It should come as no surprise that Dorie Greenspan—acclaimed cookbook author (of beloved imprints like “Everyday Dorie” and “Dorie’s Cookies,” to name a few) and baking fiend—is at her most comfortable in her kitchen.
“Sometimes people will say: ‘Oh, you have three houses,’” Dorie tells us in the debut episode of Chowhound’s Open Kitchen video series. “And I think: I have three kitchens. Everywhere I am, the kitchen is the most important place for me.”
Although Dorie splits her time among her three kitchens in New York City, Connecticut, and Paris, she admits that at least a part of every cookbook she’s worked on has been written (13 to date) in her Connecticut kitchen, her bona fide space for inspiration. Which makes sense: Her stainless steel desk straddles the edge of her kitchen, a jumping-off point for both her writing and her baking. Even when she’s not working on a book, she can often be found baking in this kitchen, whipping up rounds of butter sablés or wedges of lemon cake.
But for Dorie, high-quality tools are equally as important as the ingredients she uses. “Do you know when you’re working, and you grab the right tool for the right job?” she says. “I sometimes just take a moment and think: This is really nice.” From the simple, oft-overlooked gadget to the innocuous utensil, these are a few of Dorie Greenspan’s favorite tools, straight out of her Connecticut kitchen.
Dorie owns a host of Mastrad’s non-stick silicone spatulas in a rainbow of colors and sizes. Their seamless, one-piece design and round, narrow handle means they stay clean, and are comfortable in your hand. Perfect for scraping bowls, stirring, and gently folding in ingredients.
Mastrad Silicone Spoon Spatulas, $19.99 for three on Amazon
One of Dorie’s kitchen cabinets is stacked with a tower of cooling racks, because she insists that you can’t have too many (three is the minimum, magic number). Each is used for a different product: round ones with wider grids are excellent for cakes; lengthy, rectangular racks with smaller grids are ideal for rows of cookies.
Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Half Sheet Baking and Cooling Rack, $9.49 on Amazon
Dorie’s favorite rolling pin is a French Mafter Bourgeat pin. It lacks handles, it’s rounded at the edges, and it’s made out of nylon (which means it can go in the dishwasher). She goes to great lengths to protect her prized rolling pin, as you’ll soon find out in the video below.
Mafter Bourgeat Nylon Rolling Pin, $129.99 on Amazon
There are plenty of alternative uses to muffin tins than simply the vessel for muffins and cupcakes, Dorie has discovered. She actually finds them exceptionally useful for baking her sablés. The bottoms of each tin prevent sablés from spreading—uniforming each cookie—while still giving each one height, a golden-brown color, and a gloriously sandy, crumbly texture.
Wilton Premium Non-Stick Bakeware Muffin and Cupcake Pan, $9.54 on Amazon
Related Reading: 15 Muffin Pan Recipes That Aren’t Muffins
Unsurprisingly, Dorie’s kitchen is wonderfully welcoming. It’s neither stuffy nor ostentatious, neither over-the-top nor understated. Her kitchen resembles that of a home cook and baker, peppered with funky tchotchkes, enormous tins of flour and sugar, and a heaping of Dorie’s affable personality. To her, this kitchen is simply warm. “If this kitchen could talk,” she says, “it might say: I’m glad you’re here.”
Chowhound’s new series Open Kitchen brings viewers directly into our adored chefs’, bakers’, and friends’ kitchens, allowing them to introduce us to their space through a recipe and a story (or two). Check out the first episode, and then take a crack at her delicious sablés recipe below.
French Vanilla Sablés from Dorie's Cookies
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons; 8 ounces; 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (272 grams) all-purpose flour Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
- Working in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, both sugars and the salt on medium speed for about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. The mixture should be smooth, but not fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and, one by one, beat in the yolks followed by the vanilla. Turn off the mixer, pour in the flour all at once and pulse the mixer until the risk of flying flour has passed. With the machine on low, mix just until the flour disappears into the dough. Give the dough a couple of turns with a sturdy flexible spatula.
- Turn the dough out onto the counter, divide it in half, gather each piece into a ball and shape into a disk.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough 1/4-inch thick between sheets of parchment. Slide the parchment-sandwiched dough onto a baking sheet (you can stack the slabs of dough) and freeze for at least 1 hour or refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Wrapped airtight, the dough can be frozen for up to 2 months or refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
- When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter (or spray) the molds of a regular-size muffin tin (or use nonstick)—if you’ve got two tins, use both of them—and have a 2-inch cookie cutter at hand.
- Working with one sheet of dough at a time, peel away both sheets of paper (it’s hard to cut the dough otherwise); put the dough back on one sheet. Cut the dough and drop the rounds into the muffin tin. The rounds might not fill the muffin tins completely now, but they will once they bake. Save the scraps. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with sanding sugar.
- Bake the cookies for 16 to 19 minutes, or until they feel firm to the touch and are golden brown around the rims. Transfer the muffin tin(s) to a rack and let the cookies rest for about 10 minutes before carefully lifting them out and onto the rack to cool to room temperature.
- Continue with the remainder of the dough. Gather the scraps together, re-roll, chill, cut and bake, always using cool tins.
Embedded photos courtesy of Guillermo Riveros.
Header image courtesy of Chowhound