Archive | Desserts

The Kitchen Workshop: Cookie Love with Mindy Segal

Sega_Cookie LoveKitchen Workshop host Mary Reilly, editor and publisher of Edible Pioneer Valley, speaks with Mindy Segal about her book Cookie Love, treating a cookie like a meal and building  your cookie making pantry. Mindy is the author of Cookie Love and the proprietor and pastry creator of Hot Chocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar in Chicago. She has graciously shared her recipe for Fleur de Sel Shortbread with Vanilla Halvah.

FLEUR DE SEL SHORTBREAD WITH VANILLA HALVAH

Segal_Mindy

 

I AM ALWAYS ON a quest to find more ways to use halvah in desserts. Coffee, chocolate, and cocoa nibs are my usual pairings with the Middle Eastern sesame confection, but one day I shifted gears in favor of vanilla and fleur de sel. It worked—halvah anchored the vanilla-flecked frosting, for a sweet, salty, nutty result. To finish the cookies, I dip them partially in dark milk chocolate and then place a shaving of halvah on top. The frosting is seasoned well to balance its sweetness, but because the cookies themselves carry a noticeable salt level, you may prefer to add less. If using a sea salt that is not as light and flaky as Murray River (see page 267 for a description of the salt), reduce the salt by 1 tablespoon.

To cut out the cookies, you will need a rectangular cutter approximately 13⁄4 by 21⁄2 inches. To pipe the frosting, you will need the Ateco tip #32.

Makes approximately 28 sandwich cookies.

SHORTBREAD

11⁄2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (13 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

11⁄4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sea salt flakes

FROSTING

8 ounces plain or vanilla halvah, cubed

2 ounces white chocolate, melted

11⁄4 cups (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt flakes, or to taste

TO FINISH

Piece of plain or vanilla halvah, for garnish

8 ounces milk chocolate, melted

Fleur de Sel Shortbread with Vanilla Halvah CookieStep #1: Make the Shortbread

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the sugar and mix on low speed to incorporate. Increase the speed to medium and cream the butter mixture until it is aerated and looks like frosting, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together.

Put the yolks in a small cup or bowl and add the vanilla.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

On medium speed, add the yolks, one at a time, and mix until the batter resembles cottage cheese, approximately 5 seconds for each yolk. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together. Mix on medium speed for 20 to 30 seconds to make nearly homogeneous.

Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together but still looks shaggy, approxi- mately 30 seconds. Do not overmix. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. With a plastic bench scraper, bring the dough completely together by hand.

Stretch two sheets of plastic wrap on a work surface. Divide the dough in half and place each half on a piece of the plastic wrap. Pat each half into a rectangle, wrap tightly, and refrigerate until chilled throughout, at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

Let the dough halves sit at room tempera- ture until the dough has warmed up some but is still cool to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes.

Put a sheet of parchment paper the same dimensions as a half sheet (13 by 18-inch) pan on the work surface and dust lightly with flour. Put one dough half on top.

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough half into a rectangle approximately 11 by 13 inches and 1⁄4 inch thick or slightly under. If the edges become uneven, push a bench scraper against the dough to straighten out the sides. To keep the dough from sticking to the parchment paper, dust the top with flour, cover with another piece of parchment paper, and, sandwiching the dough between both sheets of parch- ment paper, flip the dough and paper over. Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and continue to roll. Any time the dough starts to stick, repeat the sand- wiching and flipping step with the parchment paper.

Ease the dough and parchment paper onto a half sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining dough half and stack it on top. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and refrigerate the layers until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a couple of half sheet pans with parchment paper.

Let the dough sit at room temperature for up to 10 minutes. Invert the dough onto a work surface and peel off the top sheet of parchment paper. Roll a dough docker over the dough or pierce it numerous times with a fork. Using a 1 3⁄4 by 2 1⁄2-inch rectangular cutter, punch out the cookies. Reroll the dough trimmings, chill, and cut out more cookies.

Put the shortbread on the prepared sheet pans, evenly spacing up to 16 cookies per pan.

Bake one pan at a time for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake until the cookies feel firm and hold their shape when touched, 3 to 5 minutes more. Let the cookies cool completely on the sheet pans. Repeat with the remaining pan.

Step #2: Frost the Cookies

Blend the halvah in a food processor until fairly smooth. Drizzle in the white chocolate and blend until incorporated. The halvah will turn into a thick paste.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter briefly on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until the butter mixture is aerated and pale in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the frosting together. Briefly mix in the vanilla and salts until incorporated, approximately 1 minute. Add the halvah paste and mix until smooth, with a little texture left from the halvah.

Fit a pastry bag with the Ateco tip #32 and fill with the frosting.

Make pairs of similar-size cookies. Turn half of the cookies over. Leaving an 1⁄8-inch border, pipe rows of dots onto the cookies. The frosting should be approximately as thick as the cookie. Top each frosted cookie with a second cookie and press lightly to adhere.

Step #3: Finish the Cookies

Freeze the piece of halvah until chilled, 30 minutes.

Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper. Dip a quarter of the long side
of each sandwich cookie into the milk chocolate, shake off the excess, and place on the prepared pans. Using a vegetable peeler, shave a piece or two of halvah and place onto the chocolate- dipped part of each cookie. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, approximately 1 hour.

