Monday, November 30, 2015

Butter Spritz-less Cookies

This week's bake is Rose's wonderful
Butter Spritz Cookies.
I took the simple way out and didn't "spritz" 
the cookies, 
gently rolling them into balls then
pressing with a fork to flatten.
I swear I have a cookie press around here
but I couldn't find it which explains
cookie presses popping up in front of me
on store shelves the past few weeks.
I didn't heed the cosmic hint to buy one.

But it did make me wonder how 
many home bakers miss out on
Spritz cookies because they
don't own and never would
use a cookie press?
I know my mom,
cookie baker extraordinaire,
wouldn't but she would have
loved these cookies.

They were super simple to make,
especially since Trader Joe's had
blanched toasted almonds.
I sort of did a hybrid version of
Rose's instructions between
the food processor and mixer method.
My mini Cuisinart was the perfect size
for blitzing the sugar and almonds together.
I finished the recipe in the mixer;
flour, cornstarch, pinch of salt,  Irish butter, egg, 
vanilla and almond extracts.

Heeding Marie's warning to watch the baking time
closely, they came out perfectly.
This cookie is the quintessential
biscuit for a
The Baking Bible
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Happy Thanksgiving!
Rose's Pumpkin Pecan Pie
is literally two pies in one
and already garnering rave reviews.
I wasn't sure about the step of cooking
the pumpkin mixture first but
it's brilliant.
It takes the pumpkin and spices to a deeper depth
of flavor while reducing moisture
from the canned pumpkin.
I like it so much I'm making a plain pumpkin pie
today by this method.
I was too tired to go across town and buy a
deep dish pie pan at William Sonoma
so used a springform pan instead.
It worked but the dough did slip
down, as Rose warned.

My son, 
who doesn't care for pecan pie,
wanted to know what the caramel layer was.
"Pecan pie."
"But this is so freaking good and I don't like pecan pie."

Ah, the miracle of muscavado sugar and Lyle's Golden Syrup!
I don't do Black Friday sales 
but for a deep dish pie pan, I'll be off and elbowing
my way through the crowds.
This is a repeat recipe.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hazelnut Praline Cookies

Rose's Hazelnut Praline Cookies
are the perfect accompaniment for a cup of coffee.
If you drink coffee.
I didn't for twenty seven years until my
mother in law asked if I would like a cup.

And darn if that wasn't the best
cup of coffee.

See that little creamer?
That was her's.
I loved when they brought cream with the coffee
or maple syrup with pancakes in these little jugs
at road side diners years ago.

So the gist of these cookies are this;
find raw hazelnuts, boil them in baking soda water,
strain, pop them in a plastic box with a lid and shake the
dickens out of them.
Rub off any stubborn bits of remaining skin,
and put them in the oven to roast.
Mix up a caramel syrup 
(add a little Golden Syrup just because
it's so good)
and try 
not to set off smoke alarms.

Pour over toasted hazelnuts and let cool, 
then pulverize in a food processor.

Next is simple flour, sugar, egg, vanilla, 
baking soda, butter and salt (a bit of dark
Muscavado because I forgot to cream the butter
with eggs and sugar)
mixed together into a soft dough
with the hazelnut praline blended in.
Roll into balls, bake,
and have yourself a nice little sit down.

Rose Levy Beranbaum

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sugar Rose Brioche

I should have never watched 
The Great British Bake Off
Sunday night.
No good can come from being inspired 
to bring out flour and yeast late at night.

Be that as it may,
I lost track of how many eggs I added to
the starter sponge, 
if I added eggs to the starter sponge,
and exactly when did I add them?
So I added a few more
and hoped for the best.

Here is the mystery eggy dough after 
mixing in the butter.

Poured into a bowl for the first warm proofing
it comes out looking even nicer.

Off for cool rising in the frig to set the butter,
then deflate 
the beautiful dough before 
another warm rise.
Next comes the business letter fold
we have come to know.

Back into the frig for six more hours.

Always a good sign when the zip lock
plastic bag is puffy from the dough proofing

An egg wash is blitzed with a pinch of salt
and strained through a fine mesh.
Learned a trick of using two forks together
to whisk small amounts.
They act like a flat whisk.

Dough is rolled out into a very large circle,
washed with the egg then sprinkled with
cinnamon and sugar.
I really wanted to add Muscavado sugar 
as well.
Time for the rolling, cutting and twisting
Lucky my camera died.
It wasn't pretty.

Off for the final warm rise,
popped into the oven for a short twenty minute bake and
then tented for a full hour.
I did wash the top with egg and sugared
the heck out of it.
The house started to waft lovely aromas which is quite 
nice early in the morning.

Cautioned the bottom might burn if the sugared sides 
faced down, I popped a metal cake cooling rack on top
of the pizza stone for a slight cushion.
It worked because I am certain
mine was not correctly braided.
As swear words swirled around the kitchen
I wondered how in the world those 
British Bake Off contestants
manage to bake with a camera
in their face in the midst of mishaps.

The flavor of this bread is incredible.
The texture light and fluffy.
No wonder people mistake it
for cake.
This is truly a spectacular recipe.
Well done, Rose!
Once again you have proved
that it doesn't take flawless
baking skills to turn out
superb bread.
Rose Levy Beranbaun

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Southwestern Corn Spoon Bread

Rose's Southwestern Corn Spoon Bread
is a meal in itself.
Chock full of flavors from 
corn, roasted red bell pepper, onion, garlic, cheese and
chipotle chile; a light and airy
spoon bread holds
this savory  mixture together.

I knew I should have bought an onion
when I pulled these out of the cupboard.

Another trip to the store for an onion
and packet of band-aids.
A very sharp knife won and my thumb lost.

The topping is my favorite part.
I would also love this as a plain 
cornbread with cheesy topping.

It's a delightful dish and fun to make.
I always wondered what chipotle chiles
in adobo sauce were used for and now
I know at least one dish.
Looking at all the items
in the Hispanic section of
my grocery store is great fun but I
haven't a clue how they are used.
So this was a new adventure.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Monday, November 2, 2015

Reverse Marble Cake with Ganache

This week's bake is the
Reverse Marble Cake with 
Rose's special Ganache.

Since I had to make a final cake
for the baking class I've been taking,
I added mocha buttercream filling
which is peeking out the side.

Once I understood the method of 
alternating and covering the layers,
it was quite easy filling the bundt pan
while sitting on the scale.
Thanks Maire for the tip!

This is a lovely cake to have in our repertoire
Rose Levy Beranbaum