Friday, March 20, 2009

Southern cookies will delight you

Makes 28 cookies

Preparation time: 20 min., Bake: 15 min.

½ cup almond paste
1 large egg, separated
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons milk
½ (17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Chocolate Dipping Sauce (optional, recipe follows)

BEAT ½ cup almond paste, egg yolk, brown sugar, and milk at medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined. (Mixture will be very stiff.) Set aside.

UNFOLD pastry, and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 14-inch square; cut in half.

PRESS almond mixture gently and evenly over one rectangle. Place the remaining rectangle on top of filling.

CUT pastry crosswise into fourteen 1-inch-wide strips; cut each strip in half to make 28 pieces.

TWIST each piece twice. Place the twists about 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Lightly beat egg white, and brush evenly on each twist. Sprinkle evenly with granulated sugar.

BAKE at 400° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Serve with Chocolate Dipping Sauce, if desired.

Chocolate Dipping Sauce:
Makes 3 cups
Preparation time: 10 min., Cook: 25 min.

6 (1.55-ounce) milk chocolate bars, chopped
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups whipping cream
1 egg yolk, beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

COMBINE first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir in cream. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, just until chocolate is melted.

WHISK ½ cup warm chocolate mixture into egg yolk in a small bowl; add to remaining warm chocolate mixture. Increase heat to medium-low, and cook 20 minutes, whisking constantly, just until sauce comes to a boil.

REMOVE from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into a serving bowl.

NOTE: Leftover sauce can be refrigerated and served as pudding.
Copyright Southern Progress Corporation Jan 2006
Excerpted from Paula Deen & Friends: Living It Up, Southern Style

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