Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Check the mail DOTMCers!
Today, I got the most beautiful surprise! A charming dessert, perfect for Springtime from our Miss March, Amelia! I had never heard of Posset or Friands before! It seems Posset is an old English pudding drink, similar to a nog. I know I speak for all of us when I say I cannot wait to dip in.
I found a tidbit on this historic dish! Thanks so much Amelia!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

lemon-glazed butter cake!

A friend I work with has a birthday tomorrow and so I made him this cake. I flipped through my cookbooks and magazines last night looking for a real simple, yummy cake and found this in a spread titled, “Cook Smart: Transformers” in this month's Gourmet! I think this line in the article roped me in, “ Lastly, there is no way we could leave you without a classic Lemon Glazed Butter Cake. This one will become your new best friend.” Perfect and besides being easy, the ingredient list was not at all exotic!

Added plus, lemons remind me so much of spring!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Perhaps you have been to Baltimore, MD and found yourself peering at a dark chocolate covered biscuit like cookie. Berger's cookies as far as I can tell can only be found within the "Balmer" area. I first had one many a year ago and though I can't say I am as mesmerized by them as I once was (the ingredients are quite scary), I do find them a fascinating regional treat. Much like the whoopie pie or the It's It and what is not to like about a cakey cookie and a thick ganache top??

The first two pics are of the store bought original that Marty was so kind to bring back for me on a recent Lp buying trip. I poked around the web a bit trying to frankenstein together a recipe and decided to cull from some whoopie pie cake recipes. A simple ganache would make my thick shiny icing. As you can see from the pics, my ganache, (which was vegan as I had no cream at home) did not keep it's shine. I know better than to not measure when baking but I figured a recipe as simple as Ganache (one part cream, two parts choc) would lend itself to some messing around. Wrong. The end result is very pleasant just not exactly what I am seeking. The recipe below is what I did, I would suggest finding a tried and true ganache if you intend to try these out. These will make a fine bring along dessert to picnics this summer once I get the ratios right.

Cakey cookies
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup yogurt
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Oven at 350F
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Beat together the oil and sour cream for 1 minute until combined.
Add the sugars, then eggs one at a time.
Stir or slowly beat in the flour mixture. Chill for at least half hour
Parchment line a cookie sheet.
Pipe the batter out into small rounds. I oiled my fingers and pressed them down. onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes or up to 12 if your circles are large.

Vegan Ganache (two parts choc, one part soy)

Bittersweet or dark choclolate
soy milk
1-2 tblsp maple syrup
Chop up your chocolate
Put chocolate and syrup in a stainless steel or glass bowl over simmering water. In another pan bring Soy Milk to a boil. Take off heat and pour over chocolate and syrup until smooth and melted. Take each cookie and using a fork, stab it beneath and dip the domed side into the ganache, swirling to cover, place on parchment to set.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I have never been into peanut butter cookies. I know I am a weirdo but all throughout my life, I passed on the ones with the Hershey kiss in the center and steered clear of the classic fork tined cookies. Recently a co worker brought in some peanut butter cookies without the tines, and with such a toothy, chewy and dense texture I had to make some at home. I wanted to try almond butter as, like I said, straight Peanut Butter and I are not so into each other...

Almond Butter cookies.
These could be made vegan easily, by using an egg replacer.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature (I used vegan buttery sticks)
1/2 cup almond butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a mixer, cream the butter. Add the sugars to butter and beat one or two min. Add almond butter and egg. Slowly and in parts beat in the flour mixture.
Refrigerate a few hours.
Preheat oven to 375 and roll into 1 inch balls and roll into course sugar. Bake, keeping your eye on them for 12-15 minutes. Stay closer to 12 if you want them chewy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Apple Galette

After my debacle on National Pie Day, I feel the need to redeem myself with crusts and apples. We made this in "crust" class (ha ha ha) on Saturday and it was so easy and turned out well.

Apple Galette
Of course you can make this with a regular crust recipe, this one uses half whole wheat pastry flour and vegan ingredients.

