The Way the Cookie Crumbles http://www.crumblycookie.net Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:37:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 7219964 garlic-roasted mushrooms http://www.crumblycookie.net/2017/07/21/garlic-roasted-mushrooms/ http://www.crumblycookie.net/2017/07/21/garlic-roasted-mushrooms/#respond Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:37:20 +0000 http://www.crumblycookie.net/?p=11153 garlic mushrooms 5

I’ve learned that when I make an antipasto tray for myself, it should be a meal and not an appetizer – it’s so delicious that I want plenty. And a meal, even one that I don’t claim to be healthy, requires a vegetable. And a meal as good as this one needs something that can hold its own with so many of my favorite foods.

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Usually I default to tomatoes, either simply roasted or made into sun-dried tomato jam. But I’ve made that jam so many times, I needed a new staple. These mushrooms fit in just right – the garlicky strong flavors stand up to the cured meats, the mushrooms make a nice bite with a toothpick, and the liquid on the bottom of the dish doesn’t go to waste when there’s bread nearby.

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It also helps that it’s an easy dish. If my dinner plan is to put cheese, salami, and bread on a tray, it’s probably because I don’t want to cook. Throwing mushrooms into a pretty baking dish with garlic, salt, oil, and butter is about all I’m willing to do. And fortunately, that’s all that’s necessary to turn a tray of snacks into a meal.

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Garlic-Roasted Mushrooms (barely adapted from Gourmet via Smitten Kitchen)

1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, halved lengthwise if large
2 tablespoons capers, drained
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. In a medium baking dish, combine the mushrooms, capers, garlic, oil, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper; stir to evenly coat the mushrooms. Dot the butter on top of the mushrooms. Transfer to the oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley; serve.

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strawberry balsamic slab pie http://www.crumblycookie.net/2017/06/16/strawberry-balsamic-slab-pie/ http://www.crumblycookie.net/2017/06/16/strawberry-balsamic-slab-pie/#comments Fri, 16 Jun 2017 07:57:33 +0000 http://www.crumblycookie.net/?p=11138 strawberry balsamic pie 4

After grabbing a slice from the office kitchen, one of my coworkers asked me why I decided to add balsamic vinegar to pie. My answer of “because the recipe called for it” surely did not impress him. However, it’s a great question: What does the vinegar add to this pie?

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I was surprised that the recipe calls for strawberry juice to be drained off and discarded (we used it in place of the sugar syrup in daiquiris). I suppose the balsamic vinegar is replacing the strawberry juice. No one could taste the vinegar or the angostura bitters in the baked pie, but we all agreed that it was particularly delicious and intensely strawberry-y.

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The changes I made from the original recipe weren’t intentional; I was basing my recipe off of a friend, who’d adjusted the thickener herself. As a result, the filling is more solid, which is perfect for a slab pie intended to be eaten out of hand instead of cut into slices and served plated. In the end, even if I can’t explain just what made it so good, there isn’t a thing I’d change about this pie, from the thickener to the straining of juices and nontraditional additions.

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Printer Friendly Recipe
Strawberry Balsamic Slab Pie (adapted from Emily Elson’s and Melissa Elson’s Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book via Apple a Day; crust rewritten from Serious Eats)

Crust:
3¾ cups (18 ounces) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoon kosher salt (or ¾ teaspoon table salt)
30 tablespoons butter (3¾ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
9 tablespoons cold water

Filling and topping:
4½ tablespoons granulated sugar
3 pounds fresh strawberries, rinsed and quartered
1 large Granny Smith apple, grated
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup (7 ounces) light brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons Minute tapioca
3 grinds fresh black pepper
¾ teaspoon kosher salt (or ⅓ teaspoon table salt)
egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
demerara or other coarse sugar, or regular granulated sugar

1. For the crust: In a food processor, process approximately two-thirds of the flour, the sugar, and the salt just to combine, a few pulses. Add the butter; pulse until the dough is evenly combined and begins to form clumps. Add the remaining flour and pulse just until the flour is evenly distributed. Transfer the dough to a large bowl; sprinkle the water over the dough and use a rubber spatula to fold the dough until the water is absorbed. Divide the dough into two portions, with one portion slightly larger than the other. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

2. For the filling: In a large bowl, combine the strawberries and granulated sugar; set aside at room temperature for 1 hour. Strain the strawberries, discarding the liquid (or reserving it for another use). Return the strained strawberries to the bowl; add the apple, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, tapioca, black pepper, and salt.

