Still in the kitchen baking cookies. This time, however, I've gone the savory route. These Chocolate-Cayenne Cocktail Biscuits will be packaged as gifts, along with bottles of red wine... HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
• 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1 large egg yolk
• Maldon salt, for sprinkling
1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, cayenne and sea salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with both sugars at low speed until creamy. Add the egg yolk and beat until smooth, then add the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.
2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead gently until it comes together. Divide the dough in half and press each half into a disk. Roll out each disk between 2 sheets of wax paper to about 1/4 inch thick. Slide the wax paper–covered disks onto a baking sheet and freeze for at least 1 hour, until very firm.
3. Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with one piece of dough at a time, peel off the top sheet of wax paper. Using a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out the cookies as close together as possible. Arrange the cookies about 1 inch apart on the parchment paper–lined baking sheets and sprinkle with some Maldon salt.
4. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until they are just firm; shift the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
TAKE a LOOK:
It's October and my thoughts have drifted back to cookies. I tend to lose interest in the baking of cookies during the summer months. I feel that summer is meant for desserts full of fresh berries or stone fruits, and sadly, those days are now over. But I'll be satisfied moving onto apples and pears, cranberries and pumpkin... and chocolate; something else I seem to avoid during the warmth of summer.
Some of my favorite cookie recipes recently are from, The Il Fornaio Baking Book by Franco Galli, that I purchased way back in the early 1990's. This week I made a bran cookie named Biscotti di Crusca. I would call it the Italian version of the British "digestive biscuit". I've always been fond of the digestives I've found at our grocery. The subtle sweetness of the biscuits is the result of the "germ" remaining in the bran's brown meal after milling. Digestives are sold either plain, such as the cookie I made here, or with a thin coating of milk, semi-sweet, or bittersweet chocolate on top (the ones I always purchase and highly recommend). The word "digestive" in the title was a bit of a conundrum, but after some research I found that the cookies were considered to have antacid properties because of the baking soda added to the batter. Although you can most likely dismiss the latter, they should be eaten and enjoyed for their mildy sweet flavor. The plain digestive is commonly served with tea or coffee, but can also be used as a cracker when serving cheese, or as a substitute for graham crackers in the base of a cheesecake.
When researching Digestive Biscuits, I found the ingredients vary widely. Many use whole wheat flour; some contain oatmeal. The recipe I'm sharing has unprocessed wheat bran and rum as ingredients; a rarity in any recipe I perused.
• 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
• 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon dark run
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Additional flour for work surface
• Parchment for lining baking sheets
1. PREHEAT OVEN to 350˚F
2. Sift together the flour and baking soda into a mixing bowl. Stir in the bran and set aside.
3. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using medium speed, beat the ingredients until the mixture is fluffy, light, and pale in color, about 5 minutes. While continuing to beat at low speed, add the egg, increasing speed to medium, and beat thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary. Beat in the rum and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, one third at a time, beating well after each addition until thoroughly incorporated. The dough should appear smooth except for the bran flecks.
4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough in half (refrigerate portion not being used). Roll out half of the dough 1/4-inch thick. Using a round cookie cutter 1 3/4-inches to 2-inches in diameter, cut out as many rounds as possible. Arrange cookies 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. You can gather the scraps and re-roll one more time (any re-rolling after that will produce a tough cookie). Repeat with the remaining dough portion. Using the tines of a fork, prick each cookie several times.
5. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until golden, 8-10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Too many strawberries? It's a dilemma I don't mind having. Every summer when my family goes up north for the 4th of July, we head to a local strawberry patch to pick berries. On this trip, a huge containerful made it back to St. Paul with me and I started imagining a dessert that would use up a hefty share of the extremely ripe berries.
First, I made the Gingered Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote. In addition to the strawberries, I also have more rhubarb than I know what to do with in my vegetable garden. The eight plants not only supply my kitchen, but anyone else who happens to stop by and can be coerced into taking a bagful home. The addition of candied ginger and lime zest was a nice balance to the sweetness of the sauce.
Next came the Strawberry Gelato; simple enough to make with sugar, milk & cream, fresh strawberries, and lemon juice. And from the beginning, I knew I wanted my Strawberry Gelato to set upon a buttery, nicely-browned shortbread cookie. Several of the meals I ordered on my recent trip to Provence included a thin, rectangular shortbread cookie with something sweet or savory piped on top.
