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Vanilla Chiffon Jam Roll

This week’s Tuesday’s with Dorie recipe kind of snuck up on me. After those giant loaves of bread from last time, I think I thought I was done baking for the month! I have to admit to sort of dreading this recipe. For some reason, I have never been able to master chiffon cakes. They seem so promising and then turn out to be not as good as expected. Well, this recipe was no different.

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The sponge came together really easily.

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Even folding the egg whites into the batter went well.

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Then, it looked wonderfully fluffy when it came out of the oven after 18 minutes.

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However, once it cooled, all that lovely fluffiness just disappeared. Poof! Gone!

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Sigh. I had never really intended to make the filling recipe as it has too much cream in it for me to eat. Only half of us in this house really eat whipped cream, so I decided to go the super easy route and make it a jam roll.

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Strawberry rhubarb jam gave us a little bit of spring in our dessert.

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In the end, I was disappointed. The cake was nice and moist with lots of vanilla flavor, but I can’t help but think that it was supposed to be different. Plus, I really think that I am just not a big fan of chiffon cakes. They taste strange to me. I like angel food, genoise, and butter cakes, but have yet to meet a chiffon cake that I like. It’s a bit odd since I generally love cake, but oh well. I am glad that I did not go through the extra trouble of making the chocolate walnut mousse, though maybe that would have been so yummy that it would have made up for the disappointment in the cake. I will probably never know.

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Day 11: Jammers

Today’s cookie is kind of half cookie half pie, kind of. It is a signature cookie of Dorie Greenspan’s little pop up company Beurre and Sel. Every once in awhile in NYC, she and her son make a ton of cookies and sell them on a given day that is publicized mostly through social media. There are a few places in New York that carry the cookies regularly, such as Russ and Daughters.

Basically, a jammer is a butter cookie, topped with a dollop of jam and surrounded by buttery crumb topping. What’s not to like? It’s a fancier version of a thumbprint cookie, which my boys both love, so it was no surprise that they loved these cookies. I always make some kind of jam cookie during the holidays because, well, I make a lot of jam throughout the year.

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Plus, I always think they look festive with their jewel like centers. Now this recipe is the only cookie I have ever made that calls for using a muffin tin. The first pan I did worked great and they came out ok, but I really dislike cleaning and wanted to make it easier. So, I tried using muffin papers.

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They worked like a charm and gave the cookies a fun ruffly edge. These aren’t the best keepers because of the jam, but even a few days later, they are still good, just a little softer.

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Best of all, the dough and the crumb topping can be made aheqd and frozen. See, I already cut out a bunch of bottoms and stuck them in a container between layers of wax paper. They will wait in the freezer until I want to bake some more. Once the components are made and frozen, it just takes a few minutes to get the cookies ready to bake.

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I think you need to go bake some of these jammers. You can find the recipe here. This is a new favorite of ours. It is especially good with homemade sour cherry vanilla jam. Don’t they kinda look like mini pies?

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Tomorrow is the last day of cookies. Can you believe it? Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a tin of cookies. The tin is being filled up quickly.

What’s your favorite holiday movie? The husband and I always watch It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. I also love The Sound of Music, though for the life of me I can’t figure out why that’s considered a holiday movie.

Strawberry Nectarine Jam with Vanilla and Riesling

Last week, there were two pounds of strawberries left in the fridge, and we had a flat of nectarines that we could not eat through before they started going bad. I remembered a strawberry peach jam that I made a couple of years ago that the boys loved. So, I decided to put them together into a jam.

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Now, I don’t have a whole lot of pictures of the process here because we had a contractor in the house giving us a quote on some work we want done and it felt a bit odd to say, “Excuse me, I need to go take pictures of this for my blog.” Of course, I was in the kitchen working on the jam at the same time, so maybe it would have been ok.

Anyway, I think I like this jam better than the strawberry peach I made awhile back because you do not have to peel nectarines. Any chance to save a prepping step is good in my book. Plus, I added a vanilla bean which gives this jam an amazing aroma. Then, at the end, I added some sweet Riesling wine, which turned out to be a perfect compliment. Originally, I wanted to use champagne, but I never made it to the store to buy any and the Riesling was just sitting the in the fridge waiting to be used.

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This should be a slightly loose jam because there is not a whole lot of pectin in nectarines or strawberries. We are relying on the hefty amount of sugar and lemon juice to set the jam here, so do not be tempted to mess with the ratios or you will not get the same result. Besides, a loose jam is just perfect for stirring into yogurt or spreading on a cake.