The cookies can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.Read the rest

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The Kitchen Workshop: Tomatomania! with Scott Daigre

TomatomaniaKitchen Workshop host Mary Reilly, editor and publisher of Edible Pioneer Valley, speaks to Scott Daigre about his book Tomatomania. Written with Jenn Garbee, Tomatomania tell us all we need to know about selecting, planting and growing gorgeous juicy tomatoes!

We talked about planting the perfect tomato plot and his favorite tomato recipe. Learn more about becoming a tomatomaniac at www.tomatomania.com.

Favorite Tomato recipeMy Favorite Tomato Recipe

Rigorously tested countless times. Foolproof. Pick a ripe, beautifully colored, and slightly soft tomato off the vine. The only thing better than trying this with one perfectly ripe, juicy tomato? Trying it with ten perfectly ripe tomatoes of different colors and types. You’re welcome!

WASH IT. (Or not.)

CUT IT. (Or not.)

SALT IT. (Or not.)

EAT IT. (Best done outdoors.)

Sure, many of you will eliminate the salt-it step and that’s fine with me. You’ve worked really hard to get to this step and final product. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the basic essence of this crop you’ve grown in your own backyard. Dive right in!

Pineapple (Tomato) Upside-Down Cake

Makes 1 cake; 8 to 10 servings

image001Super sweet and citrusy tomatoes alike are pretty near perfect in this rustic cornmeal cake. Use bicolor yellow varieties splashed with streaks of red, such as sweet Pineapple tomatoes (you bet there is a Pineapple variety!) if you have them. Citrusy green tomatoes mellow a bit color-wise when baked, but are also fantastic.

1 pound (1 very large or two medium) very ripe, sweet tomatoes

8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided, plus more to butter the cake pan

½ cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons orange zest, packed (about 1 medium orange), fruit reserved for juicing

1 teaspoon lemon zest, packed (about 1 medium lemon)

½ cup honey

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup cornmeal

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Crème fraîche and honey, to serve (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the paper. Slice the tomatoes 1⁄3 inch thick and spread them out on paper towels to drain.
  1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar and cook just until the sugar is melted, about 1 minute. Pour the brown sugar paste into the prepared cake pan and immediately spread it out as evenly as possible using a heat-proof spatula. Combine the orange and lemon zests and sprinkle 1 teaspoon over the top of the brown sugar.
  1. Combine the remaining 8 tablespoons butter, honey, eggs, sour cream, orange juice, and remaining 2 teaspoons of orange-lemon zest in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix well. (Alternatively, use a hand mixer.) In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, add the butter mixture, and mix until just combined.
  1. Blot any moisture off the tomatoes and arrange them decoratively in the bottom of the pan. (I like to leave a little space between the slices to see the patterns in each). Pour the batter over the tomatoes. Bake until the cake is lightly brown, starts to pull away from the sides, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, place a serving plate on top, and (wearing oven mitts!), flip the cake onto the plate. Allow the cake to cool completely. To gild the lily, serve the cake with a dollop of creme fraiche and a drizzle of honey.

Prime picks: Sweet bicolors like Pineapple, Gold Medal, or Grandma Viney’s Yellow Pink, or citrusy green varieties such as Ananas Noire (Black Pineapple) or Aunt Ruby’s German Green.… Read the rest

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The Kitchen Workshop with Cake Guru Rose Levy Beranbaum

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Cake Guru Rose Levy Beranbaum

 

Kitchen Workshop host Mary Reilly, editor and publisher of Edible Pioneer Valley, speaks to Rose Levy Beranbaum about her latest book, The Baking Bible. They discuss her unique ingredient grid system and that fact that with ten cookbooks under her belt, she learns something new every time.

PLUS! Three great recipes from her new book below the fold: Chocolate Hazelnut Tart, Praline Pecan Meringue Cookies, and Hazelnut Praline Mousse.

Learn more about Rose at RealBakingWithRose.com


Order The Baking Bible from a local, independent bookseller

 

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Kitchen Workshop: Cream Puffs and More with Dorie Greenspan

Dorie Greenspan - Photo by  Alan Richardson

Dorie Greenspan – Photo by Alan Richardson

Kitchen Workshop host Mary Reilly, editor and publisher of Edible Pioneer Valley, speaks to Dorie Greenspan about her latest book Baking Chez Moi, Recipes from my Paris Home to your Home Anywhere. Listen and learn about falling in love (with pastry), the intricacies of working with French butter in American kitchens and the secret of “The French Bake”.

Learn more about Dorie Greenspan

Order the book from a local, independent bookseller:


Shop Indie Bookstores

 

 

We discussed success with cream puffs on the show. Here is Dorie’s recipe for Chocolate Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling.… Read the rest

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The Kitchen Workshop: More from Saveur’s India Issue with Kellie Evans

saveur__aambaIn this episode we continue our conversation on Saveur’s India issue, with Kellie Evans, an Associate Editor at Saveur. As the hunter, gatherer and writer of recipes for Saveur she gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how recipes are produced for each issue.

Visit the Saveur website to find the entire India Issue plus the stories that couldn’t fit into the magazine.

Recipes from this podcast:

Aamba Khatta (Sweet and Sour Mango Pickle)
Aloo Masala (South Indian Masala Potatoes)
Caramel Lassi
Ghanta Tarkari (Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry)
Dosas
Palakoora Vepadu (Andhra-Style Sautéed Spinach)

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