3. Arrange an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. On a 12-by-17-inch sheet of parchment paper, roll out the larger portion of the dough to the edges of the parchment paper. Transfer the dough, still on the parchment paper, to a 10-by-15-inch baking sheet. Roll the smaller portion of dough to a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Leave it whole to top the slab pie, or cut strips or other shapes.

4. Spread the strawberry mixture evenly over the dough in the pan. Top with the remaining dough. If you’ve left the top layer of dough whole, cut many 2-inch slashes into it. Brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with demerara or other sugar.

5. Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees; continue baking for an additional 35 minutes, until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbling. Transfer to a cooling rack; cool to room temperature before serving.

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crepe manicotti with ragu and bechamel http://www.crumblycookie.net/2017/04/06/crepe-manicotti-with-ragu-and-bechamel/ http://www.crumblycookie.net/2017/04/06/crepe-manicotti-with-ragu-and-bechamel/#comments Thu, 06 Apr 2017 08:29:48 +0000 http://www.crumblycookie.net/?p=11124 crepe manicotti 5

As we adjust to life with a toddler, I’m finding myself tending toward simpler meals, not weekend projects. Which is to say, I made these manicotti months ago, when that toddler was a baby who couldn’t move and therefore didn’t follow me around in the kitchen emptying all the cabinets. It’s too bad for her, because she’d love these.

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Instead of stuffing a meatball-like mixture into a pasta tube, these are crepes filled with a meat sauce mixed with thick bechamel. It’s rich and creamy, holding its shape without being dry or chewy. There’s no mozzarella, but between the bechamel and the crepes, there’s plenty of dairy. A generous grating of flavorful parmesan tops the dish.

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As delicious as these were, I do think they’d benefit from more sauce, which I’ve indicated in the recipe below. I’d also put all of the bechamel inside the crepes instead of leaving a portion for spreading between the stuffed crepes and the tomato sauce. For better or worse, it’ll be a while before I get a chance to make these again with those changes. In the meantime, I’ll be putting all my storage containers back in the cabinets.

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Crepe Manicotti with Ragu and Bechamel (adapted from Serious Eats)

I don’t remember what meat I used for this, but I’m sure it wasn’t the veal recommended in the original recipe. It was probably pure beef.

For the Ragù:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced fine
1 medium carrot, diced fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground beef, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup whole milk
1 bay leaf
2 fresh rosemary sprigs

For the Crepes:
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
2½ cups whole milk
salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Béchamel:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

To Assemble:
3 cups tomato sauce
parmesan cheese

1. For the ragu: In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add half of the ground beef and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently to break the meat into small pieces, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining meat; stirring to break up the meat, cook just until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the wine; simmer until the wine is syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add the milk, bay leaf, and rosemary; bring the liquid to a simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the ragu is thick and the meat is tender, about 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and rosemary. If necessary, season with additional salt and pepper.

2. For the crepes: Add the flour, egg, milk, and ¼ teaspoon salt to a blender canister; blend until smooth. Heat a 9-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush the pan with a thin layer of melted butter. Pour about ¼ cup of batter into the pan; swirl to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Cook until the top looks dry, about 1 minute. Flip the crepe and continue to cook until the second side is dry, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the pan with butter each time, stacking the cooked crepes on a plate.

3. For the bechamel: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the foaming subsides, add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Whisking constantly, slowly add the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. When the mixture simmers, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and simmer 5 minutes. Combine with the meat sauce.

4. To assemble: Cover the bottom a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 1 cup of tomato sauce. Divide the meat mixture evenly between the crepes; roll the crepes and place seam-side down over the sauce in the pan. Spread the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the manicotti. Top with a generous layer of grated parmesan. Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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chocolate hazelnut tarte soleil http://www.crumblycookie.net/2017/01/13/chocolate-hazelnut-tarte-soleil/ Fri, 13 Jan 2017 08:30:05 +0000 http://www.crumblycookie.net/?p=11112 nutella pastry 5

After the last two years, I feel like I have a certain standard to uphold for my contribution to the office holiday potluck. However, there was simply no time this year for a time-consuming project. I needed to find a recipe that looked like a showstopper but didn’t require the work of one.

