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Valentine’s Day Baking: Heart-Glazed Cornmeal Almond Cookies

Heart-Glazed Cornmeal Almond Cookies

So here’s the thing about these cookies. I actually made them last year, fully intending to post them at that time and then this happened and I kind of lost interest in getting a Valentine’s Day post together. But this year, I decided that since I had liked the cookies and I had some nice photos, I would go ahead and post it. Early. And then I forgot.

So now, completely in character (procrastination, yay!), the day before valentine’s day is when I’m going to post about heart-centric cookies. But it’s okay. This cookie could really work for any holiday, even a non-holiday. First of all, the hearts don’t need to be pink or red. How about purple hearts? Black hearts? White hearts for an anniversary celebration.

And also, who says you have to use a heart shaped cookie cutter at all? The technique will work with any small cookie cutter – four leaf clovers, a fleur de lis, a pumpkin. Really, any not too complicated shape that you could easily fill in with glaze would be perfect.

When I made mine, I liked a cleaner look so I used a slightly smaller round cookie cutter . . . → Read More: Valentine’s Day Baking: Heart-Glazed Cornmeal Almond Cookies

FFwD: Paris-Brest

FfwD: Paris-Brest pastry

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie is Paris-Brest, which is a particular Parisan pastry that was created in the olden days (the 1890s) to commemorate the Paris–Brest bicycle race. It’s pâte à choux dough (like for cream puffs or gougères) piped out in circles, baked, sliced in half, and filled with an almond praline vanilla pastry cream. I opted to make a half recipe and instead of one big eight-inch pastry, I made four small ones.

Notes:
1. I think my pastry tip was on the small side, so I got more pastries than I was expecting.
2. I used English muffins rings to pipe my rings inside of, but I think I could have skipped this. Next time, I’ll try it without and see what happens.
3. I added coffee liqueur to my vanilla pastry cream.
4. Almost all of my sliced almonds fell off the tops of my pastries after baking.
5. I had enough pâte à choux leftover to make two cream puffs.
6. I decided to cover my puffs with melted chocolate and since my almonds mostly fell of the Paris-Brests, I covered two of those with chocolate too. The other two got the powdered sugar.

Check . . . → Read More: FFwD: Paris-Brest

Salted Peanut Butter and Orange Marmalade Bars

Salted Peanut Butter and Orange Marmalade Bars

I don’t really remember eating an abundance of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when I was a kid, but I must have because it is one of my most favorite long-standing food partnerships. Like ham and swiss. Garlic and (insert name of any food). Pizza and beer. You get the idea.

This recipe is like the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich ever. I really like orange marmalade and think it’s underrated as a peanut butter pal, but if you don’t care for it, you can really use any flavor jam or jelly. It may be a bit sweeter, but still delicious.

And if you don’t want to risk eating the entire pan of these all by yourself, they freeze well. Just wrap separately, then pop one or two out and let them defrost on the counter for 30-60 minutes. Of course they will also work well for a sweet Superbowl snack for a crowd!

Salted Peanut Butter and Orange Marmalade Bars

Salted Peanut Butter and Orange Marmalade Bars

Salted Peanut Butter and Orange Marmalade Bars

. . . → Read More: Salted Peanut Butter and Orange Marmalade Bars

Blood Orange and Cardamom Sherbet

Blood Orange and Cardamom Sherbet

I tend to neglect my ice cream maker with a fair amount of frequency. It’s stored out in the garage freezer, so it’s not like I see it all the time to help remind me. Plus, it seems like some of my previous ice cream/sorbet experiments have not blown me away.

Enter this Blood Orange and Cardamom Sherbet…Blown away!

So creamy, pretty much ice crystal free, and a not too sweet, but with a totally dessert-like flavor. And such a pretty pink color. It reminds me slightly of my beloved, gone-but-not-forgotten Grapefruit Sorbetto at Cafe Pallino. I think I am going to try sherbets more often (mostly fruit juice, but also with cream), or at least make more custard-less style ice creams. I seem to have more luck with those types — in terms of texture. Luckily, all of my ice cream maker experiments have tasted delicious.

For this, I used Penzey’s cardamom seeds but Savory Spice Shop also carries them. You could just as easily use 4-5 cardamom pods, smashed, to steep with the cream. Or, if you have neither, skip it all together and go for more of a Blood Orange Creamsicle . . . → Read More: Blood Orange and Cardamom Sherbet

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Generally, my cookie repertoire is fairly boring – chocolate chip, peanut bitter, an occasional oatmeal raisin. But sometimes, especially during the holidays, I like to mix it up a bit. These Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies do just that and are quite festive as well! Of course, now I have a bunch of extra candy canes lying around the house, which will probably mean making some peppermint bark.

The original recipe called for the melted chocolate to be drizzled on top of the cooled cookies, but I think it makes much more sense to just spread a layer of chocolate on top – more surface area for the candy cane pieces to stick to. I also made mine about twice the size called for, (I used a small scoop that equals about two tablespoons), because bigger cookies are better cookies. Right?

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Adapted from . . . → Read More: Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies