Tag Archives: cookies

Pfefferneusse

8 Dec

pfefferneusseI have always loved to say, “Pfefferneusse”! As a child, I never knew what it meant or what pfefferneusse cookies were, but I loved the word.

As I wait for the cookies to finish baking, I’m looking outside my kitchen window at snow flurries that, while other parts of the country occur often and this year with great fervor, in Portland, OR, are a rarity – especially in December. When this storm was predicted last weekend, I decided I would purposefully wait until today to bake them – now if feels and smells like Christmas!

I used a #60 scoop and didn’t bother with rolling them in my hands to smooth the ball. The result is they’re a little rougher (I prefer “rustic”) than Dorie’s and I ended up with 36-cookies rather than the 40 she predicted. I also am not particularly fond of icing, so I merely sprinkled them with powdered sugar with great satisfaction.

Now, I’ve never knowingly eaten pfefferneusse, so this was a first taste for me. And, I rather liked them! I like that they’re crunchy but not hard as a nut, as Dorie described some recipes making. I’ve said it before, I believe people are (for the most part) either chewy or crunchy, and I’m definitely crunchy! I also liked that they were not overly sweet. The perfect accompaniment for a nice cup of Earl Grey tea!

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Lemon Bars – French Style

26 Jan

I’ve never met a lemon bar I didn’t love (well, maybe once, but it was commercially made and not very good, but that’s for another post). These were de-lish-us! And, since I forgot to take a photo, I guess that means I’ll have to make them again!

My observations:

  • Large eggs – next time I make this recipe, I’ll either increase the eggs to five, or at the very least, add one egg yolk. Why is it that whole chickens you buy for roasting have become the size of small turkeys (ever tried to find a 3-lb. chicken lately?) and large eggs run a gamut of sizes? I complained to a friend about this and she agreed, “They look kind of small, don’t they?!?” Anyway, as they apply to this recipe, the lemon curd was very loose. It did, indeed, firm up with refrigeration. With the exception of ice cream, I really like desserts at room temperature and these seemed really jiggly at room temp. But, again, I think this is the fault of my egg’s size, not the recipe.
  • Almonds – OK, I broke my own rule and increased the amount of chopped almonds to a little more than 1/2-cup. Two beliefs I have – if some vanilla or some almonds are good, more is always better! (Oh, yeah, I increased the amount of vanilla, also!)
  • Shortbread base – I’m liking this shortbread enough to want to try it as a stand alone shortbread. (Oh, and full disclosure – I also have a hard time finding a shortbread I don’t like.)

Overall – a terrific cookie – more than worth the slightly extra work for a lemon bar.

Addendum: I made these again – this time adding an extra egg yolk. Curd still seems a little loose for me. Way too soft to cut into bars unless they’ve been thoroughly chilled. So, yes, I will make them again, but I will chill them after taking them from the pan. Oh, and this time, I remembered to take photos!

 

 

Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies

8 Sep

Jam-filled sandwich cookiesMmmmm….Shortbread cookies are one of my favorites…And what’s not to love about a filled shortbread cookie!

They were easy to mix together. (I was a little surprised at how dry the dough was, but it did not seem to effect the cookie.) I happened to have apricot preserves in my refrigerator, so that’s what I filled them with. Oh, with a little twist – peanut butter! As much as peanut butter has become a big no-no in many schools, I couldn’t help but make peanut butter and jam cookies! A scant 1/4 teaspoon of each peanut butter and jam created a perfect treat.

My biscuit cutter is 2-1/2 inches across, and I got exactly 12-sandwiches with one 4-inch disc I filled and folded in 1/2, much like a hand-pie. Delicious little morsels that I’m certain to make again…and again! Oh, and did I mention delicious?!?

Palets de Dames, Lille Style

11 Nov

If you haven’t made these yet, please be warned: do not taste them before you glaze them. You won’t have any left to glaze! These puffy little cookies really are more like little cakes – and yes, I did eat about half of them before they were cool enough to glaze. I’ll be making more, to be sure! I think my next batch will be made a tad bit larger – my scoop made for cookies just about the size of a Nilla Vanilla Wafer – and while that was fine, it’s far too easy to eat a dozen of them using the excuse, “Oh, well, they’re really small!” The smaller size also did cause me to adjust the baking time down to between 5 and 7 minutes rather than the 7 to 9.

Orange sanding sugar showed up better than the white. (In a shout out to Oregon State University, I tried to also do a few with black sanding sugar, but the black sugar really didn’t look appetizing!)

Palets de Dames, Lille Style

Who knew a burly, 6-foot-4-inch, 225 lb. fitness trainer would know what these are?

16 Apr
Madeleines, ala Proust

Madeleines, ala Proust

Well, I did it again. I decided I’d ‘workshop’ these cookies. And, it’s a good thing! My initial attempt at these made me learn that baking them at 400 degrees at ten minutes was at least two minutes too long. Attempt two (in a different oven) reinforced that 400 degrees was too hot (even at eight minutes they came out black!).

So, it was time to consult the oracle: Google. I found a you-tube video that explained making madeleines perfectly! And, according to the chef in the video, the batter isn’t necessarily as fragile as our recipe made it out to be. His recipe was baked at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes. Rather than piping the batter into the pans, he scooped it, using a #40 ice cream scoop. Oh, and the chef in the video said for more ‘fluffy’ madeleines, use more butter (up to 1/2 cup) but that the madeleines made famous by Marcel Proust were dryer using less butter (better for dunking in tea). I’m thinking these are the ones we made.

Armed with this information, I decided to back off on the temperature (375 degrees), used an ice cream scoop and watched them like a hawk for 8-1/2 minutes! Perfectly done! And, when sampled by my fitness trainer, he deemed them exactly right. And now that I have this information, I will absolutely make them again.