Cookie swaps, cookie exchanges, cookie plates and parties and monsters, too. Tis the season to go cookie crazy. And here are lots of cookie suggestions from my friends at Splendid Table and Leite's Culinaria.
Jen Russell at Splendid Table asked contributors to the show to send in some of their favorite cookie recipes and she ended up with 18 terrific ones. Among them you'll find host Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Chile-Spiked Mexcian Wedding Cakes, Momofuku MilkBar's Christina Tosi's Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies, Ottolenghi and Tamimi's Almond and Orange Florentines and a few recipes from me. It's a great collection. A keeper for now, later and all through the new year.
And then there's my friend David Leite's podcast chockful of cookie advice from Joy the Baker, Christina Tosi and yes, moi again. Recipes too, of course. Listen in and then keep listening to hear the talented Maria Del Mar Sacasa talk about boozy punches and Hank Shaw tell all about the Christmas goose. Like a Christmas party itself.
Wishing for world peace and baking World Peace Cookies to help make the dream come true have become holiday traditions in my home and, as I hear from so many of you, in your homes too. This year, Kristen Miglore, senior editor at Food 52 decided to carry on the tradition herself. See her story about the cookie and follow her step-by-step pictures (the picture above is by Kristen) and instructions so that you, too, can have peace in your world. Well, if not complete peace, then something completely delicious.
While I'm not finding what I'm looking for in my files, I am finding some pretty good stuff. Like this series that ends up being a how-to for a tart crust. A nice find.
As those of you who have baked along with me know, I like to use a food processor to make tart and pie dough. Start with cold ingredients, follow the instructions of a good recipe, press the button a few times and you've got great dough. Not overworked - always the hazard with dough - and, if you played your cards right, cold enough to work with immediately.
There are some people who go so far as to freeze the bowl of the processor, the blade and the flour before making dough ... I'm not one of them. I use very cold butter, frozen if I've got it, cold or frozen shortening (If it's that kind of recipe), a cold egg (if the recipe calls for an egg) and, if there's water, ice water, as in water with ice cubes. Cold rules!
Here's the dough as it comes out of the machine. It forms what I call 'clumps and curds'. You never want to process the dough until it comes together in a ball - do that and you're likely to have a tough crust. The dough should be moist and processed just enough so that it holds together when you pinch it.
Instead of fully blending the dough in the processor, I prefer to do what the French call fraisage. You work with a small piece of the dough at a time, setting the heel of your hand on it, push it against the work surface and away from you. When all of the dough is blended - no more clumps and curds, just a smooth dough - gather it into a ball, flatten it into a disk and place it between two pieces of parchment or wax paper.
...Continue reading How-To: Tart Crust + a recipe for a classic quiche
Perhaps, if I live to be 107, I might (maybe, maybe) get around to labeling and organizing my pictures. Of course, given that I can barely place the pictures I've got now, the odds are good that I'd make a complete hash of it then. I was searching my pix for something that I'd made a few months ago - an apple cookie - and while I didn't find it, I did come across this. Again. It's a dessert that I had this summer at Semilla (rue de Seine, Paris 6). I couldn't get over it when I saw it - it was at once so simple and so startling - and I had the same sense of delight when the picture came up on the screen now. It's a perfect example of how something very basic can be made surprising. In this case (if I remember it correctly), it's a double ganache: a layer of matcha green tea ganache covered with a layer of dark chocolate ganache. Just before bringing the dessert to the table, the pastry chef ran a spoon through the layers, exposing the two tones and turning the spoonful over so that, depending on your perspective, it formed a spinning top or a curling wave. With that one motion, something simple became something dramatic. It was all in the wrist ... and the chef's imagination.
It's back! And the prizes are even more fabulous!
Jacques Torres and I are donning our judges' robes again this year for the Fonseca Bin 27 Cookie Rumble. Your job is to come up with your best cookie recipe, one you like to have with Bin 27 Port. Our job is to taste your recipes and come up with a winner. Fun for all of us.
You can watch me and Faith Durand of The Kitchn make Broundies (in the picture above), the cookies I'd enter in the Cookie Rumble if I weren't a judge. They're a round brownie and they're filled with Port-soaked dried cherries and chopped chocolate.
You can get the recipe here.
So start thinking cookie. You have until November 15, 2013 to post your entry and be eligible to win.
If you need a little encouragement, here are the prizes:
KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-QT Bowl Lift Stand Mixer (this is the one my husband uses to make bread; I use it for everything else ... when he lets me)
The KitchenAid Freestanding Induction Range
Two tickets to the 2014 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen
And there's a People's Choice Prize too -- it's given to the recipe that gets the most votes on Facebook
KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-QT Bowl Lift Stand Mixer
Have fun! I can't wait to taste what you come up with.