Tuesday, September 22, 2009

{TWD} Cottage Cheese Choose-Your-Jam Pufflets


There are plenty of fads and trends in baking (eg. the molten chocolate cake back in the 90's), but what really makes my ears perk up is when someone talks about a favorite recipe from many years ago, especially one that is homey and simple. So I had high hopes when I first saw this week's Tuesdays With Dorie choice, Cottage Cheese Pufflets. Dorie says that these are from her "first kitchen scrapbook", which made me take notice, partly because I've never had a kitchen scrapbook and it sounds so fabulous. Note to self: find a suitable scrapbook for the kitchen.

And then there's the title ingredient: cottage cheese. Who bakes with cottage cheese? As of this week, all of us TWD-types! Last week we put sour cream in our pastry, this week it's cottage cheese. If that doesn't sound homey, I don't what would.

On further study, I realized that the recipe isn't exactly fall-off-a-log easy - there's chilling and rolling pins and cutting and folding involved - but I tried to keep an open mind. The part I looked forward to most was using a bit of my jam supply - I'm a huge fan of jammy things!

n.o.e.'s notes:

- This is one of those recipes that is best eaten the day it is baked. I ran out of time to make these for last week's book group, so the cookies ended up being a Sunday evening dessert-with-ice-cream for us. Six cookies seemed reasonable for two people, so I made 1/8 recipe. Here’s the math in case anyone else is similarly inclined:

1 oz butter,

4g/1tsp sugar,

bit o salt,

1 oz cottage cheese,

1/8 tsp vanilla,

25g 7/8oz or scant 4T flour.

- The recipe requires two different 2-minute sessions of pulsing in a food processor. I tried my mini-prep and my stick blender, but neither worked on the tiny amount of butter and cottage cheese I was using. I ended up mixing it by hand.

- On a tip from Sarah of Blue Ridge Baker, I drained my cottage cheese before measuring it. My dough was soft but not impossibly sticky.

- I rolled the dough inside of a zippered sandwich bag, then chilled before cutting into 6 (uneven) squares. I chilled it again before dabbing with jam and forming into cookies.

- For my 6 pufflets, I used half-teaspoon each of 6 kinds of jam: marionberry, raspberry, cloudberry, strawberry, strawberry, and orange/fig.

- The recipe says to fold the squares of dough triangularly, but since I just did that with last week's turnovers, I decided to fold up each corner of the square and see how the cookies turned out. Actually, they look pretty pathetic, but a bit of powdered sugar and a silver tray helps a little bit, doesn't it?

- The cookies didn't really puff during baking, which didn't help endear them to me.

the verdict:

I had the fig and cloudberry cookies and gave my husband the other 4 berry-jam ones. He liked the raspberry ones the best. I agree that the dough needed a strong jam flavor - the fig/orange was better than the cloudberry. Although I really wanted to love these cookies, in truth I wasn't bowled over by the flavor of the dough. My husband's view was much more favorable, however: "These are good. You should make them for book group."

They were above-average in fussiness for just-average flavor, so it's unlikely that I'd choose them again over other jam-related baked goods. In fact, when I looked at my cookies, they reminded me of the rugelach we'd made, and then I missed rugelach!

Thanks to Jacque of Daisy Lane Cakes for selecting this recipe for us to bake this week - it's exactly the kind of recipe I'd choose! You can find the recipe for these cookies on Jacque's post or on pages 148-149 of Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

30 comments:

Kim said...

I should have drained my cottage cheese. The fig jam pufflet sounds amazing. I heart figs. They look fantastic.

Leslie said...

I thought these would have been better in the dead of winter, when the dough didn't get as sticky. You are so right about the silver platter distracting the eye. Mine were all ugly ducklings and yet they were deliciously crisp and chewy out of the oven. I'm on the fence about making them again. Great idea to use the ziploc bag to roll them out!!

vibi said...

Wowwwww! The lady has taken out her fine silver... for pufflets and tea, my dear! Nothing's too nice for invites!

Very well done, Nancy darling. (lol)

Audrey said...

Oh, I want a kitchen scrapbook too! And some cloudberry jam! I've never even heard of cloudberries before, but it sounds lovely. But maybe you could use a few less clouds these days? I'm sorry you weren't delighted with these, but they do look very pretty!
(ps...yes, that's me, on the right in both)

Jules Someone said...

I agree that these were good but not great. Now what to do with the rest of the dough in my freezer...

natalia said...

Ciao ! Actually I liked the pufflets but you made me remember of the rughelach !

mike said...

Well the serving platter makes up for any messiness (which I see none of)! Beautiful piece! They are min-galettes! How wonderful - especially with the variations of jams. I agree - too much work for a turnover, but I'm sure your recipients enjoyed every bite of them!

jillbert said...

