One post just isn’t going to do it! The Best Damn Paleo Brownies. I am embarrassed to say that after flipping through the book flagging recipes to try, I stumbled on this little gem, and made it first. LOL! Totally worth it! Because there’s no flour, there’s nothing dulling the flavor of the chocolate. These are intensely chocolately. The flavor and texture are terrific. These are my new favorite brownies! These are not just my favorite paleo brownies, they are my favorite brownies!
We thought 2020 could use a little extra Christmas, so on November 1st, Halloween came down and Christmas went up! We loaded Alexa with a fabulous Christmas playlist, and started watching all our favorite shows. With about a week to go, it was time to make cookies. We have traditional ones for sure, but I love doing family requests. They asked for pecan dreams, gingersnaps, and 7 layer bars. I have favorites for pecan dreams and 7 layer bars, but I didn’t have go-to gingersnap cookies. I decided to consult my very favorite cookie book, Dorie Greenspan’s Dorie’s Cookies. Sure enough, there was a gingersnap recipe in there and it had a triple-threat of ginger in it: fresh, crystalized, and powdered. Ooooo! Best gingersnap ever. Gobs of flavor and that perfect crispness.
She gives a dough chilling range of 2 hours to overnight, and a baking range from 14-19 minutes, depending on where you want to be on the scale from chewy to crisp. I made them once, chilling for 2 hours and once, chilling overnight, and the full spectrum of baking times. If you prefer them to really spread and get crisp, 2 hours chilling and 18 minutes baking hit that. If you prefer a little less spreading and a chewy crisp balance, chilling overnight and 17 minutes baking produced that.
Smoky. Chocolate. Baklava. I’m listening. Theo Michaels has you smoke chocolate on the stovetop for a few layers in his baklava. Then there’s a few layers of pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, and cinnamon. Encased in flaky, buttery phyllo. Obviously, that needed to happen. I have one of those big old macho smokers in my backyard, so I smoked the chocolate in there. Then I made it a second time baking the whole baklava right in my smoker. Yeah. Either way, that baklava is even better than the title sounds. A huge thanks to Ryland Peters and Small for letting me share that recipe with you! I’ll tell you all about the book after the recipe. I have a terrible fondness for Greek cookbooks, and that shelf is extensive. Orexi! is my personal favorite to date. Hope you love it, too!
Nik grew up in India, then lived in the Midwestern and Northeastern U.S., and finally settled in California with his husband from the Southern U.S. All of those influences are very present in his food, and it makes for the most delightful fusion. I was thumbing through Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food, oohing and aahing, flagging recipes to try. His spiced, roasted potato salad called for paneer and chourico as ingredients, but listed page numbers for their recipes. I’d never made cheese before and was delighted that he thought it was simple enough to be just a lead-in recipe. I hopped right in the car to go grab a gallon of milk to get started, and I’m so glad I did! It really was that easy. I can’t tell you how many recipes I’ve passed by in Indian cookbooks if I wasn’t going to have time to pop by a specialty market. That wont happen again! But that’s just background preparation. His dishes have wonderfully complex, deep flavors, and are creatively inspirational. This book was a joy to explore.
I always make crème brûlée for Christmas and Valentine’s Day dessert. I’d been playing in a bourbon cookbook, The Bourbon Country Cookbook, and the crème brûlée in it sounded fantastic, so we gave it a try. Oh my gosh! Bourbon Caramel Crème Brûlée is hands-down the best crème brûlée I’ve ever made. There’s just a smidge of bourbon in it, and it doesn’t overpower it at all. It enhances it beautifully! I prefer the laziness of sous vide crème brûlée, but the flavor on this one is a knockout!
I was playing in a book, Ovenless Desserts, and came across a Roasted Marshmallow Milkshake. That sounded fabulous. I made it and tasted it and was immediately transported to a campfire out in the woods. I’m a barbecue fanatic. I was out back at 7 this morning getting the fire going to smoke dinner. I adore injections of smokiness wherever the opportunity strikes. Smoky marshmallows. What if you added a little more smokiness with a shot of mezcal? Oh gosh, is that ever good! I’d like to introduce you to my favorite boozy milkshake, the Roasted Marshmallow and Mezcal Milkshake. Thank you to Mamie Fennimore for the inspiration and thank you to Cider Mill Press for letting me share it with you! If you’re making this for small people, omit the mezcal and make it as the author intended! 😀 I’ll tell you more about that book after the recipe. Continue reading “Roasted Marshmallow and Mezcal Milkshake recipe and cookbook review: Ovenless Desserts by Mamie Fennimore”→
Oh, I just love what they’re up to over at Milk Street! Milk Street Tuesday Nights is filled with global recipes, but made totally doable for a week night. It’s a very relaxing book to work with. I frequently scale up the seasoning when I cook, and find that I just don’t need to with this book. There’s not an apologetically seasoned bite to be found. Our taste buds were really happy with everything. Well, I still scaled up the garlic a little, but not nearly as much as I usually do. Great stuff!
If you haven’t seen the show yet, it’s a really neat one. They have a lot of my (and probably yours if you’re reading this) culinary heroes on as guests, so you get a lot of points of view, and flavor injections coming to the party.
Do you love cookies? Me too! I have the ultimate cookie book, Dorie’s Cookies. I thumbed through it and it had so many beautiful cookies that I was surprised that she’d chosen such a humble looking cookie for the cover. Then I found the recipe, World Peace Cookies. I had to try them. They are amazing cookies. She’s really not overselling it with that name. A huge thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for letting me share the recipe with you. I’ll get to my review of the book afterwards, but first those cookies! Continue reading “Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies recipe and Cookbook review: Dorie’s Cookies”→