Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 30, 70 to go: Pochette dough

It’s a good thing I am not Sicilian, or I would just stop now.  I went to get the flour I needed for the Pochette dough but encountered an odyssey that led me to wonder if it was meant to be.  First, regular flour was nowhere to be found.  Eventually I discovered the last 3 bags and snagged one.  When I got to the checkout, I discovered the bag had a slit in it.  The girl at Trader Joe’s was very accommodating (of course) and had them bring a bag that wasn’t broken to replace it.  When I went out to the parking lot to arrange my stuff in my wheeled bag, of its own accord, the flour jumped out of the cart and landed on the ground.  Nothing else jumped.  Just the flour.  Luckily, the bag did not break—it only popped open when it hit the ground.  I managed to get my wheely bag packed and was ready to go on my way when I realized… the flour was still sitting on the park bench where I had put it when it fell. 

I thought long and hard about whether I even wanted that frakking bag by that point.  Not being Sicilian, I did not attribute any evil curses to the inanimate object and just stuck it in the bag and brought it home.

Flour doesn't stand a chance against butter & cream cheese.
Once home, I mercilessly put 4 cups of that ornery flour into the double batch of Pochette dough as I planned to yesterday.  Doesn’t this look yummy?  Butter, cream cheese, a vanilla bean and flour.   Soon, it will be stuffed with Nutella, baked and maybe even make it out of my house in a cookie care package.   

I still want to make more gingerbread dough –the classic molasses kind—and then I will start cutting out all these cookies.  There are cranberry/white chocolate drop cookies in my future as well.  And at least two kinds of springerle—bunny and spinster. (You’ll see)   Too bad my pizzelle iron took a dive off the top of the fridge some time ago.  Those were always fun to mess around with.  (Heaven forbid I make the standard anise ones.)

So that’s the update for today.  More cookie dough made.  Cookies to come.

Nutella Pochettes
This is an adaptation of a recipe from The Food Network by Melissa d'Arabian. I think it would be an impressive addition to the Western PA Cookie Table. It's also a nice substitute for traditional rugelach.


1 c (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 vanilla bean (optional)
2 c flour
1/4 c plus 2 T Nutella
Water, as needed
Confectioner's sugar, as needed (1/4 cup?)

1.   With a mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together until light and creamy.
2.   Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the mixture and incorporate evenly.
            (You can toss the bean into a sealed container of sugar to make "vanilla sugar" which  is yummy in tea)
3.   Add the flour slowly until nearly incorporated. Be careful not to overmix.
4.   Use your hands to gently mix the last of the flour into the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5.   Preheat oven to 375
6.   On a lightly floured surface, use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough about 1/8 inch thick.
7.   Use a 3 inch fluted circle cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as you can.
8.   Smush the scraps together and reroll to cut out more circles.
9.   Place a small dollop of Nutella in the center of each circle. (Maybe half a tsp at most)
10.   Dip your finger in water and run it around the edge of half the circle.
11. Fold the dough in half over the nutella and press edges together to seal.
12.   Transfer to a cookie sheet. (I recommend 2 sheets on top of each other or an AirBake pan)  
13.   Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
14. Cool on a rack for about 15 minutes and then lightly dust with confectioner's sugar.
  (I am thinking I may mix cocoa and confectioner's sugar for the dust. I might even chop some toasted hazelnuts and toss them in with the Nutella)
16.   Store in airtight container.

Number Of Servings: 32 Pochettes

Preparation Time:About 2 hours including the 30 minute rest in the fridge

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