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Posts tagged ‘cognac’

Rugelach- Fig/Cognac Jam, Pistachio,Orange For Fiesta Friday #48

Rugelach

Rugelach

I am making another batch of my rugelach, the very one I put in my gift boxes, I always make a double batch of the dough because invariably I need to make more to give away after Christmas. This new batch is the same but I decided to add some chopped pistachio and a hint of candied orange peel (chopped really fine). Since I am baking for friends and you all are my friends right,  I made enough to bring with me to the party hosted by the lonesome and totally awesome Angie@The Novice Gardener, I only say lonesome because this week she gave everyone the week off, no co hosts. Don’t worry Angie you won’t  be lonesome for long, soon your house will be filled with eager party goers.

orange and pistachios added

orange and pistachios added

Makes 4 dozen

The Dough and filling:

8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar + more for sprinkling on cookies

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup pistachio’s- chopped

2 tbs finely chopped candied orange peel

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp powdered ginger

1/2 cup fig jam

egg wash

sugar for sprinkling

1/4 cup light brown sugar packed

looks like dukkah

looks like dukkah

In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream the cream cheese and butter until light. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla. With mixer on low add the flour and mix just to combine. Dump dough onto work surface form into a ball cut into four quarters and wrap each in plastic wrap, refrigerate for one hour
Place pistachio (if they are not toasted already) on parchment lined sheet pan and toast in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes (just until you can smell the nuts). Once the nuts have cooled enough to handle, and add the brown sugar cardamom and ginger, orange and chopped pistachio. Set aside.

Remove one of the dough quarters from the refrigerator, roll into a circle on floured work surface. Note: The dough should be cold when rolling, do not let the dough sit out and come to room temperature, it will get too sticky and you want to avoid using a lot of flour if at all possible.  I use the lid of my dutch oven to cut an even circle. Spread jam on the dough round, sprinkle nut/sugar mixture on top of the jam and press down gently with your hand. Cut into quarters and cut each quarter into 3 pieces. Roll from widest end to smallest.

ready to roll

ready to roll

Place each rugelach on parchment lined baking sheet, brush with egg wash and sprinkle some sugar on each. Put in freezer for 15 minutes before baking. While they are in freezer pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to cooling rack.

fresh from the oven

fresh from the oven

flaky and delicious

flaky and delicious

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Bake Together-Chocolate Shortcake With Cognac Infused Apricots

Chocolate Shortcake With Apricots

Every month I look forward to Bake Together with Abby Dodge, I was especially excited about this months challenge. I adore strawberry shortcake and Abby decided to give this American classic a twist by making a chocolate shortcake, our challenge was to make it our own, keeping the basic premise of the challenge of course,but we are able to make changes, adding our own creative spin. I made the shortcake as directed by Abby but baked it as one sheet, slightly thinner than Abby’s. After it cooled I cut rounds with my biscuit cutter. It’s the same basic idea but slightly different execution. Instead of Strawberries I used some beautiful apricots which I macerated in sugar and cognac. The whipped cream is lightly sweetened and flavored with cognac also. Chocolate and apricots are delicious together and the cognac rounds it all out beautifully. Thanks Abby for another great month of baking with you!

Apricots:

1 lb apricots cleaned and sliced (don’t peel)

1/4 cup sugar

2 tbs good cognac

Place the sliced apricots in a bowl add the sugar and cognac and gently stir to combine. Cover and let sit for an hour or more.

Whipped Cream:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tbs super fine sugar

1 tsp cognac

Whip in a cold bowl with cold beaters until it’s thick and the desired consistency,

Double Chocolate- Strawberry Shortcakes
Makes 8 servings

For the Shortcakes
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled
3/4 cup buttermilk, chilled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (7 7/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (4 5/8 ounces) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (1 ounce) unsweetened, natural cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (3 ounces) chopped chocolate or chips
2 tablespoons sanding sugar (turbando, demerara), optional

To make the shortcakes:
1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a nonstick liner.

2. Cut the butter in half lengthwise, cut each half lengthwise again, and then cut each strip into 8 pieces. Pile the butter onto a plate and slide it into the freezer until ready to use. Measure the buttermilk in a 1-cup Pyrex measure and add the vanilla. Using a fork, whisk until blended and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

3. Put the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Add the cold butter pieces and, using short pulses, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal with small pieces of butter (about pea-sized) still visible, about 1 minute. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and add chopped chocolate.

4. Pour the buttermilk and vanilla over the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir and fold until it forms a shaggy, moist dough with some floury bits remaining. Scrape the dough and any remaining floury bits onto the counter and knead a few times until the dough is evenly moist and holds together well.

5. Gently press the dough into a thick 8 x 4 -inch rectangle. Using a large sharp knife, trim the edges to make a neat rectangle and cut into 8 equal squares.  Arrange the biscuits on the prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle the tops with the sanding sugar, if using. Bake until puffed and spring back when the tops are gently pressed, 16 to 18 minutes. Move the sheet to a cooling rack and let the biscuits sit until they’re cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature

Place bottom half of shortcake on serving dish, spoon on apricots. Put top half on top of fruit. Spoon on the whipped cream, drizzle with some of the syrup from the apricots and enjoy.