Strawberry Nectarine Jam with Vanilla and Riesling
loosely adapted from Sarabeth’s Bakery
makes about 4 pints

3 pounds ripe nectarines
2 pounds ripe strawberries
2.5 pounds sugar
grated zest of 4 lemons
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 whole vanilla bean
1/4 cup Riesling wine or other sweet white wine

Sterilize your jars and lids and have them ready. Place a few teaspoons or saucers in the freezer for testing later.

Quarter the nectarines and slice them thinly. Toss them into your largest, widest pot with 1.5 pounds of the sugar and heat over medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved.

In the meantime, hull and slice the strawberries. Also, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and then halve them crosswise. You should have four pieces. Scrape out the seeds with the back of a knife.

Stir in the strawberries, lemon zest and juice, the vanilla bean (seeds and all), and the remaining sugar into the pot and stir until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbling nicely.

Lower the heat to medium and simmer briskly until the mixture is uniform in color and thickened. The strawberries will lose their color in the middle and look funny, but as the jam cooks, the color should become evenly pink. This will probably take awhile with this much fruit, at least 40 minutes up to an hour.

When you think it is done, put a few drops onto a frozen spoon. If it is slow to move when you hold the spoon up, then it is done. It should be close to the consistency of honey, maybe a tad looser, but it should not run down the spoon like water. If it’s not done, simmer the jam for 5-10 more minutes and test again. Do this until it’s ready.

Remove the pot from the heat and add the wine. Stir thoroughly. Transfer the jam to your jars and process them for 15 minutes.

The jam should keep for at least a year in the cupboard if stored in a cool place with the seals intact.

Colors of Summer

Favorite Colors of Summer:

Blue

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Freezing blueberries is easy. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of foil, then lay a kitchen towel on top. Rinse a whole bunch of just picked berries or just bought berries. Transfer them to the towel. Give a little shake to give the towel a chance to absorb all the excess water. Carefully remove the towel. Pull out enough berries to have just one layer of berries in the tray. Freeze until firm and then transfer to a plastic bag for safe keeping in the freezer.

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What do you do with the blueberries you pulled out of the tray? Why, eat them, of course! I still have probably 8 pounds of blueberries to get through. It’s a good thing blueberries keep well in the fridge.

Red.
This is possibly our all time favorite color so far this season.

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The boys kept saying over and over how this is their favorite shade of red. I agree. I loved watching them work together to pit all 6.5 pounds of cherries that we picked. Having little helpers around is really great.

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We made the sour cherry jam that I made last year, only I doubled the recipe and added 2 tablespoons of kirsch at the end. Booze=yum! We had enough cherries for jam and a tray to freeze for later.

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The jam is heavenly when combined with greek yogurt. Summer color doesn’t get much better than this. What’s your favorite color of summer so far?

Sourdough Sweet Bread Variations

Remember when I made that Fruit Studded Not Flatbread a little while ago? Well, we loved that bread so much that I have continued making that dough, remaking it into all kinds of good stuff.

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I rolled it out into a large thin sheet, filled it with butter, sugar, cinnamon, and rum-soaked fruit, and baked it up for delicious Cinnamon Fruit Buns.

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Next, I made the dough into loaves for sandwiches.

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With these loaves, I thought I might be pushing to dough a little too far. I let it rise to well above the rim of the pan, which was more than double the original volume of the dough. Hoping the dough would not fall in the oven, I baked it up.

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Clearly, I need not have worried. This dough has incredible oven spring. In fact, I have never seen a dough with such incredible oven spring. Also, amazingly, even with all the rising and springing, the texture of the dough does not suffer.

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My most recent variation combined this bread with my neverending quest to use up the jam in my cupboard. I rolled out the dough as thin as I could get it, slathered jam on top, placed another piece of dough on top, and topped it all with a crumb topping.

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It’s like a giant jam-filled crumb bun. These have raspberry jam, but I also made a tray with apple butter. They are pretty scrumptious.

This recipe has quickly become our favorite everyday bread dough. It’s perfect for breakfast toast, for sandwiches, and for making into all kinds of tasty treats. I know it’s white bread, so I am flying in the face of the crunchy granola healthy camp, but I don’t care. I’ll just eat more kale for dinner. I’m thinking of going salty in my next experiment with the dough. Anyone have any suggestions?