Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pecan Sandies, Shortbread, Sables, Crescents, Cookies

No one seems to be exactly sure what the difference is between these things, so I made a very basic dough and formed it in a few ways.

Local Ingredients
Daisy Organic Flours Pastry Flour
Livengood's Pecans

1 C butter
3/4 C sugar (maple sugar would work but change the flavor slightly)
2 t vanilla
2 C flour
1 C pecans, finely ground
1 t salt (Maine sea salt available at Fair Foods)

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add flour, ground pecans and salt and blend well. At this point, you can refrigerate the dough to make it easier to work with. No matter how you shape them, bake at 375-400* x 10 minutes or until lightly brown on edges or bottom.

For shortbread: press dough into the bottom of a pie plate or cake pan about 1/4 inch thick. Press down with fork all over and cut into wedges. Bake. Cool slightly and break up into wedges.

For sandies/sables: shape into balls and press an additional pecan into the top. Bake.

For wedding cookies: shape into balls and bake. Cool slightly and dredge in powdered sugar.

For crescents: shape into crescents and bake. Dip in melted chocolate or serve plain.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Penne alla Vodka

Local Ingredients
Home canned tomatoes using tomatoes from Fahnestock and Rineer Family Farms
Natural by Nature Heavy Cream purchased from Sue's Produce (18th/Sansom)
Garlic from Highland Orchards at Fitler Square Farmer's Market
Hot pepper sauce from Headhouse Square Farmer's Market

1 qt canned tomatoes
1 lb penne or rotini pasta
1/4 c olive oil
10 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with side of knife
hot red pepper sauce or flakes to taste
1/4 vodka
1/2 c cream
3/4 c parmesan

Process tomatoes in blender of food processor until crushed. Cook pasta until al dente. Heat oil and saute garlic until lightly browned. Quickly add crushed tomatoes Cover lightly to prevent spatters as the tomatoes heat up. Bring to a boil and add salt, pepper, and hot pepper to taste. Bring to boil for 2-3 minutes. Add vodka and simmer on medium low for 10-20 minutes. Remove garlic cloves and add cream. Bring sauce and pasta to boil together until sauce clings to pasta. Add parmesan and serve immediately.

Serving suggestion. Top with additional parmesan, parlsey, and dried dill.