Cookie Strudel

Cookie Strudel - a simple, unsweetened dough and a traditional filling pinwheel into small cookies that aren't too sweet, and are crispy, flaky but still tender. Sophisticated and perfect for company.

SUMMARY – a simple, unsweetened dough and a traditional filling pinwheel into small cookies that aren’t too sweet, and are crispy, flaky but still tender. Sophisticated and perfect for company.

mixing-dough

Have you ever seen someone make actual strudel dough? Not on TV but live?

I did when I was in culinary school. We had a guest pastry chef come to school and do a presentation. She was either Austrian or had Austrian parents/grandparents. She used our pastry lab, during our class, to get everything prepped.

dough-ball

It was amazing to watch this lump of dough get stretched out paper thin, filled, rolled and baked.

The taste? It was like nothing I had ever had before or since. Shattering dough, sweet filling, it was so good.

dough-wrapped

I also thought there is no way I am ever going to make strudel dough by hand.

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This cookie is a great reminder of that strudel I had years ago. This dough is a lot easier than stretching dough over a large table without holing it! And you could make this dough without any extra tools.

ready-for-rollingBut it was pretty sticky. Hence the warning to put it in the fridge. And use plastic wrap. It was good to give this some time, so I could stagger the project out over a couple of days and not be overwhelmed.

rolls-ovenI made the dough early yesterday morning before getting ready for work. Then I spent a bunch of extra time looking for my rolling pin sleeve. I literally only used it once. I swear I put it in with some flour. And I couldn’t find the thing. I went through all my flour containers and no dice. I found the pastry cloth that came with it. I do not know where the thing is. So now I have to buy another one. 🙁

logs-bakedI think the only real hard part of this is rolling the dough up into logs for baking. The dough stuck to the plastic wrap and I holed it a little getting it off. But I put that part on the inside of the roll and went ahead.

cookies-slicedThe other thing that worried me was when I took the pan out of the oven to cool, there was melted butter all over the pan. But during cooling I think the logs re-absorbed it, because the pan wasn’t at all wet or greasy this morning when i sliced up the cookies.

slices-1I would seriously make these again. But maybe make a double batch because I have a sneaking suspicion these will disappear fast.

This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake-along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

slices-detail

white chocolate club med bread headerSUMMARY – a soft crumb and crust makes a very light bread. White chocolate chunks lend a subtle sweetness.

dough-started

I need to start with a reminder to myself and anyone else. Don’t leave bread dough in the fridge for a week. Your bread will smell like a brewery when you bake it.

liquid-mixed-together

Why would I leave a batch of bread dough in the fridge? I was sick last week 🙁 Twice!

sprinkled-flour-on-liquid

I haven’t shared this before on this blog. But I have relapsing Multiple Sclerosis. Short version, my symptoms are annoying, not debilitating. Like fatigue, tingling in my hands and feet, nerve pain, minor cognitive issues. So 2 Saturdays ago, my nerve pain started acting up. I can feel the pain shooting through the top of my right leg, and the meds I take don’t touch it. So I was really not feeling better til Sunday evening.

mixing-dough-after-first-riseMonday evening I was (finally!) able to make the dough. I put it in a container and put it in the fridge because it still needed to rise and I couldn’t leave it out overnight.

dough-into-fridgeTuesday at work, I could feel my throat was sore. Around 3 p.m. I was ready to take a nap. And probably had a fever. Came home from work and went to bed. Took 2 days off work.

white-chocolate-layer

I wasn’t able to catch up and actually bake it til Saturday.

When I was baking it, someone in the house asked me if I was boiling wine or something. I still couldn’t really smell, but yeah the bread dough was old.

formed-loaf

It actually baked up OK but I didn’t let it rise in the pan long enough. The crust was still really tender and the crumb was very light. The chocolate chunks (I didn’t chop the pieces I just broke them up) did lend a nice sweetness. Some of the largish pieces broke through the outside dough wrap and carmelized. Still good.

baked-loaf

But the bread tasted weird. Like burnt beer. I ended up tossing half of the loaf.

sliced-bread

So the next time I make this dough, I won’t leave it in the fridge for a week!

closeup-slice

This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake-along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

Fudgy Pudgy Brownie Tart

SUMMARY – a chocolately cookie crust envelops a molten three-chocolate nutty brownie. The cookie crust keeps you from missing the brownie’s crispy edges.

Tart-crust-part1I was so excited about making this tart. The name of it sounds like a nursery rhyme so I made one up:

fudgy pudgy brownie in pie
bake it up and don’t ask why
show the picture all say Yay
and we eat it straight away!

And … that is why I bake and not write children’s books.Tart-crust-part-2

However, my excitement about making this tart was tempered by logistics, timing, and life in general.

I will start with …

Chopped-walnutsDAY 0 – Monday

I had Columbus Day off (YAY!) and planned on starting the tart crust that day. I check the recipe and it calls for cold butter. Check the fridge and there is no cold unsalted butter in there. I know I bought some. Where is it? I check the freezer, and there it is. So I pull a stick of frozen butter out and put it in the fridge.

melted-chocolateI had every intention of starting it later on that day. No dice. Life happened. Onto…

DAY 1 – Tuesday

Yes I went to work. Came home, threw together dinner, and made others clean up the kitchen immediately after dinner so I could start making the tart.

start-batterI got the crust all set and in the fridge. Gotta let it sit a while in the fridge to relax the gluten.

