As cookie season draws near

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This year we aren’t straying too far from home for the holidays.  We’ll probably make a quick trip to see family for Thanksgiving and will be in town for Christmas and New Years.  Last year was the first time we had Christmas at home and the Mister’s parents came down to spend it with us.  It was fun to have a first go at creating our own traditions and decide how we wanted to decorate, eat, and celebrate.

When baking, I usually gravitate towards everyday cakes, but this year I’d like to work on my cookie-making skills, both in baking and decorating.  To get in the swing of things, I baked up a batch of Deb’s delicious toasted coconut shortbread cookies and used them to practice tempering chocolate.

I got these adorable little maple leaf and acorn cookie cutters and gave them a try.  Admittedly, they weren’t the best for this kind of cookie, but I’m not quite ready for sugar cookies and royal icing yet.  The tempering seemed to work pretty well, but I think I can do better and neither the Mister, nor my work colleagues seem to mind eating all my test batches.  Hope you have a great weekend!

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Coconut.chocolate.cookies.4

Tomato Galette

Leek, green onion, cherry tomatoes, corn, dough, egg, parmesan

Leek, green onion, cherry tomatoes, corn, dough, egg, parmesan

There was a point in learning to cook when I went from a frustrated picky eater trying to make food that tasted the way I wanted, to wanting to make simple, beautiful food to share with friends and family.   From the first time I saw them, galettes took my breath away, seeming somehow chic and rustic at the same time.

As autumn makes its way in, I’m tempted to make savory galettes with caramelized onions and squash, or sweet ones with apples and figs.  And yet, the farmers market is still bright with cherry tomatoes and ears of corn, and I couldn’t help but think of the summery galette Deb recently posted on Smitten Kitchen.  I’d practically drooled onto my computer screen when I first saw it, and this weekend I filled my market basket sun golds and sweet corn, knowing what would be making an appearance on our table for lunch.

Sauteed vegetables cooling

Sauteed vegetables cooling

Deb’s recipes are highly reliable, so if you don’t have a go-to dough, try hers.  We keep an everyday sourdough in our fridge most of the time.  It’s a little wetter than her recipe, but I’m used to working with it, so I felt comfortable deviating from her recipe a bit.  Apart from using a different dough and substituting one of the vegetables, I followed her recipe exactly and produced a wonderful, summery galette.

Galette assembled

Galette assembled

A few tips:

Mince a little fresh rosemary and add it to the flour when you are making the dough.  Rosemary is such a great aromatic to add to breads and cakes, and really makes a sourdough pop.

If possible, make your dough a couple of days ahead.  Dough that is at least 24 hours old develops amazing flavors and helps give it that golden yellow color.  This is likely the secret to the amazing crust at your favorite pizza place.

I’m not opposed to zucchini, but I don’t love it either, so I was happy to substitute chopped leeks here.  Their buttery flavor was perfect with the tomatoes, corn, and green onions.  I’m sure it would easy enough to substitute in your favorite summer vegetable, just make sure it’s something that doesn’t release too much liquid.

Out of the oven and ready for lunch

Out of the oven and ready for lunch

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