Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More Cookies!

Yesterday's cookies were so easy and fun to make that I decided to make a few different varieties of shortbread to give to some of the people in my life that I owe a "thank you." I used Martha Stewart's basic shortbread recipe for the orange-cardamom, and I used the cornmeal recipe for the rosemary-apricot cookies, which were inspired by this post. The brown butter ones from Lottie & Doof ended up being my favorite. Yum!

clockwise, from top: rosemary (I served these with apricot preserves),
brown butter-sea salt, lemon-cornmeal, and cardamom-orange

Blood Orange Marmalade

I didn't measure anything for this, so you're just going to have to use your judgement when it comes to amounts. I had some blood orange segments and zest frozen from last winter, so I can't even tell you how many oranges I used... sorry!

Start by zesting the blood oranges in large strips. Slice the zest very fine, and place in a pot with sugar and enough water to cover it. Let it boil until softened, and translucent. Meanwhile, remove the pith from the oranges, and slice up the flesh into rounds (or you can supreme them). Add the orange pieces to the pot and continue to simmer until thickened, adding more sugar if necessary to taste. When the marmalade is reduced enough to pass a jell test (put a spoonful on a plate, stick the plate in the freezer for 10 min, and when you slant the plate, the jelly shouldn't spill), spoon it into jars and seal.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lemon-Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

This recipe was on Poppytalk a while back, and I found it while searching through my Reader for Lottie & Doof's brown butter shortbread cookies, which I've had on my "to make" list for some time. Because we've been having such lovely summerlike weather, I decided to save the brown butter cookies for a cozier day, and make these sunny yellow cookies today, using the Meyer lemons from my newly planted tree. The wonderful thing about shortbread is that it is pretty much foolproof. In the simplest versions, all you need are butter, flour, and sugar. Since the basic recipe is so easy, the cookies can be dressed up in a million ways. My friend Christine makes amazing salt and pepper shortbread with fleur de sel, and it's easy to dress up your shortbread with cardamom, toasted coconut, rosemary (I've made rosemary pine nut ones as well- they go wonderfully with blood orange sorbet!), green tea, chamomile... you name it! Anyways, I've modified the recipe slightly, and I think they came out really well. They are lemony and buttery with just a little crunch from the cornmeal. This recipe makes about 32 cookies.

1 1/3 C flour
1/2 C yellow cornmeal
4 T cornstarch or tapioca flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 C unsalted butter, softened
2/3 c confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Grated lemon zest from 3 small lemons or two medium ones
Demerara sugar for sprinkling (I used Turbinado- any coarse sugar will do)

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream the butter and sugar. Add in the vanilla and lemon zest and mix. In another bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, cornstarch and salt and whisk together. Slowly add in the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture and stir until just combined.

Prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat, and using your hands, pinch off about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Press each ball with your thumb and repeat, spacing each cookie about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the undersides of the cookie are slightly golden. Cool on wire racks.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pasta with Lentils, Kale, and Caramelized Onions

My friend Erik made this for me today and I am totally stealing his recipe. The sweetness of the onions, and the heartiness of the kale and French lentils was perfect with a little bit of shaved Parmesan cheese.