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