amazement; daring myself to find an inkling of a 'potato chip' in it...this is definitely going on the table for holiday open house. It will be fun to have people guessing at the 'secret' ingredient.
Thanks Dorie, for sharing your talent so generously!
| September 1, 2010 9:37 PM
I'm looking forward to getting this book! Congratulations!
| September 1, 2010 10:31 PM
Congratulations Dorie! I'm going to go to Borders during lunch to see if the book has come to this side of the world yet or not. :-) I'd need to grab it quick as I notice they only stock 1 - 2 books (and some times none at all) from you, David Leibovitz, Alice Waters, etc. in each outlet. You really are a rare talent and I very much enjoy baking your recipes. Cheers!
| September 2, 2010 7:42 AM
Mon dieu, just the cover photo makes me wish I was dining around your table! Brava & felicitations!
Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels
| September 2, 2010 10:06 PM
Congrats on the new book Dorie! I can't wait to get my copy. I absolutely love your recipes.
| September 3, 2010 12:39 AM
My copy should arrive soon. I can't wait to try all of your recipes. I just know I will learn so much.
And those speculoos sounds amazing. I'm a sucker for anything with brown sugar...especially with those spices.
Thanks for doing everything you do. You really have added so much value and fun into my everyday life.
| September 3, 2010 5:00 AM
I have always been a massive fan of your writing and recipes, but my admiration for you has grown exponentially following this post. Your honesty over the mistake, particularly in light of the vast number of hastily thrown together TV chef cook books I have read over the years that are full of lazy typos and ill-thought out instructions, is a testament to your integrity and conscientiousness.
If only Jamie, Nigella, Gordon and the rest did likewise. Trouble is, I suspect their books would end up fluttering with white paper like demented May poles!
| September 3, 2010 6:02 AM
Congratultions Dorie!! I have my hands on two copies of your book and am so excited!!!! One is a birthday gift to a friend and the other for me of course!! It's gorgeous! I loved reading your introduction regarding your experience with the strawberry tartlet! The photos look amazing and I can't wait to try the onion soup and pumpkin and gorgonzola flan this fall! : ) Keep them coming!
| September 3, 2010 9:03 AM
Congrats Dear! I can't wait to get my hands on this treasure!
| September 3, 2010 1:29 PM
Just saw that you will be coming to our local independent bookstore in October! So excited!
| September 3, 2010 1:48 PM
Just in time for my birthday! Can't wait to get my hands on it. I love all your books!
| September 3, 2010 2:28 PM
I got the book today. I easily saw the erratum and I corrected the recipe. I can't wait to cook from it.
Gourmet Fusionz Arizona
| September 3, 2010 5:41 PM
I come here often to get new ideas for recipes. Thank you once again for not disappointing! Keep up the good work and great ideas!
| September 3, 2010 6:37 PM
Even if I knew where to begin to thank you all for your amazingly generous good wishes, I wouldn't know what to say. I am truly overcome by your kindness and your extraordinary enthusisam.
I hope that you will love cooking and baking from the new book, and I'm so looking forward to hearing about your adventures in the kitchen.
Ca commence bien -- it begins well: LaJuana, I'm tickled that the first recipe you made was the Potato-Chip Tortilla and I couldn't be happier that you liked it and will be making it again.
To all of you --Thank you. Merci. And hugs -- Dorie
| September 3, 2010 7:37 PM
What a terrific cookbook, Dorie! My copy arrived this afternoon and I'm very excited to start reading it and finding a good 'first' recipe. I've already signed up for Laurie's French Fridays with Dorie.
| September 3, 2010 9:14 PM
I got my copy two days ago and I can't stop looking at it and drooling. It is a beautiful book. Everything looks so good...I can't decide where to start. Since you commented on the Onion Soup, I think I'll start that.
Another great job, Dorie!
| September 3, 2010 9:50 PM
Hi Dorie, I just got the book and the erratum popped right out - I couldn't miss it! I'm enamored with the Nibbles and Hors d'oeuvres section. I can't wait to dive in!
| September 3, 2010 11:00 PM
My copy arrived today and I have been reading through it ever since! I'm not quite through, but already there are SO MANY recipes I want to make! What a fantastic book -- congrats on writing it and thank you so much for this wonderful resource for French cooking. I can't wait to get started on some of the tasty recipes inside!
