Friday, December 19, 2008

Really? These are for TV?

This Wednesday's New York Times offered a lengthy article about butter. Butter as it relates to cookies, and in this case Christmas cookies. I had always thought when making cookies the softer the better. This is not the case, says the article, because the emulsion breaks down as the butter warms. So as an exercise in butter skills my mom and I had to make cookies. It's true--there was no choice involved.

Several recipes were included in the article. We chose the Croq-Tele, French TV cookies. They are very simple to make and contain only almonds, sugar, salt, butter and flour, and are then pressed into these lovely pyramid shapes. The resulting cookies are soft and sandy, rich with buttery almond flavor. If these are for the TV I can't imagine what treats fancier occasions warrant.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cranberries: The Color of the Season

Lured by the stunning beauty of the cranberries on a Chocolate and Candied Cranberry Tart recipe I decided to try my hand at it. Not much of a chocolate fan, I changed the bottom layer completely. Mine was a pumpkin and candied cranberry tart.

The pumpkin layer I made much like you would a pumpkin pie. To combat the sour cranberry I substituted almost paste for all of the sugar. Almond paste's rich, sweet flavor melded beautifully with the pumpkin and stood up well to the cranberries. I think the pictures tells the rest.