9.22.2009

Goodbye Summer Peach Tart. Hello Fall Toffee Pecan Cookies.

I've been baking up a storm lately. It's because fall is coming. Maybe this is how my body intuitively prepares for winter. I'm like the geese flying overhead. Something inside just clicks, and before I am able to mentally process my actions, my hands are sifting and rolling and whisking. Here are some of the treats I've made recently, to celebrate the coming and going of the seasons.


Goodbye Summer: Peach Tart


almond peach tart

almond peach tart

Crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 1/2 tablespoons (about) ice water

Peach Almond Filling:
3 firm-ripe peaches
2 oz. almond paste
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp grated orange peel
3 tbsp butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
optional: sliced almonds, powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For the crust, combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. With a pastry blender, gradually work in cubes of butter, a few at a time until flour mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water and work the dough into a ball. Pat into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Roll out pastry dough on a lightly floured surface. Press crust into a 9" fluted tart pan and trim the overhanging dough.

For the filling, halve and pit peaches. Cut into thin slices, about 1/4" thick. Arrange on the pie crust in an overlapping concentric circle, starting around the edges of the pan. Combine the remaining ingredients in the mixing bowl of an electric stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix ingredients until combined and smooth. Gently pour mixture evenly over peaches. If you'd like, sprinkle the tart with sugar or sliced almonds. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling becomes slightly puffed and brown. Allow to cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar.


Hello Fall: Salted Toffee Pecan Cookies

pecan toffee cookies with sea salt



sea salted toffee and pecans

I think this might be the perfect fall cookie. They are crisp around the edges, slightly chewy in the center and rich with cool-weather flavors like pecans and browned butter. I think the secret ingredient, however, is salt. Coarse crumbs of rocky French sea salt and rich butter toffee is holy matrimony. For the toffee, I followed Martha Stewart's Fleur de Sel toffee recipe. You will have half a pan of toffee left over, and it is very delicious on its own.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, browned
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 lb fluer de sel toffee, chopped into small pieces (recipe here)
optional: fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt for sprinkling

In a medium frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook until the butter begins to brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside. In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Mix in vanilla. Fold nuts and toffee into the dough with a spatula. Arrange 1 tbsp-sized balls of cookie dough on a baking tray, about an inch apart and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle hot cookies with sea salt and cool on a rack.

I'm really looking forward to cool weather. Happy autumnal equinox, everyone!

2 comments:

  1. oh wow. those cookies look amazing!! the "salted" part is what gets me. i've really been wanting to try that browned butter sea salt chocolate chip cookie recipe, it just sound so good!

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh wow. those cookies look amazing!! the "salted" part is what gets me. i've really been wanting to try that browned butter sea salt chocolate chip cookie recipe, it just sound so good!

    ReplyDelete

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