Karyn replied to comment from Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf
| September 3, 2010 11:33 PM
My copy should be here any day! I am so excited that it will be early, October was just too long to wait! I'm certain it will be just wonderful!
| September 4, 2010 6:44 PM
cant' wait to try every single recipe ! un grand bravo. xox
| September 7, 2010 2:02 PM
I have just purchased your very beautiful book!!!! It is just a wonderful cookbook filled with your fabulous recipes....can't wait to show it to Kerrin!!! Congrads once again on the success of your hard and devoted work to publish this book.
| September 8, 2010 5:58 PM
Hello Dorie I just purchased your book at Barnes and Noble to day couldnt wait for amazon,s discount had to have it.It is a wonderful book i have all or your books and you are a great cook and writer I know whoever purchases this book will love it.The pictures are awesome and thanks for including the correction inside the book you are a great cook and thoughtful writer
| September 8, 2010 11:34 PM
The Books is surely a bomb! Congrats for the new venture of FrechFridayswithDorie.
| September 13, 2010 7:35 PM
I can't wait to get ahold of your new book! It's in the mail as we speak. Baking with Julia is one of my most treasured cookbooks. I just wrote a bit about it on my blog www.jennchiccooks.com
I'm very excited to join French Fridays with Dorie!
See you in the kitchen,
Vanessa Ee Kimbell
| September 14, 2010 5:51 AM
Ordering now. You must be thrilled. Congratulations!!
| September 14, 2010 8:46 AM
Congratulations on make the top 50 food blogs!
| September 16, 2010 12:02 PM
This book is simply wonderful. I love the writing, the recipes are delicious, the photos great. Congratulations on another fab book!
| September 23, 2010 5:06 AM
This book is simply wonderful.I love the recipes are delicious
| September 24, 2010 1:26 PM
Without reading this blog post first, I actually made the Cheese-Topped Onion Soup as the first recipe in the book. I had never made French onion soup before, and it was easy to follow and absolutely phenomenal. I burned my mouth instead of waiting for it to cool, simply from my lack of willpower!
| September 27, 2010 1:43 AM
This book is beautiful and I can't wait to cook from it. I bought it a few days ago at Barnes and Noble here in New Orleans and there was no erratum paper in it. Thanks for the heads up on the recipe as I would never have known.
| September 28, 2010 2:33 PM
Yuppie yuppie yay...my book is on the way!!!
And is sure wanna bake this one sooonnnnn!!
Oh i love Crispy cookies and i love Dorie's recipes, together working magic to wat i'd love...
come....fall in love....
| October 28, 2010 3:19 PM
first of all, Happy Birthday!
(Mine happens to be on October 25th! And I live in Paris, too.)
Just placed an order for your very seductive book...
In the meantime, I'm planning to try your recipe for M. Jacques' Armangnac Chicken, which was so conveniently published in Alexander Lobrano's recent NY Times article. (Which is how I found your website.)
Any advice on pot-roasting that bird in a convection oven? I thought I'd drop the temperature to 200 degrees Celsius and try for 45 minutes (rather than an hour)... Cooking poultry is always a bit of a crap shoot in my SMEG, but I'm going to give it whirl.
I think I'll try Marie-Helene's Apple Cake, as well. And be sure to have my guests drink a heartfelt toast in your honor!
Merci mille fois et bonne tournee !!
| March 11, 2011 2:05 PM
These biscuits are Dutch in origin and actually called 'spekulaas' biscuits. American poetic license?
And because Dorie calls them 'spekuloos' that is now the gospel of all food writers.
I don't like that.
| May 22, 2011 9:41 AM
Just want to inform you I finally got hold of your great book.
Yippeeee I love France !!!!1
| November 7, 2011 11:46 PM
I blogged this recipe here: http://butteredup.blogspot.com/2011/10/speculoos-cookies.html and I can't wait to make it again. Thanks Dorie for having an easy recipe for my (one of my) favorite cookies :)
| November 23, 2011 9:01 AM
Speculoos is called speculaas in Dutch. It is known in both countries: The Netherlands and Belgium. Each year they celebrate 'Sinterklaas'. A celebration for children. It goes back centuries. Speculaas (in Dutch) is mostly eaten around that period in time, or in wintertime. The roots of Sinterklaas is probably originated in celebrations around the midwinter-theme by 'Germanen'. Which lived in large parts of Europe, approx. around the 1st century A.C. Hence the similarity in the name: Santa Claus and Sinterklaas..... Santa Claus has derived from the same old midwinter-celebrations.
replied to comment from Irene Schaap
| November 23, 2011 8:57 PM
Irene- Thanks so much for this background information. Speculoos or speculaas, they are delicious in any language.
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