The Dutch Pecan Sandies

No, not Dutch pecan Sandies. “The Dutch” ones. There’s a place in New York called The Dutch¬†and these cookies are from there. I messed up the recipe at least twice, but these still disappeared quickly at two board games birthday parties that I attended this past weekend. The first one was for my friend Gilad, and he was pleased to be on the receiving end of a bonus dessert delivery, a few months after his contract expired. ūüėČ

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Hazelnut Praline Cookies

Yeah, I know. An odd choice of featured image for a recipe that actually contains relatively¬†little butter. I was flipping through The Baking Bible, looking for this recipe, and landed on the header page of the “Cookies and Candy” chapter. How can you not love a cookbook that has a full page image of a stack of sticks of butter like that? Mmm… butter.

Anyway, on to this week’s assignment. As Marie said in last week’s Baking Bible round up, these cookies would be super easy if it weren’t for the blanching and de-skinning of the hazelnuts! I made them the same day that I tackled the double batch of Rose’s Sugar Brioche. Skinning hazelnuts was certainly one way to pass the time while waiting for the various stages of the bread. I can definitely think of better ways to pass time, though.

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Pepparkakors

This week, the Baking Bible bake-through project is working on something that sounds (to me) Dutch, but tastes like a gingersnap. It’s definitely not pepernoten. It’s definitely not speculaas. It’s definitely not gingerbread. ¬†Quite gingery, with the other spices fading a bit into the background as supporting actors.

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Lemon Jammies

What’s a Lemon Jammie, you ask? Well, it’s not bright yellow pajamas, that’s for sure. If this recipe is anything to go on (and really, it’s in The Baking Bible, so it must be), a lemon jammy (what is the singular of jammies, anyway?) is a lemon zest infused sandwich cookie, with something in the middle. The recipe calls for lemon buttercream, lemon curd, or your favourite jam/jelly. I went with lemon curd, since it’s easier than lemon buttercream, felt less like a cop-out than just using jam, and because this week’s Alpha Bakers recipe is going to my friend Gilad, and I know he loves lemon.

This recipe is pretty straightforward. You make a cookie dough in the food processor, let it chill, then roll it out, and cut your shapes. Bake, then fill with curd. Unlike some of the other Alpha Bakers, I really enjoy making cookies, and I find that they’re the perfect (most dangerous) treat to have around the house, because it’s so easy to just grab a couple on your way through the kitchen. Jay has much more self-restraint than I do (more than zero), so if cookies aren’t leaving the house, they’re going on his counter, so they’re not in my line of sight every time I walk through the kitchen.¬† Continue reading “Lemon Jammies”

Dattelkonfekkt

I *think* I spelled that right.

Dattelkonfekkt, basking in the spring sun
Dattelkonfekkt, basking in the spring sun

This week, we’re going German, for Passover.¬†I’m not sure how to say dattelkonfekkt, but it apparently translates (not terribly surprisingly) into “date confection”. I made a half-hearted attempt to learn a bit of German last fall, before meeting some German customers, but recently I’ve been pulled into more and more conversations with Chinese customers, so I’m questioning which language is more likely to be useful. Probably stick with German, since Duolingo¬†doesn’t support Mandarin, yet.

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Luxury Oatmeal Cookies

Basking in the sun
Basking in the sun

This weekend’s assignment, from The Baking Bible¬†bake-through, is oatmeal cookies. But these aren’t just any oatmeal cookies. They’re Rose Levy Beranbaum’s take on oatmeal cookies, so you know they’re not going to be just like the ones Grandma made, because what would the point of that be? You’ve already got Grandma’s recipe, or the Joy of Cooking recipe, or the one from the Fannie Farmer cookbook, or the one from some well-aged newspaper clipping. ¬†Nope, these are going to be a little different, and you pretty much have to expect that. It’s like Rose says at the top of her chocolate chip cookie recipe in this book – many people asked for her perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, and her response was always, “How could I improve on a classic?” ¬†I think it really boils down to not being afraid to challenge peoples’ expectations.

I think a lot of my fellow bakers played with this recipe somewhat, but I always like to try things exactly as written, before tweaking, so that’s exactly what I did.

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Hamantaschen

This week’s Alpha Bakers recipe was chosen to celebrate Purim.¬†Quoting wikipedia, here: “According to the Book of Esther, Haman, royal vizier to King Ahasuerus (presumed to be Xerxes I of Persia), planned to kill all the Jews in the empire, but his plans were foiled by Mordecai and his cousin and adopted daughter Esther, who had risen to become Queen of Persia. The day of deliverance became a day of feasting and rejoicing.” ¬†That day is known as Purim. ¬†According to some sources, ‘hamantaschen’ translates, literally, to Haman’s pouch, which is a reference to Haman’s attempt at bribery (pouch¬†of bribery money), and the triangular shape is in ‘homage’ to his hat. Also, I keep misreading the name of these as “hamanatschen.”

Whatever it is, it’s an excuse to make and eat cookies, which is something I can always get behind.

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