Dorie Greenspan
Dorie Greenspan

Dorie Greenspan

F&W Star Chef » See All F&W Chef Superstars Long-known for her excellent baking books, Dorie Greenspan now runs the new cookie boutique Beurre & Sel in New York City. Here, her favorite holiday gifts and tips, plus a surprising, easy technique for home bakers. What are your favorite holiday food gifts? Even before I opened Beurre & Sel, my cookie boutique, I always gave cookies to friends when the holidays rolled around. The way I see it, no one can have too many cookies at holiday time. I make sweet cookies—I love giving my vanilla sablés because they’re beautiful, delicious, and perfect with tea or coffee or even a little wine—and I make savory cocktail cookies because they’re grown-up, sophisticated and more fun to have than the usual cocktail bites. What’s your favorite holiday cocktail? I love Champagne any time of year, but it’s my absolute favorite at holiday time. Whether it’s real Champagne or a good sparkling wine, nothing’s more festive than a drink with bubbles. Can you share a great entertaining tip? Think room temperature. When I’ve invited lots and lots of people for dinner—as I often do (and, because I’m always inviting whoever’s in town for the holidays to come to dinner, dinners often end up reaching big-party numbers)—I make what I call an indoor picnic. I forget about first courses and main courses and just fill up the table with great food, all at room temperature, and let everyone pass the dishes around and take whatever they want in the order that they want it. It’s always fun and it’s great if you’ve got people who might not know everyone around the table. It doesn’t take more than a few dish-passings for everyone to put their elbows on the table and start talking to one another like old friends. What are 5 top places not to miss on a holiday trip to Paris? Have oysters and a glass of crispy, dry, very cold Sancerre at Régis Huîtrerie, near the covered Saint Germain market. Have a real bistro meal at le Bistrot Paul Bert—I love it because it’s a traditional, bustling, happy French bistro with wonderful food and service, and a wine list that could make any fancy restaurant weep. Have a glass of wine and a ham croquette standing at the counter of the always busy and always fun L’Avant Comptoir. Visit the organic farmers’ market on the Boulevard Raspail and don’t miss the leek and potato galettes at the end of the market. (You can’t miss them: Their aroma will pull you their way.) And have as many pastries as you possibly can from Pierre Hermé. What recipe or dish of yours is most requested by your fans? People often ask for the recipe for World Peace Cookies (the recipe is in my book Baking: From My Home to Yours) or Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake (from Around My French Table). And on the savory side, it’s often the recipe for my gougères (also from Around My French Table). They’re my standard welcome when friends come to my home in Paris. What’s your favorite cookbook of all time? I have so many cookbooks I love, but I have the softest spot for Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts. She has the most wonderful way of writing recipes, she’s incredibly clear and obsessively precise and I’ve baked my way through the entire book and never had a clunker. What’s one technique everyone should know? Whenever you’re baking something that calls for grated citrus zest, grate the zest onto the sugar that you’re using for the recipe and then reach in and use your fingers to rub the zest and sugar together. Rub until the sugar is moist and wildly aromatic. It’s fun, it’s great aromatherapy and, best of all, you get much, much more flavor from the zest.
Melody Cookies
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Inspired by the Melody cookies of her childhood, Dorie Greenspan developed these crisp, chocolaty shortbreads. They are lovely eaten as is, but also make for great sandwich cookies. The possibilities are endless: fill with speculoos, chocolate ganache, salted caramel, marshmallow fluff or simple buttercream frosting. Also, if the dough becomes too soft while you’re working with it, just put it back in the freezer until it firms up. Slideshow: More Cookie Recipes 
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Almond Crescents
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Dorie Greenspan's Eastern European–inspired cookies, sometimes called kipfel, have the perfect buttery crumb and a nutty bite from almond flour. For the holidays, we dust them with confectioners' sugar, but they are also great dusted with granulated sugar and eaten year-round.
Five modern recipes that wowed the world--and the stories behind them.
Dorie Greenspan has this tip for the luscious filling in her tart: "The caramel is easy to make perfectly, just exercise restraint. It shouldn't color too much. When the sugar turns the color of pale ale, it's ready."
A pinch of cayenne pepper adds a spicy kick to these savory cookies, flavored with both sharp cheddar and smoked Gouda cheese. If you prefer, you can replace the smoked Gouda with Gruyère. More Cheese Recipes
"In these cookies, you start with a sweet dough and the sesame seeds push it over on the sweet-savory continuum," says Dorie Greenspan. Blending ground almonds with the flour emphasizes the nutty sesame flavor. More Cookie Recipes
To bring out the flavor of the rosemary in these barely sweet cookies, Dorie Greenspan first rubs the leaves with granulated sugar—a technique she learned from renowned French pastry chef Pierre Hermé. More Cookie Recipes More Cocktail Party Recipes
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Fifteen-Minute Magic Cake
Rating: Unrated
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In this rich cake, a flavorful blend of amaretti and blanched almonds replaces the usual flour. Serve it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips
Dorie Greenspan loves using Valrhona cocoa to make these spicy, unexpectedly tender cookies, flecked with flaky Maldon salt. "It's so rich and dark," she says. More Chocolate Cookies
To bring out the flavor of the rosemary in these barely sweet cookies, Dorie Greenspan first rubs the leaves with granulated sugar—a technique she learned from renowned French pastry chef Pierre Hermé. More Cookie Recipes More Cocktail Party Recipes
Fifteen-Minute Magic Cake
Rating: Unrated
New!
In this rich cake, a flavorful blend of amaretti and blanched almonds replaces the usual flour. Serve it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips
Dorie Greenspan loves using Valrhona cocoa to make these spicy, unexpectedly tender cookies, flecked with flaky Maldon salt. "It's so rich and dark," she says. More Chocolate Cookies
"I don't know where I got the idea to add tarragon to these apricot cookies," says Dorie Greenspan. "But when I tried it, I thought, That's the way it's supposed to be." To prevent the apricots from burning or drying out too quickly, use the freshest, plumpest dried fruit you can find. More Apricot Recipes