I'm with you - I had high hopes for this but it was too much fussing for the end result. The way you folded them is great - wish I would have done that!

Di said...

Your cookies look great! Still not sure if I'm going to make them or not. Not today, either way. I'm glad you got to break out the jam collection. =)

Jessica said...

I really like jammy things, and I loved the way that these tasted fresh out of the oven, but I definitely agree with you on the fussy factor. I don't really like to work with things that make me nervous, and this dough made me nervous. I do really like your decision to fold up the pufflets. If I make these again, I'm going to keep that option in mind!

dharmagirl said...

i skipped these...not enough time OR patience for the fussiness. seems i made the right decision:)

Kayte said...

I love the shape of yours...so original and nice and those jam choices...only YOU would come up with that unique variety of jams from things just hanging around! Always intriqued by that jam collection of yours.

Pamela said...

I didn't bake along this week. I was just feeling lazy! I like the way yours turned out though. You have such a jam collection! That's so neat.

Mary Ann said...

If only I would have seen your post first! I could've made less dough and had less trouble (possibly) with cutting them out. I think all the kinds of jam sound great. Nice jam collection!
Still have to say how relieved I am that you are ok. My heart is beating at a normal rate tonight, thank goodness!

margot said...

I like how you folded the pufflets, they look great! I was not very impressed with the flavor of this dough. I did like the rugelach (that was my first TWD), maybe because it contained lots of goodies.

Cathy said...

I love how you folded these -- They're like mini-galettes! We really liked these, but I don't know if I'd make them again (see the fuss factor). Also, based on what I've read this week, it's a sheer fluke that I didn't have trouble with the dough (or maybe you're right and I'm just blocking it out), so I better not press my luck. Your pufflets look great!

Katrina said...

YOu amaze me with your cutting the recipe so small and still making it work. I halved the recipe and could barely get my processor to whirl up the butter. Lots of fun flavors of jam. I went all out with fun flavors for mine--of course, it included chocolate!
Speaking of chocolate, I'm off to read your NYT ccc post. My fave!

Tom said...

I make something like this, but go with Trader Joe's puff pastry (organic, color and additative-free no less!). I just thaw the dough in the fridge overnight, then roll the sheet out to about 1/2 the thickness and dock lightly (both to reduce the 'puff' thickness). Then you do exactly the same thing you showed - though I might also make a couple with chocolate chips. :)

Carol Peterman said...

I am slipping in my posts, so I don't have these up yet, but I did just take them out of the oven. Strange is my assessment. My dough is so sticky I could barely get them folded. I will try the rest of the batter tomorrow and maybe not roll so thin. Yours look lovely, but I am with you on not being wild about them. I actually enjoyed the left over cottage cheese more than the cookies.

Flourchild said...

Yum these look so good! I love thie idea of a fig jam filling!

Jacque said...

I have to say I agree with you on most counts. They were fussy, that's for sure.

But they were unusual and that's why I picked them. Different is fun!

Thanks for baking along this week. On to something easier next week!

Oh, and P.S. I'm not sure my hubs would have gone to a garage sale with me either. I laugh thinking of the look I would get if I asked him to go now, like, "you're kidding, right?"

Jess said...

Draining the cottage cheese - of course! Your pufflet purses look so lovely. Any excuse to use good jam...

Sarah said...

I love the way you do things so methodically! It is a wonder that anything I bake is actually edible, because I am less than exact, especially when scaling a recipe... I am getting better thanks to my digital scale, though... I think your pufflets are adorable, and I'm glad your dough didn't give you trouble. I actually started a kitchen scrapbook after stumbling on this recipe the first time a few months ago, it's fun and makes me feel very organized (which I am not at all). Your jams sound wonderful - cloudberry is a new one to me. I agree about the rugelach. It is so much tastier, and no more difficult to make. I'm afraid the pufflets will not be making another appearance in my house...

lasinthekitchen said...

I tried to drain my cottage cheese but nothing drained.
I love the idea of folding the corners of your pufflets! They look yummy! The fig/orange jam sounds wonderful and so does cloudberry (which I've never heard of but love the name of it!)!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

i want a kitchen scrapbook, too! instead i have a beaten up manilla folder that everything tumbles out of. even if these weren't your favorite, i'm very impressed by the methodical way you put them together!

Tia said...

I love your blog... i just found you through the twd blogroll. cute puffs by the way!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

They are adorable! Good call to drain the cottage cheese.

Madam Chow said...

Great idea to drain the cottage cheese - I should have done that. And I envy the members of your book group!

TeaLady said...

I LOVE how you shaped them. More rustic tart style. And that makes them look very pretty.

Lots of trouble, tho, for little bites.

Liz said...

"Above-average fussiness for just-average flavor: Hear, hear! Couldn't agree more. Your jams sound AMAZING, though, when are you inviting me over for teatime?!