Tuesday, June 20, 2017

TWD: Cookies -- Two for the price of one

Saturday was cookie-baking day, and it had to be done early before it got too hot.

First up were the Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread cookies.  I had made them several months ago with disappointing results.  This time, I had fresh rose water and fresh rose-hibiscus-cherry tea, so I thought I would try again. 

The cookies turned out fine, although the flavor is still too mild to notice.  I'll probably stick with regular or lemon-poppy seed shortbread.

Next was the latest version of chocolate chip cookies, My Newest Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I had made the dough on Wednesday, so it had plenty of chilling time.  I also halved the recipe because I didn't need to be tempted by 50+ cookies.  For the chocolate chips, I used a giant bittersweet chocolate bar from Trader Joe's, weighing out the appropriate amount and slicing off slivers with a serrated knife.  No big hunks of chocolate, but a nice distribution of chocolate throughout the cookie.  These baked up very nicely, the spices were subtle, so they shouldn't be terribly noticeable.  I'd definitely bake these again.

Now it's your turn to try them out.  Stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie website to see which cookies the other bakers made, and keep an eye out for the July selections.

The recipe for the Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread Cookies can be found on page 191; the one for the chocolate chip cookies on page 125 of Dorie's Cookies.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bread with handles (Kaak)!

This month's creative bread is courtesy of Karen (Baking Soda) at Bake My Day!  She asked us to bake Kaak, a Lebanese bread with sesame seeds. It also has a unique shape.

The recipe I used was slightly different than the one Karen posted.  I did use buttermilk, but I also did the initial dough mixing and rising in my bread machine, saving the final shaping to do by hand.  Also, because I created the holes with a round cutter, I had 8 little bread disks, which made for excellent testing and snacking.

My kaak was more like a flatbread.  Perhaps the second rise wasn't long enough.  But, even so, they were delicious, worthy of baking again.

Stop by and see what the other Babes did, and feel free to join in as a Buddy.  Send your information to Karen by June 29 to be included in the roundup.

The Babes are:

Bake My Day - Karen
blog from OUR kitchen - Elizabeth
Bread Experience - Cathy
Feeding my Enthusiasms - Pat/Elle 

 Karen's Kitchen Stories - Karen
My Diverse Kitchen - Aparna
My Kitchen In Half Cups - Tanna
Notitie Van Lien - Lien

A Messy Kitchen – Kelly  
Thyme for Cooking - Katie
Life's a Feast - Jamie


1 1/2 cups warm reduced-fat milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups bread flour
1-2 tablespoons more flour for flouring and rolling
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 envelope rapid rise yeast
For topping
1 large egg
1/2 cup sesame seeds (1 tablespoon per kaak)

1. In the pan of an electric bread machine, add ingredients in the order recommended by the yeast manufacturer. Set for the dough cycle.
2. When done, remove dough from pan, cover with a clean towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
3. Divide into 8 equal parts, each weighing about 100 grams. With a floured rolling pin on a floured surface, roll each part into a large, 6-7 inch circle. Use a small, 2-inch glass to cut a small circle out, near the edge of each large circle:
4. Place rings on two greased baking sheets. Beat the egg and 1 TBS water with a fork. Brush each ring with the mixture and sprinkle with about 1 TBS sesame seeds:
5. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes, or up to an hour.
6. Heat oven to 200°C. Bake about 10 minutes, or until golden and puffed. Serve immediately. 


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

TWD: Blueberry Buttermilk Pie Bars

Getting back to baking for the month of June.  May flew by, mostly because I was traveling for several weeks on the East Coast, so being in the kitchen was put on the back burner, so to speak.

To start the month, I chose to bake the Blueberry-Buttermilk Pie Bars, page 62, in Dorie's Cookies.  For some reason, they took nearly twice as long as to bake.  After 45 minutes, they were still soupy in the middle, so I baked them longer, checking every 5 to 10 minutes, until the center was puffy and the edges were golden brown.

Once baked, I chilled them overnight, and gave them my stamp of approval.  They were much better than when freshly baked, probably because the custard-like top had time to firm up.

I also added more blueberries, just because.

Head over to the Tuesdays with Dorie website to what the other bakers thought.