So I’ve recently been going through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home To Yours. I just finished reading the whole book last night, and it’s no surprise that I’ve bookmarked almost every recipe! I can understand why Dorie’s book is a must have. Every recipe seems well thought out and homey, literally something you would enjoy serving in the comfort of your home to the family you love, or occasionally, to impress the guests.
Being relatively new to the cookbook-collecting business, I scour the review sites just to make sure the books I buy are topnotch and worth being part of my beloved collection. And I must say, there’s not a single regret in my bones that I got this one. I don’t know you’d be surprised how much I chased after this book -would you believe it was the last copy everwhere?!- just so I can share in the wonderfulness everyone has been talking about, and how triumphant I felt once I held it in my hands. Quite literally, I sang with joy.
I’ve tried a few recipes from the book already and so far all of them have been fantastic. I will not be sharing all the recipes here, because my objective is to actually get you to buy the book yourself. Maybe I’ll share some of the more heavily publicized ones, or the ones Dorie herself shares on her blog. As a fan of Dorie, it’s easy enough for me to be considerate towards her by not giving away a significant amount of her recipes out for free. Instead, I will share the experiences of making and eating her recipes. And then perhaps it will give you the push you need to go out and finally buy the book yourself! 😉
Anyway, I’ll be talking about two recipes today, the first being Dorie’s Thumbprints for Us Big Guys (page 164), although it’s more like “fingerprint” instead of thumbprint for me, as I used my index finger to make the indentations.
I bought a pack of almond meal in a baker’s fair a few months back with the intention of making macarons, until I realised the only food processor we had left was like the 3-year-old baby of the regular-sized processor. And so I postponed macaron-making for weeks and weeks, until I was concerned that the expiration date on the package was fast approaching. But here was Dorie’s book, coming to the rescue.
I don’t even know how to begin to describe these cookies. It has that sort of melt-in-your-mouth feeling, and it’s very difficult not to keep nibbling on these. The cookie is slightly soft and very dainty- the type you would find being eaten as a light snack over teatime conversations.
The original recipe actually calls for hazelnut meal, but because Dorie said we could use almond meal and it was what I had, I went ahead and used it. I don’t mind the milder flavour at all, because the jam really compensates and adds that light tang and sweetness. Plus the stickiness of the jam adds another kind of sensation in your mouth. It’s really quite something.
This recipe makes a lot of cookies. I stored them in an airtight container and on the second the say, the cookies started getting slightly crumbly, probably because of the moisture from the jam. Around the third day, it became a little more difficult to hold them in your fingers for too long because they became rather fragile. The taste was pretty much the same, but they become slightly powdery and more melt-in-your-mouth as the days progress.
I also made the Mixed Berry Cobbler (page 416) largely due to the mouth-watering photo found in the book.
I asked my brother to buy me frozen berries because it’s not particularly easy (or cheap!) to buy berries where I’m from, and I didn’t bother to check until the last moment that the amount of frozen berries he bought can only be used for half the dough I made! I was well-prepared for a whole 9-inch cobbler so I had to improvise with canned peaches as another filling instead.
In the end I made two 4-inch cobblers, one filled with the sweeter canned peaches, the other with the tart, slightly sour berries. Two cobblers to suit two palettes and make everyone happy! Personally, I think this works better than making one giant cobbler, because there’s more variety on the table.
But let’s talk about the biscuit used to top these cobblers. I don’t believe I’ll ever look for another cobbler topping recipe ever again. It was the perfect biscuit, whether you do cover up your cobbler pie-style like I did, or use rounds of dough made by cookie cutters. The flavour was just right as well, not too sweet or savoury or anything like that, but extremely complementary probably to any fruit you would like to make a cobbler of. I’m thinking about what to make into fillings next!
I have my sights set on Dorie’s Around My French Table to buy next! I’m sure it will be equally as amazing as all the works she’s put out so far. I saw it in the bookstore the other day but I’ve reached my maximum budget for book-buying this month (and probably also for next month…), and it was on sale too! But I’m certain I’ll have other chances to get this book. I can’t wait!