I just got my hands on Dorie Greenspan's new book which is devoted to my favorite - the cookie.
I've only been able to scan through the recipes quickly but they really are exciting to me - and believe me I've read (and baked and eaten) more than my share of cookies.
There is even a chapter on "cocktail cookies" which goes well beyond the standard cheese straws. So creative and yet the cookies aren't crazy hard to make.
It's the kind of book that makes me wish I had throngs of people to baked for so I could work my way through the book cooking a different recipe each night but alas, I am just going to have to read as my evening food porn for the most part.
For Thanksgiving. The cookie recipes are all much different than those I have seen before.
Source: Dorie Greenspan - “Dorie’s Cookies
These bars have three components, each a knockout: The double crust is a cocoa-walnut shortbread cookie. The filling is a fresh cranberry jam, made in minutes. And then there are fresh raspberries, which are added after the bottom crust is in the pan and the jam has been spread over it. Adding the berries (preferably cold ones) just before the bars are baked gives these a bright, sweet-tart layer of flavor. They also make for a stunning look: Because the berries are lumpy and bumpy, the top crust melts as it bakes and takes on their undulating form. It’s magical and beautiful, and it all happens in the oven without you doing a thing.
When all the oohing and ahing is over, the prize is the taste and texture. The dark cocoa-walnut crust is soft, buttery, just a little sweet and very flavorful, and the jam and berries are vibrant and a touch tangy. It’s a very special cookie, and you’ll be happy to serve it for as long as your supply of cranberries lasts.
A word on timing: You can make both the crust and the filling ahead, so that when things get hectic at holiday time, all you’ve got to do is assemble and bake the bars.
Makes 16 bars
FOR THE CRUST
1½ cups (204 grams) all-purpose flour ½ cup (100 grams) sugar ¼ cup ( 21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt 1 cup (120 grams) walnuts 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1 cold large egg 1 tablespoon cold water
FOR THE FILLING
2 cups (198 grams) cranberries (if frozen, don’t thaw) ⅔ cup (134 grams) sugar ½ cup (120 ml) orange juice 6-ounce box (1¾ to 2 cups; 177 grams) fresh raspberries, chilled Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
TO MAKE THE CRUST: Put the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt in a food processor and whir just to blend. Scatter over the walnuts and pulse and process until pulverized; scrape the bowl as needed to make certain you haven’t created a firm layer on the bottom. Add the cold butter and, working in long pulses, process until you have a grainy mix with some larger morsels. Stir the egg and water together and add to the machine a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. Then work in long pulses until the dough forms curds and large moist crumbs; squeeze it, and it should hold together.
Turn the dough out and knead it gently to bring it together. Divide it in half and shape each half into a square.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough between pieces of parchment paper until it’s about 9 inches square (you’re going to cut each piece into an 8-inch square, so don’t worry about precise measurements and raggedy edges). Slide the dough, still between the paper, onto a baking sheet—you can stack the slabs—and freeze for at least 2 hours.
MEANWHILE, MAKE THE JAM: Stir the cranberries, sugar and orange juice together in a medium saucepan. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula. After about 5 minutes, when the mixture starts to bubble and foam and the berries are popping, stir constantly until the jam thickens and your spatula leaves quickly disappearing tracks on the bottom of the pan. Scrape the jam into a heatproof bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 400 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. The dough gets soft quickly, so while you’re working with the first piece, keep the other in the freezer. Peel away both pieces of parchment and return the dough to one piece of paper. Cut the dough into an 8-inch square. Place the dough in the baking pan, scrape the cranberry jam over it and use a small offset icing spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it evenly, making sure to get jam into the corners; you’ll have a thin layer. Top with the fresh berries.
Cut the second piece of dough into an 8-inch square and place it over the berries. Pat the dough down lightly and sprinkle with sanding sugar. (You can gather the scraps together, re-roll them, chill and then cut and bake them as cookies.)
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust (which will have conformed to the shape of the berries) feels set and, most important, the fruit is bubbling up around the edges. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the bars cool to just warm or to room temperature. Or, if you’d like to unmold the bars, allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a blunt table knife between the crust and the sides of the pan. Place a piece of parchment over a rack and unmold the bars onto the rack. Quickly but gently turn the bars over onto another rack and let cool.
When you’re ready to serve, cut into sixteen 2-inch squares.
“The crust can be frozen for up to 2 months. The jam can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The bars are best the day they’re made, but you can wrap them and keep them at room temperature overnight or refrigerate them for up to 2 days. Wrapped airtight, they will keep for 2 months in the freezer; defrost, still wrapped, in the refrigerator overnight”