When I saw that Jacque of Daisy Lane Cakes (http://daisylanecakes.blogspot.com/) chose Cottage Cheese Pufflets for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie, I didn’t quite know what to expect. For some reason, I was thinking maybe they were a pancake of sorts. Little did I know that these are actually cookies. What a pleasant little surprise! And they aren’t just any cookie. They are filled cookies that look like a lot more trouble than they are. The kind where people’s jaws drop open upon discovering that you actually made them.
The most interesting thing about this recipe is that it does, indeed, have cottage cheese in it. And butter. A lot of butter. The pastry dough is exceptionally easy to put together. Just cream the butter, sugar and salt, add the cottage cheese and vanilla and process until completely smooth. Then, pulse in your flour. Done.
Unfortunately, the ease of making the dough itself is a bit offset by the difficulty the dough is to work with. It requires a lot of chilling. The recipe calls for three hours of chill time before rolling out, cutting, and assembling but you’ll find that it’s easier to chill, roll, chill again, and then cut. The key to working with this dough is to work in small batches and keep it cold (and it does warm up quickly — at least it did for me because when I made these it was very hot and humid).
The recipe calls for the dough to be filled with jam. I didn’t have any that I was happy with so I tried to figure out what I could use instead. The obvious answer was chocolate so I went with that. I whipped up some ganache and let that chill too so it was nice and firm. Since I really liked the half-moon shape of the apple turnovers from last week, I decided to cut the dough into circles instead of the prescribed squares. This did mean I had leftover dough, but we’ll deal with that later. Because the dough isn’t very sweet and neither was the ganache, I topped the pufflets with some raw sugar.
My first batch turned out so pretty and they tasted pretty good too but now I was curious what they would be like with the jam. That’s when it hit me that I had bought some dandelion jam on a whim at the farmer’s market over the summer. I broke that out and gave it a try. For those of you who have never had dandelion jam, it tastes a lot like honey. Mine was also very sweet so I didn’t top these with any sugar. I found the jam much harder to deal with. The jam kind of oozed out of the sides as I tried to seal the cookies and I wasn’t left with much on the inside. This version turned out much different from the chocolate version. With the chocolate ganache, the cookie and filling remained separate while the dandelion jam pretty much melted into the dough and became a sort of glaze rather than a filling. Both version were equally delightful though, so no complaints here.
As for the dough I had leftover…well, I knew that the pastry wouldn’t be as tender once it had been rolled out but I didn’t want to waste it. Last week in my pastry class, I made some various things from puff pastry. One of those things were palmiers which is fancily rolled puff pastry that is rolled in sugar, cut into slices and baked. I decided to do the same thing with my leftover dough. I covered my work surface with raw sugar and rolled out my dough. I made sure both sides with covered. Then I rolled the dough into a spiral. After chilling, I cut them into slices and baked.
I think that these actually turned out to be my favorite. Like I knew, the dough wasn’t quite as tender, but the sugar melted and gave a very nice, subtle caramel flavor. I’m thinking I may make this again just do all of it like this. Or I may try nutella. Such tough decisions!