I made the brownie batter and put that in the fridge.

At that point I was tired and wasn’t going to be able to finish it. Went to bed.

add-eggsDAY 2 – Wednesday

On Wednesdays, I make dinner for my parents. I’ve been doing it for over a year now. I started doing it after my Dad had a stroke, and my Mom was overwhelmed with dealing with driving Dad around to all his doctors appointments and rehab.

finish-with-walnutsI put the bowl of brownie batter, the tart crust, my rolling mat, pin, tart pan and other square pan in the car to take with me. I figured I could finish it at the rents.

Everything sat in the cool car while I worked all day. The tart crust dough was a good temperature to roll. I rolled out the dough and draped it over the square pan to form it, and put it in the fridge while I made dinner.

the-crustPork tenderloin with roasted broccoli and spaghetti squash. Since their A1C numbers are back up, Mom is watching their carb intake.

After dinner, I finished assembling the tart and (finally!) got it in the oven. I underbaked it (by mistake because I forgot to bring the book with me but remembered the temperature) but it was fine. Brownies, like pork, can be served less than well done.

rolled-crustI wrapped it up in some foil and a towel and drove home with a warm chocolate tart, teasing me on the ride from Latham to Schenectady.

I brought it in the house and unmolded it. I cut it up and it was pretty oozy. Not a problem at all. What, you are supposed to cool it and then put it in the fridge? That so didn’t happen.

form-crustI brought a few pieces over to the convenient store. Walked in … “I have treats!” One of the girls grabbed a piece, stuffed it in her mouth and said “Oh my god it’s still warm!”

The brownies tart was a hit!

Did I write anything? No.

2015-10-14 18.03.14DAY 3 – Thursday

For her birthday present I brought Mom to the Taste of Home Cooking Show up in Saratoga Thursday evening. It ran super late because they had problems with the audio. No blog post got done.

DAY 4 – Friday

This was seriously the longest week ever, even with a day off. Writing did not happen.

2015-10-14 18.05.11DAY 5 – Saturday

Does anyone else have the problem of being busier on weekends than during a work day? Plus, warm cider donuts from the Riverview Orchard. Nuff said.

DAY 6 – Sunday

cooling-tartUnfortunately there are no pictures of the tart in pieces. Because there is no more tart.

It is still early Sunday morning. Hopefully I planned my time better for the White Chocolate Club Med Bread. I do need to get white chocolate. I better finish this up and get going!

2015-10-14 19.11.57

This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake-along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

banana-chiffon-header

SUMMARY – Super light, moist and full of banana flavor. Great plain too!

My roommate Kathy hates bananas. But she really loved this cake! I was starting to work on this post last night when she had another piece.

“Are there any bananas left?” Kathy asks.

“There’s two left,” I say.

“Great! You can make another one!” she says.

I may have unleashed a new household banana trend.

ingredient-mise-en-place

The first time I made a cake with separated eggs, I was a kid. And it didn’t turn out great. I had some previous baking success and wanted to try something harder. It was a hot mess. Luckily my mom wasn’t mad that I wasted a bunch of eggs, but it scared me off egg whites for a long time.

separated-eggs

Years later, I decided to try another egg white levened cake. It was the Kahlua-Almond Torte with Dark Mocha Glaze from Molly Katzen’s Still Life with Menu cookbook. Its another chiffon cake with ground nuts instead of flour. That cake went a little better!

bananas-wet-ingredientsI do like chiffon cakes a lot. It’s the best of both an angel food cake (the lightness) and a regular butter cake (the moistness and flavor). Angel food cakes are pretty bland unless you put some strawberries or something on top. Then it’s more like a shortcake.

At least with this cake, I only need to figure out what to do with three egg yolks and not 10!

added-yolkswet-ingredients-combineddry-ingredients-mixed

dry-added-wet

 

 

 

 

 

batter-ready-for-whiteswhipped-whites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything came together really nicely, in spite of the fact that I don’t have an extra Kitchenaid bowl (it’s on my Amazon wishlist *hint hint*!)

I learned a trick in baking class that helps with folding in egg whites. And there was a lot of egg whites to fold here.

whites-third-add

You add about a third of the egg whites to the batter first. Just stir them in really good.

folding-in-whites

Then you will have an easier time folding in the rest of the whites.

finished-batter

Works like a charm, even with the huge amount of whites. You don’t lose the loft 😉

batter-in-pan2

Into the pan … takes a lot of room! The cake really expanded. I had to bake it a little longer than the recipe called for. Probably because I used too small of a pan.

pan-overflow1

cooling2

Off to cool. The hole in my pan is a little small and the only thing that fit was a bottle of fish sauce. And trying to fit a bottle top into a little hole, upside down and hot, I punctured the top (or the bottom?) of the cake. I’m glad I had to turn it over.

unmolded2

It’s not the prettiest cake ever. But it smelled really good!

sliced1

Of course the look of it didn’t prevent my roommate Bill and me from having it for breakfast.

cake-for-breakfast

It has egg and banana in it! It’s fine for breakfast! Or a snack. Or dessert.

off-to-work

I was even nice and brought some to work.

I am looking forward to the brownie tart! I showed pictures of it in the cookbook and the drooling commenced.


This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself from your favorite book seller, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.