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Cookbook of the Month 2013 AD HOC AT HOME: Lifesavers, Breads, Crackers and Cheese, Dessert

I wondered if I overworked the dough as well, but the biscuits seemed to come out fine. And they looked very similar to those in your photo. A Keller mystery!

Apr 30, 2013
Nevita in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month 2013 AD HOC AT HOME: Lifesavers, Breads, Crackers and Cheese, Dessert

Glad your biscuits turned out so well, nomadchowwoman! I will definitely try the diamond crystal salt next time...Funny that you had so much leftover dough. I got 12-14 biscuits out of mine - maybe another reason I found them salty!

Apr 27, 2013
Nevita in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month April 2013 BOUCHON BAKERY: All recipes

I made the pumpkin muffins from Bouchon Bakery as posted here: http://tishboyle.blogspot.ca/2012/10/...

Also a success! Moist and flavourful, will be making these again for sure.

Apr 23, 2013
Nevita in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month 2013 AD HOC AT HOME: Lifesavers, Breads, Crackers and Cheese, Dessert

Pecan-Walnut Bars, Desserts, P306

These were delicious! Make a crust of powdered sugar, ground almonds, AP flour, butter, vanilla and an egg. Refrigerate the crust which is later rolled out onto a quarter sheet pan, then chilled again. While the dough is in the fridge, make the filling – pecans, walnuts, eggs, molasses, vanilla, salt, brown sugar, corn syrup & melted butter (this mixture stands for 30 mins). Bake the crust for 30 mins, then pour in the filling and bake the whole thing for another 15 minutes. Cool to room temp, then freeze the pan until solid. Take the bars (not quite in bar form yet) out of the pan, trim off the edges, then cut into bars. Serve cold or at room temp (though Keller mentions eating them warm out of the oven in the preamble).

This is a great recipe if you’re trying to use up eggs – 7 in total! I made a few modifications that didn’t seem to harm the bars – I ran out of AP flour and subbed about a ¼ cup whole wheat; I just whisked the almond flour and flour together rather than running them through the food processor to combine (seemed unnecessary); and I used a 9x13 baking dish rather than the quarter sheet pan asked for. Also worth mentioning that I had to bake the filling for much longer than Keller's 15 mins, more than double that in fact, for it to set. I also cut the bars much smaller than the 8 pieces that Keller suggests. They're probably each a 1/3 of that and that's plenty rich for me.

Nice that the bars could be made in steps in case you didn’t want to spend an afternoon in the kitchen. That being said, I found the method lengthy with all of the dough chilling, then freezing the finished bars. If I made these again, I’d just press the dough into the pan. I thought that the bars were similar in taste to a really good pecan pie, which wouldn’t require all the effort. That being said, they received rave reviews. I’ve just kept a stash in the freezer, and I’m surprised I prefer them frozen to warmed. The texture of the frozen bars is lovely, kind of toothy. And the super-sticky edge pieces (from trimming) are the best! I’m glad I didn’t skip that step, though Keller probably intends that they be discarded. :)

Apr 23, 2013
Nevita in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month 2013 AD HOC AT HOME: Lifesavers, Breads, Crackers and Cheese, Dessert

Just a footnote about this recipe. I had frozen a few of the buttermilk biscuits since it didn't seem like a good idea for two of us to eat a dozen in one weekend. I pulled them out the other night to try them with strawberry shortcake "recipe" on page 2, as suggested in the recipe's preamble. Essentially you toss sliced strawberries with a couple pinches of sugar, and layer them with the biscuits and heavy cream whipped with a bit of sugar and vanilla.

The biscuits to use for the dessert were WAY too salty! Three of us had the dessert and all of us thought it was really salty. Maybe Diamond Kosher would have improved the biscuits. On the up side, the freezing didn't seem to affect the biscuits really which I was happy about.

Apr 21, 2013
Nevita in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month 2013 AD HOC AT HOME: Lifesavers, Breads, Crackers and Cheese, Dessert

Thanks for the warm welcome, geekmom! I think I'm just used to not tasting the salt in baked goods, rather than it playing a leading role. Not necessarily bad, just very pronounced. Also, being the baker and knowing how much salt was in the cookies and biscuits probably stuck in my mind as well...or it could be just that we share the same unsophisticated palate! :)

Apr 13, 2013
Nevita in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month 2013 AD HOC AT HOME: Lifesavers, Breads, Crackers and Cheese, Dessert

Desserts - Chocolate Chip Cookies p 326
Breads, Crackers, Cheese - Buttermilk Biscuits p 276

This is my first time posting so hopefully I've posted in the right place. So inspiring reading everyone's takes on the recipes in AHAH...

I made the Chocolate Chip cookies first, which were very good. I really REALLY love cookies, especially chocolate chip, so was looking forward to what Keller described as "arguably the best cookie ever". The instructions were a bit finicky for me, i.e. beating half the butter first then beating the other half when the sugars are added, using a strainer to shake out any chocolate “dust” from the chopped chocolate (I skipped this step which supposedly leads to a “cleaner” looking cookie). Keller also uses two types of chocolate – 55% & 70-72%. Apart from including the chocolate dust, I stuck to the instructions and measurements.

These cookies are very tasty. You add 1 tsp of kosher salt of which the taste/texture really comes through in the final cookies, even for what seems like a small amount. While the salt taste was surprising it was not unpleasant. The cookies were dense and chewy and stayed moist even a few days later when stored in an airtight container. And I love that Keller gives directions for refrigerating or freezing the dough if you want to make ahead (or just don’t want 30 cookies in the kitchen at one time). One other surprise for these cookies was that I didn't really like them hot out of the oven - a first for me. I found them much better once they cooled.

I also made the Buttermilk Biscuits, mainly because I had all the ingredients on hand. You mix cake & pastry flour, AP flour, 1TBSP + 1 TSP kosher salt, baking powder, baking soda, half lb of butter, and 1.5 cups of buttermilk. I made some subs here, in both the ingredients and the method. I used all AP flour as I was out of Cake & Pastry. I also used a pastry cutter instead of the food processer method that Keller describes, but I had a bit of trouble with it and ended up just rubbing the butter into the flour with my fingers. When I added the buttermilk, the dough seemed really shaggy and wouldn’t come together at all, so I added some additional buttermilk, maybe an extra quarter to half cup.

Despite my modifications, these biscuits were great, if not a bit salty (my husband didn’t find them salty, so it might just be my taste). I had rerolled the dough several times to use it all up and even the biscuits cut out of the final roll turned out flaky and delicious. We ate some out of the oven, and rewarmed several for egg sandwiches a couple of days later and they were still yummy. I’d like to try this recipe with some grated cheddar, maybe it was the salt, but every time I ate one I thought they would be even better baked with cheese (like most things!). If baking again, I would probably reduce the salt, or maybe weigh the salt instead. Can't say what they tasted like at room temp, as I ate them fresh or toasted.

A couple good recipes that came together pretty quickly and easily.

Apr 12, 2013
Nevita in Home Cooking