Pecan Sandies

pecan sandies

1 cup (about 110 grams) pecans
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (225 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (80 grams) confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons (25 grams) turbinado (raw) sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts out in one layer on a baking sheet and bake them, stirring occasionally, until they are well browned, 10 to 13 minutes (they will smell toasted and nutty). Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.

In a food processor, grind the nuts with 1/4 cup of the flour. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Sift together the remaining 1 3/4 cups of flour, the salt, and the baking powder, and add it to the dough, mixing until just combined. Stir in the nut mixture. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Roll the dough between two sheets of wax paper to 3/16 inch thick (a rectangle approximately 10 x 14 inches). Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-inch squares, then cut the squares on a diagonal into triangles (I skipped the last cut into triangles). Sprinkle the cookies with the turbinado sugar. Place them 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets (do not reroll the scraps). Prick the cookies with a fork and bake until pale golden all over, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Linzer Heart Cookies

http://www.marthastewart.com/317027/linzer-heart-cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 cups whole hazelnuts
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Toast hazelnuts until skins darken and begin to split, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a clean dish towel, and rub vigorously to remove skins; discard skins. Place nuts in a food processor; pulse until medium fine.

  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs; beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, hazelnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and zest. Add to butter mixture; beat to combine, about 1 minute. Place in freezer until very firm, about 30 minutes.

  4. Liberally dust a clean surface with flour, and roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out seventy-two hearts. To make top halves of cookies, use a 1-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out centers from thirty-six of the hearts.

  5. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, and bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.

  6. Lightly sift confectioners’ sugar over cookie tops. Spread about 1 teaspoon jam on each of the bottom halves, and sandwich both halves together. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Mushroom Bourguignon

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/11/smitten-kitchens-mushroom-bourguignon.html

 

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 pounds portobello mushrooms, in 1/4-inch slices (save the stems for another use) (you can use cremini instead, as well)
1/2 carrot, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup full-bodied red wine
2 cups beef or vegetable broth (beef broth is traditional but vegetable to make it vegetarian; it works with either)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup pearl onions, peeled (thawed if frozen)
Egg noodles, for serving
Sour cream and chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a medium Dutch oven or heavy sauce pan over high heat. Sear the mushrooms until they begin to darken, but not yet release any liquid — about three or four minutes. Remove them from pan.

Lower the flame to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the carrots, onions, thyme, a few good pinches of salt and a several grinds of black pepper into the pan and cook for 10, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for just one more minute.

Add the wine to the pot, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom, then turn the heat all the way up and reduce it by half. Stir in the tomato paste and the broth. Add back the mushrooms with any juices that have collected and once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature so it simmers for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender. Add the pearl onions and simmer for five minutes more.

Combine remaining butter and the flour with a fork until combined; stir it into the stew. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. Season to taste.

To serve, spoon the stew over a bowl of egg noodles, dollop with sour cream (optional) and sprinkle with chives or parsley.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Soup

http://www.skinnytaste.com/roasted-brussels-sprouts-and-cauliflower-soup/

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • canola cooking spray
  • 16 oz cauliflower florets
  • 16 oz brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter (or more oil for DF, W30, V)
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Line a large large baking sheet with foil and spray with oil. Place the cauliflower and the brussels cut side down on the baking sheet, drizzle with oil and roast on the bottom third of the oven 25 minutes, tossing half way until slightly browned.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large sauce pan over low heat and add shallots. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Shut the oven, reserve about 1 generous cup of the roasted vegetables and keep warm on the baking sheet.
  5. Transfer the rest to the pot and simmer 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer in two batches to the blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Serve in 4 bowls topped with the roasted vegetables and fresh black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.