I haven't posted since the holidays! The horror! Much didn't happen, then much did happen, and now I've got several drafted posts to get out and need to decide which go first. So instead, here's a couple photos of the most recent baking incident.
Earlier this month I had a request for palmiers as a birthday gift, so I [somewhat foolishly] bought a log of Amish butter from the local butcher. Foolish because 1) I neglected to notice that this was *salted* butter, something I never use and 2) it will always smell like butcher shop to me. Also probably 3) 2lbs of butter was more than I needed and more expensive than the perfectly good Cabot at home, but heck. Anyway, I had half left over and the fastest way to get rid of butter is in a 1lb butter package in pastry, SO:
Made puff pastry dough. ... only then did I go through a few recipes and realise that everything called for ingredients I didn't have (and I try to bake only with things on-hand, otherwise it would become a huge expense very quickly), fruit and cream and whatnot. Palmiers really only use butter, flour and sugar, which makes them very convenient. Eventually I found a recipe for an assembled dessert from the Ritz involving sort of a pastry sandwich around a cream/fruit filling from the Pie and Pastry Bible (I know, I know, big surprise, I'm using the book again).
The pastry discs are simply slabs of the dough rolled out thin and baked between cookie sheets to keep them flat. However, the secret (or not) addition is the nougatine crumble which tops them. I doubled the original recipe for this (figuring it can go on yogurt and stuff, too) and got a nice sheet of almond filled crunchy caramel. With a crumbled spoonful of this sprinkled on top, the pastry rounds become cookies with slightly chewy caramel and nutty almonds on top. Easy enough, attractive, and so flakey you can barely pick one up.