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Two ingredients? This recipe fit the bill. Although, since, where I live, I can’t buy puff pastry made with real butter, I did make my own. (I used this recipe; while I think this one puffs more and isn’t much, if any, more effort, I didn’t have the mental fortitude for the multiple steps, even if each step takes just a minute or two.) In another life (like one before this), I would have made my own chocolate hazelnut spread too, but for once, I managed to be reasonable and bought this instead. As I’d hoped, It was more chocolately and less sweet than Nutella, although it still wasn’t particularly nutty.

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Okay, so this wasn’t as visually impressive as a foot-tall cake. But it’s pretty, and it tasted just as good as those past projects. It was flaky and buttery, chocolately without being too sweet. At this point in my life, it was perfect.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Tarte Soleil (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 (1-pound sheets) thawed puff pastry dough
½ cup Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)

1. Adjust a rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. On a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat, roll one sheet of puff pastry dough into an approximate 12-inch circle. Use a 12-inch round plate or bowl as a guide to cut a 12-inch circle into the dough.

2. Spread the filling in an even layer over the round of puff pastry dough, leaving the outer 1-inch of the circle bare.

3. Repeat the rolling and cutting of the second portion of puff pastry dough to form another 12-inch round. Transfer this portion of dough to the top of the Nutella-covered puff pastry round, aligning it with the bottom ricle.

4. Place a small round cup or dish in the center of the circle, pressing it lightly to form a visual indentation without pressing through the dough. Remove the cup. Use a pizza roller to cut slits into the dough from the edge to the center circle. Each slit should be about an inch apart on the outer edge of the dough round, for a total of about 32 slits. Once all the slits are cut, pick up the outer edge of each segment while pressing gently on the center edge of the segment. Twist a couple times; repeat with all segments.

5. Transfer the pastry, still on the parchment paper or silicone mat, to a baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until browned. Transfer the tart, still on the pan, to a cooling rack and allow to cool for ten minutes. Slide the tart onto a serving plate. Serve immediately or within about twelve hours.

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white chocolate macadamia nut cookies http://www.crumblycookie.net/2016/12/16/white-chocolate-macadamia-nut-cookies/ http://www.crumblycookie.net/2016/12/16/white-chocolate-macadamia-nut-cookies/#comments Fri, 16 Dec 2016 09:08:11 +0000 http://www.crumblycookie.net/?p=11105 white chocolate macadamia nut cookies 5

I’m behind on Christmas. I’ve been behind on everything since Thanksgiving. Every one of the baby’s naptimes through the weekend are currently booked with baking plans, and once that’s done, I’ll start preparing for our trip to visit family over the holidays. And at some point, I should probably buy some presents.

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These aren’t on my Christmas baking list, but maybe I should rethink that. I’d always considered white chocolate macadamia cookies bland before these – white chocolate mostly just tasting sweet, and macadamia nuts mostly just seeming rich and fatty without offering much flavor. But the addition of cream cheese adds some tanginess to counter the sweetness. The milk powder keeps the cookies soft and tender.

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They’re straightforward to make; browning the butter adds an extra step, but it isn’t a difficult one. With a long shelf-life, they can hold up to being shipped to your friends and family across the country. Most importantly, they’re one of the best cookies I made last year.

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
(rewritten but not adapted from Joy the Baker)

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups (14.4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup instant milk powder
1½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup (7 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
2 cups coarsely chopped white chocolate

1. In a medium not-nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt 8 tablespoons of the butter. Continue to cook the butter, swirling the pan occasionally, until the milk solids brown and sink and the butter smells nutty. Immediately remove it from the heat and pour the butter into a heatproof bowl. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, milk powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Break the eggs into a small measuring cup, whisk them lightly, and mix in the vanilla.

2. Place the cream cheese and the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand-held mixer). Beat on medium-low speed until the butter and cream cheese are smooth, then add the salt and both sugars. Continue beating on medium-low until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the browned butter and beat until evenly combined. With the mixer running, gradually add the egg mixture. Once the eggs have been added, scrape the sides of the bowl once, then continue mixing on medium speed for about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing it’s mostly combined. Add the nuts and chocolate and mix until the flour is completely incorporated and the nuts and chocolate are evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Scoop the dough in heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until they are browned around the edges and do not look wet on top, 8 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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apple cranberry pie http://www.crumblycookie.net/2016/11/22/apple-cranberry-pie/ Wed, 23 Nov 2016 05:09:52 +0000 http://www.crumblycookie.net/?p=11094 apple cranberry pie 6

It’s not like me to be still tweaking my menu just a few days before Thanksgiving. I even had to rework my timeline as a result! But the change made my timeline simpler with more reasonable expectations of what I can fit in my oven at once (i.e., not four casseroles, rolls, and a tray of roasting vegetables).