I used a Melissa Clark pistachio shortbread recipe and altered it slightly for my thinly-rolled cookies. Instead of stirring chopped pistachios into the dough and shaping it into logs, I ground them finely in a food processor along with the flour and confectioners' sugar, giving me flecks of pistachios throughout the finished cookies.
The components of this dessert are all delicious on their own, but the combination of the three is a winner and a great way to take advantage of sweet, local strawberries.
recipe from: Raymond D' Ottavio at Aunt Lena's Creamery in Chandler, Arizona
• 12 ounces fresh strawberries (hull removed)
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1. Combine the strawberries, sugar, and milk in a blender container. Pureé until smooth. Add the heavy cream and pulse very briefly, just to combine. Stir in the lemon juice.
2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl or pitcher and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
3. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions. Transfer to a freezer container and store in freezer for up to 1 month.
STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB COMPOTE with GINGER and LIME
Bon Appétit | April 2003
• 2 pounds strawberries, halved if large
• 1 pound rhubarb, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 3 tablespoons finely-minced crystallized ginger
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 3/4 teaspoon grated lime peel
1. Combine 1 1/2 pound of the strawberries and all of the rhubarb in a medium size pot. Add the sugar, crystallized ginger, lime juice and peel and bring to a boil. Stirring often, boil the mixture for about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture until the rhubarb has softened; about another 3 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 pound fresh strawberries. Allow the mixture to cool and transfer to an air-tight container. Store in the refrigerator.
3. The compote is good on its own served with crème fraîche, or over plain yogurt, ice cream or bread pudding.
ROLLED PISTACHIO SHORTBREAD COOKIES
an adapted recipe: Bon Appétit | August 2007
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
• 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1 large egg yolk
• 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, confectioners' sugar, kosher salt, and pistachios. Process until the pistachios are finely chopped and incorporated through-out the mixture.
2. Add the butter, egg yolk, and vanilla. Pulse the butter-flour mixture until the dough begins to come together. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic, wrap, and flatten into a disk. Place dough in refrigerator until cold, at least 2 hours.
3. When ready to bake, PREHEAT the OVEN to 325˚F.
4. Take the dough from the refrigerator and cut the disk into quarters. Take one quarter and place on a lightly-floured work surface. Return the remaining dough to the refrigerator. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour and roll to a thickness of just over 1/8-inch. Cut out cookies with desired cookie cutter (mine was a 2 3/4-inch round) and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on middle rack of oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are a light, golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat rolling/baking with remaining dough.
5. When cookies have cooled, transfer to a tin or airtight container.
• Place Pistachio Shortbread Cookie on a small plate or shallow bowl. Top with a scoop of Strawberry Gelato and spoon Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote onto the gelato. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios if desired and serve.
TAKE a LOOK:
I spent a day playing in my kitchen this week. Last month I received a gift from a dear friend. I got to know Kate through LivingTastefully (one of the upsides of having a blog!) and last September I met Kate and her husband, John, when Bill and I were in New York attending a wedding. We were welcomed into their beautiful home and still talk about the wonderful time we had with them in the historic town of Canajoharie.
Kate surprised me with Sablés Maison, a French cookie stamp with three interchangeable silicone disks -- one of the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Coeur, and the Arc de Triomphe -- with a book of French cookie recipes included. Kate knows (oh, how she knows) of my love for France and French pastry, and she was correct in assuming that I would love this gift.
I made both a sweet and a savory cookie. Sablés Tout Chocolat, one of the recipes that accompanied the stamps and sandwiched with Espresso Crème, was the sweet cookie; the savory is a spice-filled, buttery shortbread flavored with curry, tumeric, cumin, and cayenne. It's a great little treat along with an apéritif and is extremely easy to craft as a sliced log cookie. Don't feel like you need to own a set of these stamps to enoy this savory shortbread.
• 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon curry powder
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
• 1 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping into a log
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the salt, curry powder, cumin, pepper, tumeric, and cayenne. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat until combined. Add the flour and continue to mix until incorporated.
2. Turn the shortbread dough out onto a large sheet of waxed paper. With floured hands, press the dough into a strip about 2-inches wide with a length of 12-inches. Wrap the dough in the waxed paper and refrigerate for about 15 minutes. This will make it easier to shape. Transfer dough to a piece of plastic wrap and using the plastic as an aid, roll the dough back and forth into a log. Wrap and return to the refrigerator for at least an hour.
