Friday, February 16, 2007

Recent Recipes

A few of you have requested recipes for my latest dishes. The puff pastry-wrapped brie didn't turn out as good as I had hoped. The brie wasn't melted enough and the honey bubbled out of the wrapping and all over the pan. I was trying to recreate an appetizer I had a Yocona River Inn and it didn't work. Yocona must have the creamiest brie, the sweetest honey, and the best puff pastry around.

The Angel Thumbprint cookies did turn out delicious. You should make these soon and give some of them away to a friend!

(Courtesy of Leslie Mackie's Macrina)
Makes 4 dozen cookies
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely chopped pecans
3/4 cup raspberry preserves
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine butter, shortening, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and pale in color. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding another. After the last eggs is added, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the vanilla extract and almond extract and mix for about 30 seconds, making sure the egg and extracts are fully incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the flour and the salt into the dough. After the first batch is fully incorporated, fold in the other half and continue folding until all of the flour has been absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Pour pecans onto a plate or pie pan. Scoop small amounts of dough out of the bowl and roll the dough into quarter-sized balls. (If the dough is too sticky to handle, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.) Roll each of the balls in the chopped pecans and placed them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between each cookie. Use your thumb to press down on the center of each cookie, flattening them about halfway. Place baking sheets in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Bake on center rack of oven, 1 sheet at a time, for 15 minutes. To help the cookies bake evenly, rotate the baking sheet every 4 minutes or so. Remove the cookies from the oven and using a small spoon, slightly dimple the center of each cookie to make sure the "thumbprints" are big enough to hold the preserves. Top each cookie with 1/2 teaspoon of raspberry preserves, the return the cookies to the oven. Bake for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cookies are golder brown and the jam has just set. Do not let the jam start to bubble. Let cool completely.
  • The best way to store these cookies is to lay them flat in a single layer. If you want to stick them in a tin or cookie jar, place a small piece of parchment paper between each layer to keep the jam from sticking. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month at room temperature.


Sylvana said...

I have bombed recipes on a first try, only to make them again, tweaking it ever so slightly, and having it come out The Bomb!
Maybe you can revisit the brie/pastry recipe. It sounds like it would be very good.

Besides, I have some brie in my fridge that I am trying to figure out what to do with. Help me! :)

Lisa Blair said...

I think some orange zest instead of lemon zest and a better method of sealing the puff pastry just might do the trick. Oh, and a lower, longer baking time. I do tend to get discouraged rather easily. Thanks for the pep talk! I think I will try this again.