Hungarian Shortbread (Tuesdays With Dorie)

Buttery shortbread filled with vanilla scented rhubarb

I was invited to a dinner party last weekend and was asked to bring a little something. Instead there were two somethings. A savory hors d’oeuvre of thyme scented beets placed on endive leaves. Also, since I am a trained pastry chef I brought dessert! I was planning to prep the Hungarian shortbread for the Tuesday With Dorie cooking club, hey why not?

The recipe called for a jammy rhubarb filling to complement the buttery sweetness of the dough. Although it’s still early in the season for rhubarb, I was lucky to find those red stalks at Fairway supermarket on Broadway. Makeing the preserves went quickly, however, I found it a bit runny and may try to use some pectin next time. I must confess I misread the recipe. Instead of 1/2 of a split vanilla bean, I threw a whole split and scraped bean into the pot. Good mistake. The vanilla bean added a depth of flavor to the rhubarb tartness that I think I might have missed.

After prepping and chilling the dough, out came the food processor grating blade to shred for the base and top layers.

The bottom crust baked ahead of the assembled dessert with a 15 minute start in the oven. Jam, then top crust. Very fragrant and my hosts have a few more nibbles over the next few days.

To start baking, check out our TWD hosts, Lynette 1 Small Kitchen and Cher of The not so exciting advantures of a dabbler for the recipe.

Chocolate Chip Lemon Loaf (Tuesdays With Dorie)

Chocolate Chips stud this classic lemony pound cake.

For this household, an after-school snack begins with a tall glass of milk, crunchy granola bar, some sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of goldfish for good measure.  Today, joining the tall glass of milk were two slices of lemon loaf , just like the tempting ones sold at Starbucks and the famous lemon loaf from the eponymous Barefoot Contessa in East Hampton. However this one’s homemade, and that can’t be beat.
The loaves could be assembled by hand without a kitchen mixer. Or use the Cuisinart food processor (that’s sitting on the counter) and pulse a few times to get the right consistency.

With this recipe, I wanted to add some chocolate chips, and just a few were leftover in the bag from something else I recently made. The cake has a tight crumb and a lemony flavor…although it could be just a bit more puckery.  So go ahead, add two more tablespoons of lemon juice to the liquid part of the batter.  Once done, a lemon glaze would go nicely as well for an after school snack.

To start baking, check out our TWD hosts,  Truc of Treats  and  Michelle of The Beauty of Life for the recipe.

Pizza Rustica (Tuesdays With Dorie)

A pie wedge that’s sweet and savory, cheesy and salty.

Pizza Rustica is not exactly pizza as in the slice and soda kind, but more of a sweet pie wedge flavorfully filled with a savory eggy-calzone filling.

It’s easier to prepare this dish as a two part process. First the Pasta Frolla crust. It’s fairly straight forward and does not have to be soooo precise.  The dough was made two days ago and chilled in the fridge. This morning the crust was filled with the cheeses and prosciutto mixture.   I’m serving the Pizza Rustica for a working lunch along with a spinach and red lentil soup.  Dessert is a scoop of strawberry sorbet and a cookie.

Pasta Frolla is easy to make and easy to roll out.  No rolling pin required.

I use my food processor to combine the ingredients. dry and then add the cold butter, then the slightly beaten eggs.  Form the dough into a ball and flatten out into a disk.  Chill for at least 1 hour before the dough is divided.  One quarter of the dough for the lattice top.

I opted for using my hands to press the dough into the buttered glass pie dish and the top dough was pressed to a roughly 9″ square. Doesn’t have to be precise.  The dish has the name rustica in it.

What made this dish even more special, was meeting up with Nick Malgieri who owns the recipe.  See the post before this one.

To start baking, check out our TWD hosts,  Emily of Capitol Region Dining and Raelynn of  The Place They Call Home for the recipe.

IACP Culinary Expo Book & Blog Event

Meeting Nick Malgieri at IACPNYC

Having all your favorite cookbooks come to life with the authors standing right there was so much fun at Sunday’s International Association of  Culinary Professionals Expo Book & Blog event. Nick Malgieri, the former Executive Pastry Chef at Windows on the World and seminal cookbook writer was eager to advise what to serve with Pizza Rustica,  an Easter dish that can easily accompany a light vegetable soup and dessert of sorbet with cookies.  I mentioned to him that the recipe is the selection for tomorrow ‘s Tuesdays With Dorie  and was reasurred that it is important to cool the Pizza Rustica completely before serving.  Otherwise, the risk is the filling may not have time to set up properly.  Can’t wait.

Also chatted with Alice Medrich whose New Classic Coconut Macaroons are sure to be a favorite.  Check out the photo and recipe on Food 52‘s site.

And the always gracious and bubbly NY Times writer, Melissa Clark shared insights to calzone making.  This feature will run in a few weeks and I’m ready for the challenge.

Time to make my Pasta Frolla, the sweet dough for tomorrow’s Pizza Rustica…please visit again to see how it turns out.

Chocolate Rugelach (Tuesdays With Dorie)

Traditional, cream cheese flakey chocolate filled cookie

Rewind….Do-over from today, I know the recipe said Rugelach, however it didn’t turn out that way. The final cookie appeared as a chocolate filled cream cheese roll & slice cookie. Still quite good and satisfying. Usually when I bake Rugelach I go for the traditional crescent shape and fill with prune, apricot and/or nuts and sometimes chocolate chips.

This recipe called for a rectangle shaped dough with the filling spread to either end. Then rolled, chilled and cut.

Check out the Rugelach pictured below. They are from a bakery named Marzipan. It’s in a market in central Jerusalem and could be my all-time favorite. Buttery, chocolaty, and just melt in your mouth delicious.

To start baking, check out our TWD hosts, Jessica from My Baking Heart and Margaret of The Urban Hiker for the recipe.