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If you, too, are still looking for recipes, this is one worth adding. It’s a nice variation from a strictly traditional apple pie, while still within the Thanksgiving theme of fall ingredients and, of course, pie. Plus, both of the fillings and the dough for the crust can be made a couple days before the holiday, which is always an advantage when you’re trying to serve a huge meal to a crowd.

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Cranberries and apples, both sweet and tart, accented by flaky pastry, are a great combination. Hopefully you’re a step ahead and already have your turkey salting, your cranberry sauce in the refrigerator, and your pies chosen. If not, this one is a great addition to your holiday.

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Apple-Cranberry Pie (from Cook’s Illustrated)

Makes one 9-inch pie

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
¼ cup orange juice
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon for top of pie
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon table salt
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3½ pounds sweet apples (6 to 7 medium), such as Golden Delicious or Braeburn, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
pie dough for double-crust pie
1 egg white, beaten lightly

1. Bring the cranberries, juice, ½ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally and pressing the berries against the side of the pot, until the berries have completely broken down and the juices have thickened to a jamlike consistency (a wooden spoon scraped across the bottom should leave a clear trail that doesn’t fill in), 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in water, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. (Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

2. Meanwhile, mix ½ cup sugar, the remaining ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and the cornstarch in a large microwave-safe bowl; add the apples and toss to combine. Microwave on high power, stirring with a rubber spatula every 3 minutes, until the apples are just starting to turn translucent around the edges and the liquid is thick and glossy, 10 to 14 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. (Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

3. While the fillings cool, adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on the oven rack, and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured work surface to a 12-inch circle about ⅛- inch thick. Roll the dough loosely around the rolling pin and unroll it into a pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang. Ease the dough into the plate by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while pressing into the plate bottom with the other hand. Leave the dough that overhangs the plate in place; refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

4. Transfer the cooled cranberry mixture to the dough-lined pie plate and spread into an even layer. Place the apple mixture on top of the cranberries, mounding slightly in the center; push down any sharp apple edges.

5. Roll the second disk of dough on a floured work surface to a 12-inch circle about ⅛-inch thick. Roll the dough loosely around the rolling pin and unroll over the pie, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side.

6. Using kitchen shears, cut evenly through both layers of overhanging dough, leaving a ½-inch overhang. Fold the dough under itself so that the edge of the fold is flush with the outer rim of the pie plate. Flute the edges using a thumb and forefinger or press with the tines of a fork to seal. Brush the top and edges of the pie with egg white and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon sugar. Using a sharp paring knife, cut four 1½-inch slits in the top of the dough in a cross pattern.

7. Place the pie on the preheated baking sheet and bake until the top is light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees, rotate the baking sheet, and continue to bake until the crust is deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool at least 2 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.

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easy foolproof pie dough http://www.crumblycookie.net/2016/11/21/easy-foolproof-pie-dough/ http://www.crumblycookie.net/2016/11/21/easy-foolproof-pie-dough/#comments Tue, 22 Nov 2016 04:12:37 +0000 http://www.crumblycookie.net/?p=11088 pie crust 7

If you eat the filling and leave the thick edge of your pie crust on the plate, you’re making your pie crust wrong. Your pie crust should be crisp, browned, and flaky. Just a little bit sweet so it goes with the fruity filling, rich and buttery. Pie crust isn’t better than the filling, but it isn’t worse either, and every bit of it, including the thick crimped edges, is necessary to balance all the filling.

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I’ve tried some of those creative additions (sour cream, vodka), but mostly, I’ve stuck with a traditional crust recipe – butter is cut into flour, salt, and a smidge of sugar, then water is added until it just comes together. But I had a bad habit of adding too much water, so it wasn’t foolproof for me. No one complained; it was still tastier and flakier than a store-bought crust, but it tended to slump when baked.