Vegan Crust:
Dry ingredients:
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
2 T. maple crystals
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
pinch sea salt

Wet ingredients:
1/3 cup coconut oil (room temperature, partially solid-not liquefied)
1 T. vanilla extract
2 T grade A maple syrup
3-5 T. ice cold water

1. In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Use whisk to fully combine.
2. Add oil to bowl. Using pastry cutter, blend oil into flour. Dough should have a coarse, sand-like consistency.
3. Add vanilla, 1 T. water and maple syrup to dough with wooden spoon. Mix to combine.
4. Slowly add water to dough one T. at a time. Dough should just hold together and be wet. Don't overmix!
5. Place dough in plastic wrap. Flatten to disc shape and refrigerate 10-15 minutes only.
6. Take out dough, allow to rest until workable.
7. Roll out dough between 2 layers of parchment paper. The trick is to roll from center out, not all the way across. Dough should be about 8" around and no more than 1/8 inch thick.

Galette Filling

2 Large Apples, peeled and sliced about 1/8" thick
1 T. lemon juice in 1 C. water
1 T. coconut oil
2 T. maple crystals
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. vanilla extract

1. Place sliced apples in bowl with lemon juice and water
2. combine maple crystals, cinnamon and vanilla
3. In medium saute pan, heat oil. Add apples and spice mixture and cook until apples are slightly tender but not mushy

4. Preheat oven to 375
5. In rested rolled out dough, fan apples in concentric circles over center of dough
6. Fold dough over apples (you can get creative in your design, if there is too much dough in one area it can affect the taste)
7. Place dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes (after baking for 15 minutes, glaze crust with maple syrup)
8. Bake for 30 minutes until crust is golden brown and firm to touch. Cool, slice and serve

Friday, March 06, 2009

Guilt Free Cookies

This past week we made some yummy cookies in class, no refined sweeteners and most with whole wheat pastry flour and vegan. Here are some of my faves.

Macaroons (yield about 24 cookies)

I made these ones. They are not vegan but are gluten free and turned out well. Using maple crystals you make a caramel to sweeten the cookies. I asked why you don't just used maple syrup and I guess the crystalline structure of sugar and the maple crystals is what makes it work. I liked these a lot.

1 1/4 cup maple crystals
3/4 cup water
1/8 t. sea salt
3 large egg whites (room temp)
2 t. vanilla extract
3 cups shredded coconut (puled in food processor to a fine powder)

Preheat oven to 325. Line 3 half sheet pans with parchment and lightly oil.

1. In a small pot, combine maple crystals, water and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer together until the mixture thickens to a caramel like texture (about 10 minutes.)

2. Combine egg whites and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat to form soft peaks.

3. Very gradually, fold slightly cooled maple caramel into beaten egg whites until combined. Slowly fold in pulsed coconut. Cover and refrigerate 10-15 minutes.

4. Using small scoop, drop batter onto lightly oiled, parchment baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until firm and bottoms of cookies are slightly golden.

5. Let cool 15 minutes and devour!

Rolled Fig Cookies (yield about 24 cookies)
This is more complicated but was so yummy and pretty, tastes like a fig newton but better. Vegan too!

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 C. unbleached white AP flour
1/4 cup + 2 T. blanched almonds, ground to a fine meal (measure then grind)
1/4 t. cinnamon

pinch sea salt
2/3 C. maple syrup
1/2 melted coconut oil* (or canola oil)

2 C. black mission figs, stems removed
3/4 C. apple juice
2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
pinch sea salt

*coconut oil is GREAT. Really helps the texture in vegan baking and has lots of health supportive properties.

For the dough:
1. Line one standard sized baking sheet with parchment paper
2. In medium bowl, sift together flours, almond meal and cinnamon using a wire whisk to combine.
3. In separate smaller bowl, whisk together salt, syrup and oil.
4. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Mix together.
5. Divide dough evenly, flatten dough into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator 10-15 minutes.
6. Pre-heat oven to 350 while dough is resting and preparing filling.

To prepare filling:
7. In a small pot, combine figs, juice, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Simmer 5-7 minutes or until softened and drain, reserving liquid.
8. Process fig mixture in food processor to make a smooth spreadable paste.

To assemble:
9. Roll each dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to about 1/8" thick. Trim so that dough roughly measures 10"x6".
10. Spread cooled or room temperature filling over rolled out dough. Roll dough jelly roll style as tightly as possible.
11. Place dough in freezer for 10-15 minutes or until quite solid.
12. Using a bread knife, slice dough into 1/8" rounds. Place on cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes. Cool and serve.