Friday, January 2, 2009

Plum Pecorino Cookies

I picked up Nancy Silverton's Pastries from Le Brea Bakery a while back. I was flipping through it looking for something impressive to make for Christmas Eve dinner we were invited to. The dinner had an Italian theme- cioppino, pasta, leg of lamb- and was delicious.

These cookies fit the bill- anise seed dough, almond, fruit and cheese. They're really more of a pastry than a cookie, or you could think of them as a large cookie to share.

2 T toasted ground anise seeds
2.5 c A.P. flour
1/2 c sugar
1 t b. powder
Pulse in f.p.
Cut in 8 oz. chilled butter and pulse in 1/2 c heavy cream mixed with 2 XL egg yolks and 2 T vanilla. Smear the dough to form a ball (a la pate brisee), and chill 2 hours.

Almond Cream:
Process 5 oz. almonds and 1/4 c sugar
Cream 1/4 c sugar and 2.5 oz. butter and add to almonds.
Mix in 2 oz. almond paste.
Drizzle in 1 XL egg, 1 T rum, 1/2 t almond extract.

Roll out the dough to 1/8" and cut 4 3/4" rounds and set on lined baking sheets 1 " apart. Chill. Spread 2 t almond cream onto dough and top with thinly sliced plums (start with 2.5 lb.s plums). You're making a big layered flower shape. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and dot with butter. Bake at 350 for 25 min. Cool and shave 4oz. pecorino cheese over the top. You should have 14 large and incredible cookies. My Dad helped arrange the plums, and we discovered that it was hard to slice the plums paper thin as suggetsted, and that the thicker slices worked out pretty well on the bottom of the layers.

In our haste to get over to the Christams Eve dinner, I forgot to take a picture of the finished cookie! Picture what's above looking cooked but still in that shape, with shaved cheese on top. The cheese really adds a terrific dimension of flavor- don't skip it!!

Happy baking


Tia said...

The cookies look fantastic, and I'm so envious of you and your father's patience in arranging those plums. I'd have just thrown them on without a second thought. lol

Sophie said...

They look gorgeous! That was so nice of your dad to help out! :)

Pinky said...

These are so beautiful! I've never heard of a cookie quite like this before, such a romantic idea