Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Greek Pinwheels

I want to kiss the inventor of puff pastry, and I don't mean one of those polite little kisses some cultures use as a greeting. Is there anything puff pastry can't do? It's so versatile in that it can be used for all types of recipes, but it also - get this - puffs! How fun is that? And the buttery goodness that coats your mouth when you take a bite... I just love it. There's just one thing that sometimes throws me about puff pastry, and I'm going to be honest here: 2 sheets per box when I only want 1 for a recipe. Some people love keeping spare ingredients on hand, but I'm not those people. No, I'm the person who forgets something is around and then lets it go bad before it gets used. Given that puff pastry isn't cheap, I don't want it succumbing to frost bite because I failed to find a use for it. Welcome to the reason I tried this recipe.

Greek Pinwheels

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tbsp. beaten egg
3/4 tsp. water
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
1 tsp. Greek seasoning

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Unfold puff pastry. Whisk egg and water; brush over pastry.
Combine and mix remaining ingredients, and spread over pastry to within 1/2 inch of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, and cut into twenty 1/2-inch slices.

Place 2 inches apart on stones, and bake 10-12 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.

We have a ton of spices, but the Greek Rub may be my favorite. Use it on meat, vegetables, etc., and thank me later. Seasoning is in a Measuring Spoon while feta hangs out in a Measuring Cup. Then I've also got the Easy Opener to pop the seal on my artichoke hearts. All these gems are resting on a Cutting Board.

Have I ever told you how much I adore the Manual Food Processor? Just stick your ingredients inside, and pump the top until they're chopped to your liking. Love.

Sorry, but this is where the pictures end. What can I say? I just wasn't in the mood to wash my hands and use my camera. Instead, I stayed covered in egg, Greek mixture, and puff pastry, assuming all my friends could use their imaginations to picture what it looks like to fill, slice, and bake pinwheels. In all seriousness, I got really messy, and I don't know how. I think once you get slimy things on your fingers, it's all downhill, and all bets are off. That's what happened here, but the end result was still fabulous. Egg: 1-Cup Prep Bowl. Water: Measuring Spoon. Also pictured: Stainless Mini Whisk and Large Grooved Cutting Board.

So you've been looking for new appetizers for those spring parties you've got coming up? All together now: "Problem solved."

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

Hi, it's me - Jenny. Remember me? You know, the girl who used to be pretty consistent with this blog and then fell off the face of the earth? All I know is that when a blogger I follow goes MIA for no less than five months, I won't assume she has lost interest. Instead, I'll say, "Well, maybe her sister got married, and then she wrecked her car, and then she was Thanksgivinged, and then she moved, and then Christmas came, and then she had to ring in the New Year, and then she needed the entire month of January to get her head on straight again, and then she got ridiculously lazy in February and March because so many huge events took place the previous months, and she finally got a wake-up call and realized her blog was boasting pumpkin desserts two weeks before Easter." Yes, that's definitely the assumption I'll make in the future.

Shall we move on to the cookies? This recipe came from Amandeleine, one of the many blogs I follow-ish. Much thanks to Amanda, the chef behind the scenes, for a huge win!

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
3 oz. white chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl. Rub in butter with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.

Using a Small Scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.

Melt white chocolate, and drizzle over cooled cookies.

My best friend Elizabeth and I take great joy in picking strawberries in the summer. The ones pictured here are from our 2011 excursion because these cookies were made in the summer of 2011. Yes, I've had the pictures loaded that long. What can I say? Strawberry season got away from me. Now I just look like I'm ahead of the game for 2012, right? Moving on: I sliced my berries using the 5" Utility Knife from the Forged Cutlery Collection, and then I put them in the Medium Square Bowl from the Simple Additions Collection. Unfortunately, neither that bowl nor the Large Colander seen here are available any longer. Don't worry - you can still get the Large Grooved Cutting Board!

I'm in love with the Citrus Press. This thing is amazing for several reasons, but I guess its best feature is simply its ability to get all the juice out of lemons and limes. I used an Adjustable Measuring Spoon for the sugar. (P.S. Were these berries not just gorgeous?)

Ok, time to make things come together. The flour mixture is in a Stainless Mixing Bowl, and I'm cutting butter into it using the Pastry Blender. Then I've got milk, butter cubes, and a Quikut Paring Knife on the Cutting Board. The milk is in an Easy Read Measuring Cup, and all I can say is that people go nuts over these after they try these. My bowl of strawberries has been perfectly tossed using the Mini Mix 'n Scraper. Of everything here, I've been most impressed by the Pastry Blender. It's one of those things where you say, "Eh, I don't know that I need that." Then when you use it you say, "What did I do before I had this?!?"

Did you know the chunky sugar is just raw sugar? I've always seen it listed as something with a "t," and I could never find it at the store. Then I read somewhere that it was raw sugar, and the somewhere I read it was correct! Why am I telling you this? To prove that I'm not amazing in the kitchen. I'm the girl who bumbles around the grocery store going, "Well, I guess I don't get to use that special t-sugar again." Moving on: The sugar is in a Pinch Bowl, and the cookies are on Parchment Paper I've placed on a Cookie Sheet.

Big Stainless Mixing Bowl full of dough with a Medium Scoop and Mix 'n Scraper sticking out? Yes, please.

Melting chocolate is tricky, especially if you choose to do it directly on the eye. Make sure you watch it closely, and stir often. This is the 1.5-Qt. Saucepan from the Executive Cookware Collection, and I used the Skinny Scraper for stirring.

My favorite trick for chocolate, etc.: Put it in the corner of a plastic bag, and seal it with a Twixit! Clip. Then you can pipe away without making a mess.

These cookies were good. In fact, they were so good that I took home nothing but an empty plate after a friend's birthday party. And trust me - the plate had been way full. I don't know how to describe these except to say they're like strawberry shortcake in a cookie... good strawberry shortcake. Make some.

Like the products you saw used?
Shop Online 24/7 at
E-mail me: chefjennylyn[at]
Call me up: (205) 585-2464