3. PREHEAT OVEN to 325˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the shortbread log from the refrigerator. Using a very sharp paring knife (or a piece of fine thread) slice the log into 1/4-inch-thick disks. Transfer pieces to baking sheet, spacing 1/2-inch apart.
4. Place baking sheet on the center rack of oven and bake until set, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Shortbread can be kept in an air-tight container for up to 2 months.
• 200 grams unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling cookies
• 80 grams granulated sugar
• 40 grams Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus additional for rolling cookies
• Pinch of ground cinnamon
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 extra-large egg, room temperature
• Espresso Crème, for filling (recipe below)
1. In a medium-size bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon.
2. Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-egg mixture and beat until just combined and no streaks of flour can be seen. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. PREHEAT OVEN to 325˚ F. Remove dough from refrigerator and let warm a bit. This is a rather dry dough and will roll easier if it is not very cold. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly-floured work surface (I like to combine some flour with some cocoa powder), and using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll to a 1/8-inch thickness. Use a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter (or any other shape, or size) to cut the cookies. Dust off any traces of flour with a pastry brush if necessary. Transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
5. Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the preheated oven for approximately 13 minutes; transfer to a cooling rack.
6. While the cookies are cooling, mix together the Espresso Crème.
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 1/2 cups Confectioners' sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder (such as Medaglia D'Oro) dissolved in 1/8 cup hot water
• 1 teaspoon Cognac
1. Combine the butter and Confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until fully combined and smooth.
2. Either spread or pipe espresso cream in between cooled wafer cookies to create a sandwich.
TAKE a LOOK:
Sablés avec Espresso -- rich butter cookies filled with espresso. I have made the original recipe from Simply Sensational Desserts by Francois Payard for many years; rolled and cut butter cookies brushed with an espresso-egg glaze. This time, I added the espresso powder directly to the dough and I have to say, for me at least, this is the way to go. The flavor of espresso is much more pronounced with the powder added to the mix versus brushing it on as a glaze -- just the way I like it. These cookies are a really sweet treat!
an adapted recipe...
• 2 1/3 cups cake flour
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
• 1 tablespoon instant espresso
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and instant espresso in a medium bowl; whisk briefly to combine.
2. In electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar at medium speed until combined. Beat in the butter, just until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed until blended, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
3. PREHEAT OVEN to 350˚F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. On a lightly-floured work surface, * roll a scoop of the dough to a thickness just shy of 1/4-inch (refrigerate unused dough). Using a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place them 3/4-inch apart on a prepared baking sheet. Gather up left-over pieces of dough and adding additional dough from the refrigerator, roll and cut more cookies. When one baking sheet is filled, brush tops of cookies with egg glaze and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for approximately 13 to 16 minutes, or until golden. While the first batch of cookies is baking, roll and cut cookies to fill the second baking sheet.
5. Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.
* It is not in my DNA to roll "thick" cookies. And by thick, I mean the 1/4-inch the original recipe calls for. I like thin, crisp cookies; but you do want these cookies more than my usual 1/8-inch. If making a 1/4-inch thick cookie, you will need to increase the baking time by a few minutes. Keep an eye on them and judge for yourself the amount of time necessary.
TAKE a LOOK:
Today I made a badly needed treat for alongside a cup of coffee. I like to serve a couple of little cookies in the morning with each cappuccino I make. Lately, there's been nothing like that in my kitchen. So I got to work creating a little biscotti -- a name that in Italy applies to any and all cookies. This one is gluten-free. Filled with ground almonds folded into a thick meringue, the mixture is piped into small mounds, then baked slowly at a low temperature.
• an adapted recipe from The Il Fornaio Baking Book by Franco Galli
• 2 1/4 cups slivered blanched almonds
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 cup powdered (confectioners') sugar
• 4 egg whites, at room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 tablespoon almond extract
• Crystal sugar
1. PREHEAT OVEN to 300˚F
2. Combine the almonds, cornstarch, and powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture until a fine powder. (The almond meal would become oily if ground on its own.) Transfer the almond-sugar mixture to a bowl. Using a wire whisk, stir the mixture to break up any lumps, and set aside.
3. Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer set at low speed, beat the whites until they become frothy. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue to beat the whites until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 of the granulated sugar and increase the mixer speed to high, beating until combined. Add the remaining sugar and beat until shiny, stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the almond extract and the almond mixture just until evenly distributed throughout the meringue. (Folding longer than necessary will start breaking down the meringue.)
4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the meringue mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a No. 7 plain pastry tip. (All I had available for piping was a No. 9 pastry tip.) Pipe out mounds 1-inch in diameter onto the baking sheets with 1-inch spacing between mounds. Sprinkle the tops with sugar.
5. Bake the cookies in preheated oven until lightly and evenly browned, 35 to 40 minutes. (I baked both sheets at the same time using convection -- I'm not totally sold on convection... yet. If not using convection, space oven racks in upper third and lower third of oven, switching the baking sheets half way through baking.) Turn oven off and leave the meringues in oven for an additional 20 minutes to dry out; then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in a covered container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. If cookies become sticky due to humidity, recrisp in a preheated 250˚F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
TAKE a LOOK:
I just made a pot of Roasted Carrot Soup; the recipe from my friend Tom at Tall Clover Farm. In addition to the roasted carrots, there's coconut milk, orange juice and zest in the mix; a perfect light supper for another gray, snowy day in Minnesota. And to serve alongside the soup I baked Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers with Chives... enjoy!
• 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
• 1 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 2 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (I used an extra mature white cheddar from England)
• 2 ounces Parmesan Reggiano, grated
• 3 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
• Maldon salt, fleur de sel, or sea salt, for sprinkling
1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and Dijon mustard until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add the flour, cheddar cheese, Parmesan Reggiano, and chives and mix just until combined.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface. Gather the dough together and using the heel of your hand, smear portions of the dough against the work surface to distribute the fat. Firmly gather the dough together again and cut off 1/3 of the dough. Roll the piece of dough 1/4-inch thick and using a 2-inch round cutter, cut shapes and place onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle the tops of the crackers with Maldon salt, fleur de sel or sea salt; place baking sheets in refrigerator while the oven is heating.
4. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Adjust oven racks with one in the upper third of the oven and another in the lower third. Place baking sheets on oven racks and bake for 18-20 minutes or just until they begin to brown, switching position of the sheets halfway through baking. Remove from oven and transfer crackers to a cooling rack.
TAKE a LOOK:
Jennifer from Shawnee, Kansas, was the winner of Mastering the Art of French Eating! Thanks to everyone who left a comment for this drawing.
If you are anything like me and constantly dream of being in France, constantly dream of living in France, or just have the desire for a short visit to immerse yourself in France's culinary history, this is the book for you. (Read the Wall Street Journal's review of Mastering the Art of French Eating, HERE). Author Ann Mah writes of her life in Paris after moving there with her diplomat husband in 2008, only to find herself on her own when he is transferred to Iraq for a year. The book chronicles Mah's process of acclimating into French life and discovering the unique foods of different French regions. When I am left only to my dreams, experiencing France through Ann Mah's writing is the next best thing to actually being there!
Ann Mah's publisher, Penquin Group, will be giving away one copy of Mastering the Art of French Eating to a LivingTastefully reader. All you need to do to be entered into the drawing is leave a comment in the comment section of this post by the end of the day December 13th. At publisher's request, entries will be limited to the U.S. and Canada.
Since the book giveaway is about all things French, the recipe today is for Sablés de Trouville; a rolled, fan-shaped French cookie filled with almonds and lemon -- possibly one of my favorite flavor combinations. And to amp up the citrusy lemon taste just a bit, I drizzled the tips of the cookies with a mix of confectioners' sugar and fresh lemon juice; then sprinkled the glaze of icing with coarse, sparkly sugar (think holiday cookie platters!).
an adapted recipe from Debra F. Weber, About, inc.
• 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cups ground, blanched almonds
• 2 large egg yolks
• 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
• Confectioners' sugar
• Fresh lemon juice
1. Beat butter together with lemon zest, almond extract and vanilla extract until fluffy.
2. Gradually beat in the sugar and ground almonds until combined.
3. Beat in the eggs yolks.
4. Working slowly, beat in flour a little at a time.
5. Gather the dough into a ball and refrigerate, wrapped in plastic, for at least 2 hours.
6. PREHEAT OVEN to 400˚F
7. Divide dough into 3 portions. Keep portions you are not working with in the refrigerator until needed.
8. Roll the dough between 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick (see NOTE below). Using a round cookie cutter approximately 5-inch in diameter (or a 5-inch bowl or plate as a guide), cut dough into circles; then cut each circle into quarters.