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I don’t consider myself an amateur pie crust maker at this point, but apparently I still needed something foolproof. This recipe solves my problem. The butter is processed into a portion of the flour, not until it’s broken up into pea-sized bits, but until it’s a crumbly, homogeneous mixture. Then the rest of the flour and some water is mixed in.

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After resting, the dough rolls out smoothly and trouble-free, without ripping or cracking. You can freeze it either before or after rolling. Then it bakes up golden, puffy, light, crisp. It’s everything you want from a pie crust, just easier to make. It definitely holds its own against any filling.

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Easy Pie Dough (not really adapted from The Food Lab)

My butter cubes came straight from the freezer, which might be why it took a lot more than 25 pulses for the dough to form clumps.

2½ cups (12.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
20 tablespoons butter (2½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
6 tablespoons cold water

1. Combine two thirds of flour with sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to blend. Spread the butter evenly over flour mix; pulse until no dry flour remains and the dough just begins to collect in clumps, about 25 short pulses. Use a rubber spatula to spread the dough evenly around the bowl of the food processor. Sprinkle with the remaining flour and pulse until dough is just barely broken up, about 5 short pulses. Transfer the dough to a large bowl.

2. Sprinkle with the water, then, using a rubber spatula, fold and press the dough until it comes together into a ball. Divide in half and form each half into a 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling and baking.

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pull-apart stuffing knots http://www.crumblycookie.net/2016/11/18/pull-apart-stuffing-knots/ http://www.crumblycookie.net/2016/11/18/pull-apart-stuffing-knots/#comments Sat, 19 Nov 2016 06:30:55 +0000 http://www.crumblycookie.net/?p=11082 pull apart stuffing knots 7

There’s a conflict between the recipes you want to make for Thanksgiving because they’re traditional and the recipes you want to make for Thanksgiving because they’re new and interesting. Every year, magazines have to come up with creative Thanksgiving recipes that no one makes because Thanksgiving only comes once a year, and everyone wants their old favorites.

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Last November was my turn to host my monthly get-together with friends, and I suggested we do a Thanksgiving theme, but not with our standard recipes. I made a turkey roulade with mushroom stuffing, sweet potato meringue pie, and these stuffing rolls. I don’t know where you’d fit stuffing rolls on the normal Thanksgiving menu – would you replace rolls or stuffing or both? But they were perfect for my nontraditional dinner.

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Stuffing rolls are knots – because their irregular shape increases the surface area that can be coated with flavorful ingredients – covered in an herbed sausage and celery mixture. It’s as if you replaced the dried bread cubes in regular stuffing with freshly baked rolls. Wherever you can manage to fit these into your Thanksgiving traditions, they’re worth trying something new.

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Pull-Apart Stuffing Knots (slightly adapted from The Food Lab)

You can use 1 pound of store-bought pizza dough instead of making your own bread dough. You can also replace up to half of the flour with whole wheat flour.

Dough:
11 ounces all-purpose flour
½ cup water
1½ tablespoons oil
1½ tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons yeast
¾ teaspoon salt

Rolls:
4 tablespoons butter, divided
8 ounces sage sausage or breakfast sausage, removed from casings
1 small onion, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
1 stalk celery, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup minced fresh sage leaves
¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Mix pre-dough. The next day, mix and knead the dough. Let rise slightly and refrigerate overnight.

2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and mash with stiff whisk or potato masher to break up into fine pieces (largest pieces should be no greater than ¼-inch). Cook, stirring frequently until only a few bits of pink remain, about 8 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic, and sage and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer contents to a large bowl and set aside until completely cool.

3. While filling cools, make knots. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into two even pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll or stretch into an oblong strip about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. With a bench scraper or knife, cut crosswise into 12 strips. Repeat with other half of dough.

4. Tie each strip into a knot and transfer to the bowl with sausage mixture. Toss and fold with your hands until every knot is thoroughly coated in the mixture. Grease a 9- by 13-inch casserole pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Transfer the knots to the casserole dish in a single layer. Spray with oil, cover tightly with plastic, and set aside until doubled in size, about 4 hours. Alternatively, refrigerate until doubled in size, 12 to 16 hours.

5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425°F and adjust oven rack to center position. Unwrap rolls. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.

6. When rolls are almost ready, melt remaining tablespoon butter in the microwave or stovetop. Remove rolls from oven and immediately brush with butter.

