Tuesday, September 22, 2009
TWD: Cottage Cheese Pufflets
YEAH! It’s finally my turn to pick the weekly Tuesday’s with Dorie recipe! Many, many thanks to Laurie of Quirky Cupcake for starting this fantastic group and of course, to Dorie Greenspan, author of "Baking, from My Home to Yours", for continuing to inspire us week after week with fantastic recipes. Hers is one of the best overall baking books to be had. And to all of the other bakers who offer suggestions and encouragement week in and week out, Thank You!
For my pick, I chose the Cottage Cheese Pufflets.
There was a lot of discussion in the TWD forum that the pufflet dough was very soft and sticky and that plenty of chilling time was essential while rolling out the dough. This actually worked out fine for me though, because our annual neighborhood garage sale was this past weekend.
Somewhere between making, rolling, and cutting the dough, then forming the pufflets, I was able scrounge up enough ancient and dusty “treasures” from the depths of my closets to hold a halfway respectable sale.
If I ever get a wild hair and decide to get a PhD after I retire, just for giggles, you know, I think I’ll major in Psychology and my thesis will be “The Psychology of Garage Sales”. Because, really. What is with people at garage sales?
Maybe it's because I'm a night owl, but I just don't understand why people show up before the sale starts, before you've even opened the garage door. I came stumbling out of my garage at 7:30 (on a Saturday morning!) to find people waiting. Is it really that important to get first dibs on my 10-year old (but still fully functioning) blender?
Then there are those that get mad when you have the nerve to charge, like, a whole dollar for something. That happened with one cranky grandma and her sweet little grandson. I was about to give them the “cute-kid” discount for some books he wanted when she opened her mouth and started giving me attitude. I quickly decided the “cranky grandma” surcharge cancels out the “cute-kid” discount. Maybe I should have offered them a pufflet, surely that would have helped.
Then there are the serious hagglers. I had one woman pick up a big pile of cake-decorating books, each with a $1 sticker attached (they definitely cost more than a dollar new). She asked how much I wanted for them. I was thinking to myself “I want $1 each for them, and that’s why I have a $1 sticker on each and every one”. It seemed pretty self explanatory. But I, being nice and also lacking in negotiating skills, gave her a price maybe 60% of the asking price. Then she asked if I would take a dollar less. I just stood there and looked at her. She had nerve, I give her that.
But no, it wasn’t all early birds and cranky people and hagglers. They were few and far between, really. Most people were friendly and nice and it brings joy to my heart knowing that so many adorable kidlets will enjoy my boys’ long neglected toys. Not to mention the little pile of extra “dough” (of the green variety) that I have stashed in the drawer.
Oh wait, you came here to talk about dough of the cottage cheese variety, right? Right.
I have to agree that the dough was very soft. I chilled mine for quite a while before rolling between two pieces of wax paper. Then I chilled for another spell before cutting into squares (yes, I know most of those are really rectangles. I seem to be incapable of cutting a square.)
I had to chill between every 4 to 5 pufflets, but eventually got them filled. I used cherry preserves.
I have to tell you first, before showing you the baked pufflets, that I DID seal the edges. I did, I tell you!
Too bad there's not a prize for "Most Leaky Pufflets", LOL.
And how were they? I really enjoyed them. The cookie had a nice, rich flavor due to the cottage cheese. Since the amount of sugar was small, they weren't very sweet, but more on the tangy side. That paired nicely with the sweet cherry preserves.
I need to try them again so I can redeem myself in the leakage department. I will also try the suggestion of some bakers to drain the cottage cheese first.
Thank you to those that stopped by and listened to me gab about my big adventure this weekend. I'll sign off with one last thought... a little piece of advice for folks trying to decide whether to date or marry someone. Take them to a garage sale first. That will tell you everything you need to know.
Cottage Cheese Pufflets
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
8 ounces (about ¾ cup) cottage cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
About ¼ cup thick preserves, marmalade or jam (your choice)
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
Put the butter, sugar and salt in a food processor and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times, for 2 minutes, or until the butter is completely creamy. Add the cottage cheese and vanilla and process for another 2 minutes again scraping the bowl once or twice. The mixture will be velvety, more like whipped cream cheese than cottage cheese. Add the flour, pulsing only until it is thoroughly blended into the dough.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a piece of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into a rectangle or square, pat it down, cover it completely and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 3 days. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.)
Getting Ready to Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
To roll out the dough, you can work either between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface.
Cut the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough to a thickness of a scant 1/8 inch. Because you are going to be cutting the dough into squares, it’s best to roll it into a rectangular or square shape. If at any time the dough seems too soft to roll, pop it into the refrigerator for a quick chill.
Using a cookie cutter, a paring knife or a pastry wheel, cut the dough into 2- to 3-inch squares. (I use a 2 ¼ inch square cookie cutter.) Put a dab of jam on one square of dough, just off center, and, with a wet finger, moisten the edges of the dough. Fold the dough over to enclose the jam and form a triangle, pressing lightly to seal the edges. Repeat with the remaining squares and line the pufflets up on the baking sheets, spacing them about ½ inch apart. Poke a minute steam hole in the center of each. (You can roll, fill and shape the pufflets, freeze them on a tray, then, when they are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container. The pufflets can be baked straight from the freezer – no need to defrost – just add another 2 minutes or so to the baking time.)
Bake the pastries one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes, or until puffed, firm and beautifully golden. Transfer the pufflets to a rack, dust with confectioner’s sugar and cool to warm or room temperature before serving.
Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.