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Authors: Joanne Chang

Baking with Less Sugar (8 page)

BOOK: Baking with Less Sugar
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4. To make the dipping mix:
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, pistachios, and lemon zest.

5.
Roll the cookie dough into balls the size of a large walnut. Roll the dough balls around in the dipping mix, pressing firmly to allow the sugar mix to adhere to the cookies. (You'll likely end up with a little dipping mix left over.)

6.
Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet about 2 in [5 cm] apart. Press them flat with the palm of your hand; these don't spread very much on their own. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they are golden brown on the edges and pale in the center and baked through. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

7.
The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days. The unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 weeks (add a few minutes to the baking time if you are baking straight from the freezer); the sugar dipping mix can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

WHITE CHOCOLATE–CHERRY-ALMOND COOKIES

In their full-sugar mode, these cookies are an all-staff favorite, so I knew it would be a challenge to come up with a low-sugar variation that would be equally well received. White chocolate and dried cherries are so sweet already that, by reducing the amount of sugar, you actually don't miss the sugar; in fact, you are actually rewarded with more almond flavor and you can taste the fruit and chocolate much more clearly. They bake brown and crispy on the edges and soft and cakey in the middle, and as one staff member said to me, “These are heavenly!”

MAKES
16
TO
20
COOKIES

  • 120 g/1 cup slivered almonds
  • 225 g/1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 75 g/6 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 230 g/1
    2
    /
    3
    cups all-purpose flour
  • 70 g/
    2
    /
    3
    cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 335 g/12 oz white chocolate, chopped into small chunks
  • 200 g/1
    1
    /
    4
    cups dried cherries, about half of them coarsely chopped

1.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F [175°C].

2.
Put the almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.

3.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with an electric hand mixer or mixing by hand with a wooden spoon), beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 5 to 6 minutes (10 minutes if mixing by hand), or until the mixture is well combined, light, and fluffy. Stop the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle itself a few times; the sugar and butter love to collect here and stay unmixed. Beat in the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and almond extract on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Again, scrape the bowl and the paddle to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.

4.
In a separate bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the almonds, white chocolate, and dried cherries to the flour mixture and toss to combine. Turn the mixer on low speed (or continue to use a wooden spoon if mixing by hand) and slowly blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until the flour is totally incorporated and the dough is completely mixed.

5.
For best results, scrape the dough into an airtight container and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 3 to 4 hours) before baking. The next day or when ready to bake, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F [175°C]. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

6.
Using a small ice cream scoop or rounded spoon, drop the dough in balls the size of a ping-pong ball onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 in [5 cm] apart. Press the dough balls down flat with the palm of your hand. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and slightly soft in the center. Be careful not to overbake! Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

7.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. The unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

OATMEAL-RAISIN-CRANBERRY COOKIES

This book wouldn't have existed if not for this recipe. When I was playing around with the idea of writing a low-sugar book, I had one and only one priority: the recipes
had
to be so good and so delicious that you could serve them without announcing the caveat that they were made with less sugar. They had to stand on their own as scrumptious and mouthwatering—and it just so happened that they were also low sugar. I started with a classic—oatmeal-raisin cookies—and tweaked and tested until I had a recipe that I could proudly serve at a dessert reception. And that's exactly what we did. These cookies made their debut at a reception welcoming one of my favorite food writers, Mark Bittman, to Boston. He was too busy greeting guests during the reception to actually try the cookies, so I slipped a few in a cocktail napkin and handed them to him as he was leaving. I never followed up with him to see if he actually tried them; but we've stayed in touch since that reception, and I like to think that these irresistible cookies may have had a little something to do with that.

MAKES
16
TO
20
COOKIES

  • 75 g/
    3
    /
    4
    cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 225 g/1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 75 g/6 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 105 g/
    3
    /
    4
    cup all-purpose flour
  • 150 g/1
    1
    /
    2
    cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1
    /
    4
    tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1
    /
    2
    tsp ground cinnamon
  • 120 g/
    3
    /
    4
    cup raisins, about half of them coarsely chopped
  • 120 g/
    3
    /
    4
    cup dried cranberries

1.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F [175°C].

2.
Put the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.

3.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with an electric hand mixer or mixing by hand with a wooden spoon), beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 5 to 6 minutes (10 minutes if mixing by hand), or until the mixture is well combined, light, and fluffy. Stop the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle itself a few times; the sugar and butter love to collect here and stay unmixed. Beat in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Again, scrape the bowl and the paddle to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.

4.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add the raisins (both whole and chopped), cranberries, and walnuts to the flour mixture and toss to combine. Turn the mixer on low speed (or continue to use a wooden spoon if mixing by hand) and slowly blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until the flour and raisins are totally incorporated and the dough is completely mixed.

5.
For best results, scrape the dough into an airtight container and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 3 to 4 hours) before baking. The next day, or when ready to bake, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F [175°C]. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

6.
With a large scoop or spoon, scoop up balls of dough about the size of a golf ball or ping-pong ball and drop onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 in [5 cm] apart. Press the dough down slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and slightly soft in the center, rotating the sheet about halfway during baking. Be careful not to overbake! Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

7.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. The unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

BLUEBERRY NECTARINE PIE

I don't eat pie right. I poke off the top and ignore the bottom and dig right into the fruit. I grew up with fruit as my only sweet indulgence and I am a bona fide fruit addict, so when faced with a fruit pie, all I really want is the luscious insides. In this pie, I combine my favorite stone fruit—nectarines—with my favorite berry—blueberry—into a juicy, stain-your-mouth, burst-with-flavor dessert. I use a trick from my first book to pack as many berries as possible into the pie: I cook down half of the berries so they let out their juice and use that to help bind the rest of the berries and the nectarines together. As with pretty much all fruit pastries, your dessert will only be as good as the ripeness and sweetness of the fruit you use to make it. So be sure to seek out perfume-y, fragrant nectarines and the plumpest, sweetest blueberries to make this mouthwatering pie.

MAKES
ONE
9-IN [23-CM] PIE

  • Double-Crust Pie Dough
    (page 55)
  • 680 g/4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 50 g/4 Tbsp sugar
  • 35 g/
    1
    /
    4
    cup all-purpose flour
  • 1
    /
    8
    tsp kosher salt
  • 1
    /
    2
    tsp almond extract
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ripe nectarines, unpeeled, pitted, and cut into
    1
    /
    2
    -in [1-cm] slices
  • 1 egg yolk

1.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F [175°C].

2.
Remove the pastry dough from the refrigerator and knead it slightly to make it malleable if it feels stiff. Using a rolling pin, press about two-thirds of the dough to flatten it into a disk about
1
/
2
in [1 cm] thick. (Reserve the other one-third for the top.) Generously flour your work surface and the dough disk. Carefully roll out the disk into a circle about 12 in [30 cm] in diameter. Make sure the table you are rolling on is well floured so that the dough does not stick to it; likewise, make sure the disk itself is floured well enough to keep your rolling pin from sticking to it. Roll from the center of the disk outward and gently rotate the disk a quarter turn after each roll to ensure that the disk gets stretched out evenly into a nice circle. Don't worry if the dough breaks a bit, especially towards the edges. You can easily patch these tears once you've lined your pie plate.

3.
Once the dough circle is about 12 in [30 cm] in diameter, roll it gently around the rolling pin and then unfurl it on top of a 9-in [13-cm] aluminum or glass pie plate. Press the dough gently into the bottom and sides of the plate, leaving a
1
/
2
-in [1-cm] lip around the edge (to allow for shrinkage in the oven), and using any scraps or odd pieces to patch up any tears or missing bits.

BOOK: Baking with Less Sugar
2.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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