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bittersweet chocolate pumpkin tart http://www.crumblycookie.net/2016/11/14/bittersweet-chocolate-pumpkin-tart/ Mon, 14 Nov 2016 18:26:12 +0000 http://www.crumblycookie.net/?p=11076 bittersweet chocolate pumpkin tart 4

This is the perfect pumpkin dessert for people who don’t like pumpkin desserts. There’s so much more chocolate than pumpkin, and chocolate has a stronger flavor than pumpkin, that this is a rich, silky chocolate tart that you can get away with serving for Thanksgiving because there’s a token scoop of pumpkin in the filling.

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It’s not hard to make, with a press-in crumb crust and a simple whisked filling. I made it on the spur of the moment when the baby’s nap went long. It also works out well for Thanksgiving because it can be made a couple days in advance.

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A friend told me that although she doesn’t like pumpkin desserts, she loved this one. Well sure, that’s because the pumpkin is buried under half a pound of chocolate. This is a pumpkin tart in name only, but that’s all you need for it to fit into your Thanksgiving menu.

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Bittersweet Chocolate Pumpkin Tart (adapted from Love and Olive Oil)

I chopped the chocolate in the food processor, then transferred it to a bowl, before making the crust in the food processor. I toasted the pecans by spreading them in a single layer on a plate and microwaving for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. I’m sure this can be made in a pie pan instead of a tart pan.

For the crust:
8 ounces vanilla wafer cookies
½ cup pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup whole milk
8 ounces bittersweet (60-70%) chocolate, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅔ cup pumpkin purée
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon bourbon (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
cocoa (optional)

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a 9-inch round or equivalently-sized tart pan with a removable bottom on a baking sheet.

2. In a food processor, process the cookies and pecans until finely ground. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt; pulse to combine. Add the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Transfer the mixture to the tart pan; press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool slightly. Lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees.

3. In a small saucepan over medium-high, heat the cream and milk until just simmering. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and gently whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until broken up. Add the spices, pumpkin, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the chocolate mixture, then the bourbon or vanilla.

5. Spread the filling evenly in the baked tart shell. Transfer the tart pan on the baking sheet to the oven. Bake until the filling barely jiggles, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. The tart can be covered and chilled for several days. Serve at room temperature. If desired, dust with cocoa just before serving.

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green bean salad with anchovies and peperoncini http://www.crumblycookie.net/2016/10/06/green-bean-salad-with-anchovies-and-peperoncini/ Thu, 06 Oct 2016 07:43:40 +0000 http://www.crumblycookie.net/?p=11068 green bean anchovy salad 4

I’m seeing anchovies in recipes more and more often, almost always with the disclaimer that they don’t make things taste fishy; instead, they increase the umami background in a dish. Used with discretion, they make food taste fuller and more balanced without standing out themselves. I became convinced of this years ago, but it seemed like people were still reluctant to recommend their use for fear of scaring off the fish-adverse.

green bean anchovy salad 1

Even here, with anchovies in the title, they’re not overbearing. Dave, who used to hate anchovies, had no problems with this salad. I love anchovies, so I loved this. Plus, it’s almost like a green bean-based caesar salad, and what’s not to enjoy there?

green bean anchovy salad 2

That being said, if you’re nervous about too much fishy flavor, just use two or three anchovies instead of six. (You’ll want to taste the dressing to make sure it’s salty enough though.) But I hope you’ll try it with some anchovies, because they really have a lot to offer to a dish. If you let it, this recipe can be a great introduction to a new ingredient.

green bean anchovy salad 3

Green Bean Salad with Anchovies and Peperoncini (rewritten but not really adapted from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s The Food Lab)

I replace half of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt. I was also too lazy to properly blanch the green beans, so I just boiled them for two minutes instead of four and then drained them and let them cool at room temperature.

Kosher salt
2¼ pounds green beans, trimmed
½ cup mayonnaise
6 whole anchovy filets, chopped into a paste
2 ounces (about 1 cup) grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup sliced pepperoncini, drained
2 medium shallots, finely sliced
¼ cup toasted pinenuts

1. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until they’re bright green and mostly tender with a slight crisp bite in the center, about 4 minutes. Drain the green beans and transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Let chill for about 5 minutes, until cold, then dry on paper or dish towels.

2. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, parmesan, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, and a generous grinding of black pepper. Coat the green beans with the dressing. Add the pepperoncini and shallots and stir to combine. Top with the pine nuts; serve.

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