Tuesday, November 11, 2014

TWD: Palets de Dames,Lille style

Hello, is this thing on? My last post to this page was nearly 4 years ago, but I have the best reason for dusting off this bad boy, and that is the release of Dorie Greenspan's new book, Baking Chez Moi. Dorie's last baking cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours, was a serious game-changer for me. I had been a full-fledged adult for years when Baking was published, cooking and baking for first myself, and then myself and my husband, and then eventually myself, my husband, and my kids, for years -- always from recipes I found in cookbooks or magazines (I'm not a kitchen improviser). But I had NO idea what a truly great cookbook really looked like until Baking came along.

Lots of cookbooks have good recipes. But Baking: FMHTY was so much more than lists of ingredients followed by lists of instructions. To bake from Baking was to feel like Dorie was actually in the kitchen with you. Telling you not to freak out, because it's supposed to look curdled at this point. Explaining what the dough should feel like. Teaching about what sounds to listen for when mixing up a pie crust in the food processor. The "serving" and "storing" suggestions in Baking became so indispensable to me, and I can't for the life of me understand why more cookbooks don't include this information. If I'm baking some Christmas goodies to mail from Alabama to Connecticut, I know I can count on Baking to tell me whether something is best eaten the same day, or whether it will stay fresh for 5 days, and choose accordingly. There are so many little details like that in Baking that (along with the quality recipes and Dorie's kind, fun, reassuring voice) add up to the extraordinary cookbook that it is. I became a better, more confident, more skilled baker thanks to Dorie.

In addition to the cookbook itself, through Baking I found a little group of online bakers called Tuesdays with Dorie. Baking along with that group was some of the most fun I've ever had, and I made some lifelong friends in the process. I'm thrilled to see the group still thriving, and it will be fun to do some baking along with Baking Chez Moi!

Baking Chez Moi was to be released right around my birthday, so obviously I asked for it for my birthday. For whatever reason it was a bit delayed being delivered and did not arrive in time for my birthday, and I could see that my husband had plans to squirrel it away for Christmas. So I dropped subtle hints that I would rather not wait until Christmas ("Actually, I really want that book now. Where's the book? GIVE ME THE BOOK!!!!"). He gave me the book then slowly backed away. It's gorgeous, of course, and I immediately felt like I was reconnecting with an old friend. The first recipe I baked from the book was this week's TWD selection, Palets de Dames. God bless the French for a lyrical language that makes everything sound more elegant. I served the Palets de Dames on the good silver, whereas the English version, Soft Iced Sugar Cookies, would have gone straight into the Tupperware.

These are simple cookies that contain only a handful of basic ingredients, and they were delicious -- soft and not overly sweet. I forget my son's exact description, but I know it contained the word "heaven." Another wonderful cookie from Dorie! I'm so excited about Baking Chez Moi. Thanks, Dorie!

19 comments:

Jules Someone said...

So glad that you are back to baking with us! Yay team! Your cookies are lovely.

Katrina said...

I'm so excited that you're back!!! Me, too! Let's get our TWD-BCM on! (Even though I can't eat any of it, I can't wait to make as many recipes as I can.) Okay, okay, I took a tiny little bite of one of the cookies. ;)

The Food Librarian said...

So excited to see the old group back! Your comments about Dorie's books are spot on. And I'm glad your husband gave you the book early! Those cookies look lovely! -mary the food librarian

slush said...

I, too, am thrilled that you are back with the group. Your cookies do look perfect and elegant. Welcome back, lady. :)

Anne said...

This is so fun! Your cookies came out perfect. I can't wait to get my enhances on dories new book!

tricia s. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tricia s. said...

Lovely post - both the cookies and the sentiments ! I have been cooking along with the Around My French Table crew for over 4 years now and you captured perfectly how it is like having Dorie in the kitchen with you. Happy to be on the new adventure with you ~

Audrey said...

Cathy!!! I'm so glad you're joining in. Do you think we can tempt Nancy back into the fold now?

Kathy said...

I have been baking and cooking along with French Fridays for four years now, we finish the book in April. I was really happy to keep blogging away with Dorie! She is gracious and charming!
Your cookies look fabulous! Glad you decided to pick up the whisk again! I look forward to baking along with you! Happy baking!

todiforbakery said...

Yay! I'm so happy to see you back, Cathy. =) I love reading your posts.

KB from Prof Who Cooks said...

Loved this post and it's a good thing you were on the ball about getting the cookbook! Gorgeous photos and some really lovely cookies!

Cher Rockwell said...

Your husband sounds like a wise man!
I think we are all so happy that Dorie finally released another book. It doesn't seem possible that AMFT came out four years ago!

Kayte said...

Well look who's back??!! And you know, don't you, that there is no one more thrilled than me to see this be so! I nearly jumped out of my chair with excitement! Your cookies look wonderful (as does everything you make...okay, Shrimp on the Floor not so much), but I really tune in for the wonderful writing style you have...I laugh and giggle and have such vivid pictures of it all. So good to see you back. :-) And BTW, did David really think he was going to be able to stand between you and that book??? lol

Adriana said...

Loved your observation on the language effect. Les palets definitely deserve the pretty platter.

dharmagirl said...

welcome back, Cathy! so good to read your words again. beautiful cookies and lovely silver!

Karen Reinsch said...

SO glad you are back! I love the homage to Baking! Your cookies look delicious!

onewetfoot.ca said...

You describe Dorie's recipes perfectly. I've been cooking through Around My French Table with the French Fridays crew and love the way she gives us visual, auditory, and olfactory clues as to when something is ready for the next step. I'm so looking forward to baking through this book with so many TwD veterans!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Seriously? You're back baking with TWD? That might tip the scales for me!

Cathleen | My Culinary Mission said...

They do have a fancy name for an iced sugar cookie. I chuckled at your tupperware comment. Too funny. These were a delicious little treat!

 
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