Monday, July 21, 2008

Ingredients for 24 cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces (1 block) Neufchatel cheese or cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup fig preserves
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
Milk for brushing cookies
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until silky. Add brown sugar, vanilla and salt and continue mixing until creamy. Add flours and mix just until well combined. To ensure tender, flaky cookies, avoid overworking dough.
Divide dough into three equal portions on separate parchment sheets. Fold parchment over dough and flatten into a thin rectangle, about 6 x 8 inches. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. When chilled, roll each rectangle of dough between parchment to a thickness of 1/2 inch.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove top sheet of parchment. Spread a thin layer of fig preserves onto each rectangle and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the pecans, pressing them into the dough. Using edge of parchment as an aid, roll up dough into a log and press to tighten. Brush logs with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Carefully cut into 1-inch pieces. Transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until edges are golden brown.

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