9. Transfer each triangle to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat. Bake for approximately 6-8 minutes.
10. Cool cookies on a rack. When completely cooled, mix together Confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl, using proportions to create a mixture the consistency of heavy cream. Spoon a small amount of the lemon-sugar mixture onto the tips of the cookies and sprinkle with coarse, decorative sugar.
NOTE: The original recipe instructs to roll cookies to 1/4-inch and bake for 5 to 6 minutes. I always prefer a thinner (crisper) cookie and a little browness around the edges; therefore I have increased my baking time by a couple of minutes. Roll and bake cookies to your preference.
TAKE a LOOK:
I once read, you should never, ever answer the phone when making a cake. Nothing should interrupt the beating, folding, pouring, leveling, etc...etc... of the cake batter. It can lead to dismal results. As of yesterday, the mixing of cookie dough -- for me at least -- will also fall under that warning. This Lemon Butter Cookie is an easy one to mix up, and made even easier as a log cookie. No rolling, no cookie cutters. Mix the dough, make a couple of logs, chill, then roll in granulated sugar before slicing... Easy!
But during this process, I took a phone call and continued to assemble the dough while talking. The egg was forgotten, and when I realized what I had done, I added it after the flour had already been incorporated -- definitely not recommended! Worse yet, I quickly added the entire egg; not the single yolk that was called for. And all of this jumbled mess the result of a phone conversation. But (surprisingly) these cookies were still good! Use European butter if you can, and be generous with the lemon zest. If the lemons are small, use two. Oh... and try to keep from answering the phone when it rings, buzzes, beeps, or vibrates...
an adapted recipe from Pâtisserie Lerch, Paris
as printed in Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan
• 2 sticks (8 ounces; 230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 2/3 cup (70 grams) confectioners' sugar, sifted
• 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
• Pinch of salt
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• Grated zest of 1 to 1 1/2 lemons (I recommend using 2 lemons, if small)
• 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
• Approximately 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar, for coating
1. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, vanilla, and grated lemon zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn't fully incorporated, that's OK—just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
2. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4-inches thick. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (May be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days; store in freezer for 1 month.
3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Spread the sugar out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick. (You can make these thicker if you'd like; just bake them longer.) Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.
5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. (It's fine if the yolk-brushed edges brown a smidgen.) Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.
• Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature. Because the sugar coating will melt, these cookies are not suitable for freezing.
TAKE a LOOK:
I am now back from my September travels and look forward to what I consider... the baking season. The trip I just returned from in upstate New York, brought into focus the best part of having a food blog -- the wonderful people I have gotten to know worldwide. On this trip, I was able to meet for the first time a dear friend I have made through LivingTastefully. Cathy and her husband John live in the historic village of Canajoharie. They welcomed my husband and me into their beautiful 18th century home, fed us (over lively conversation), and revealed to us the historic riches of the area. Our visit was one I will never forget. Thank you so much for everything, Cathy and John!
I have returned home to a change in the weather and much cooler temps. Cinnamon Espresso Cream Sables and a cup of coffee (or espresso!) are just the ticket for the fall days ahead.
adapted recipe from Rebecca Franklin | About.com: FRENCH FOOD
• 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• Pinch sea salt or kosher salt
• 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 egg white
• 2 teaspoons water
• 1 1/2 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
• 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 - 4 teaspoons milk
1. In a medium-size bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.
2. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in a sheet of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Make the egg wash by whisking together the egg white and water. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and roll to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Cut the cookies with a round, 1 1/2-inch fluted cutter and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Brush the tops of the cookies with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
3. TO MAKE the ESPRESSO CREAM FILLING: In a medium-size bowl and using a hand-held mixer, combine the confectioners' sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon of milk at a time, until all of the ingredients are moistened and the consistency of really, creamy peanut butter.
4. TO FILL THE COOKIES: Place a small scoop of espresso cream, about the size of a malted milk ball, in the center of a cookie. Top with another cookie and gently press together. You want the espresso cream to almost reach the edge of the cookie. Adjust the filling amount if necessary. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.
TAKE a LOOK: