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Author Notes: Back in November, I found a recipe for Hazelnut Polvorones- which are similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies-but this recipe contained no flour. Instead, it called for all cornstarch -which produced this amazing melt-in-your-mouth quality. But I wanted to work with other nuts and flavorings, so I started making variants. After consistent trial and error, I came up with a successful recipe for Maple Pecan and Lemon Pecan Polvorones, and finally, for Pistachio Green Tea Polvorones. Because the experiments sometimes came out too crumbly, I substituted a little flour for cornstarch, to give a little more structure to the dough. I liked the texture and shape of these green tea cookies, and the robustness of the green tea flavor, but they were a little lacking in sweetness................ And then I had this idea>> maybe I could make a filling of green tea truffle (with white chocolate) to add a bit of sweetness and a surprising texture.......
Fun idea, but how to not lose the truffle filling through melting, pushing and leaking
through the wall of the cookie ? Well, after 3 months of experimenting, I can now say , "I think I've got it!"
For the truffle filling, I knew that the normal ratio of 1 to 1 cream to chocolate- would be too meltable, so I used less cream than white chocolate, froze small tsp size truffle balls, inserted one in each cookie dough ball, froze the balls and then baked them frozen. Yesssssss!!Hoorah!!! It worked. So now you bite into this small melt-in-your-mouth, crumbly cookie, but then your teeth get to the creamy chewy bit (the truffle melds with the cookie dough at the center )with just enough sweetness to complement the lesser sweetness of the cookie.The truffle filling does make the cookie more labor intensive, but you can always omit it and add a bit more sugar to the cookie dough.
This basic recipe is not a flexible one in one respect. If you omit the brandy
(yes, only 2 T.!) the cookies fall apart when you try to remove them from the cookie sheet! Who would think 2T. of liquid would make such a huge difference? But it does.
And I finally figured out why. That 2T is needed to bond the dough together, to give the cookies structure, as in a pie crust dough. I haven't tried substituting any other liquid for brandy, but I would think orange juice or bourbon might work in its place. In my experiments, I also found that chilling helps with 2 steps: chilling the dough makes it easier to form the balls without them getting greasy; and freezing the filled balls before baking- results in a cookie that has a nice domed shape rather than a flat one, with a filling that does not leak out.
—LE BEC FIN
Pistachio Green Tea Cookie Dough
- 2 cups raw,shelled,unsalted pistachios
- 1/4 cup demerara sugar, ground to powder
- 2 tablespoons 'white whole wheat' or spelt flour
- 1 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons high quality green tea powder (matcha)
- 2 pinches kosher salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
- In food processor, pulse to grind pistachios with sugar til fine. Add cornstarch through Salt and pulse to combine thoroughly. Run a round-tipped knife around the bottom corner of the processor bowl , to free up any compacted mixture. Add butter and pulse til finely combined, but not clumping/sticky. Combine vanilla and brandy and add while pulsing. Before mixture gets creamy and clumps together, pour out into a 9" square pan (or 8 or 10" square pan) .Spread with metal spatula to even the thickness and smooth the top. Cover and refrigerate or freeze. Allow 1/2-1 hour to thoroughly chill and firm up. Score and cut into a grid that is 8 squares by 6 squares. .
- Run a metal spatula or a butter knife under the cubes; lift sections of them and roll each into a ball, adding to or removing from them to get all about the same size. Return to square pan, set aside to await filling
- To fill with truffle, push a frozen truffle into center of cookie ball, wrapping dough around and covering the truffle completely.(If truffle is not in the center, it may melt and leak through the cookie walls when baked.) Roll between palms to make a neat ball, and place in container. Cover filled cookie balls and freeze at least a half hour.
- Oven 350 degrees. Remove balls from freezer, arrange 2” apart on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet and bake immediately 17-20 minutes or til lightly browned on edges. Remove sheet from oven, place on cooling rack, and let cookies cool on pan for minimum of 1/2 hour.(They need time to set up; otherwise they will crumble.) Carefully use a metal spatula to move the cookies to a container, placed shoulder to shoulder. Sieve over them a solid layer of confectioners sugar.(You can add some matcha powder to this if you want a green color.) Cover and store.
- Notes: Green Tea powder can vary in quality,strength and texture. To develop this recipe, I used green tea powder purchased through Amazon in 8.8 ou. foil packs. Whatever matcha you use, make sure it is in a powder form. If granular, grind to a powder. Depending upon the brand, you may want to increase or lessen the amount of sugar. * This dough can sometimes be a bit finicky. You may want to first roll and bake (unfilled) just a few cookies as a test batch. If, after cooling 1/2 hour, they fall apart when you try to eat them, sprinkle1-2 T more brandy over all the dough and work it in as you roll or re-roll each ball.I have worked hard to assure that this recipe does not require fixing, but one never knows the variables in another kitchen! **Comments: The truffle filling is optional but I prefer that version because of the added sweetness and the surprise of a creamy chewy center in a melty sandy cookie. If you choose to make unfilled cookies, add 1/8 cup more sugar and 1 T. more brandy when you make the dough.
Green Tea White Chocolate Truffle Filling
- 9.6 ounces Caillebaut white chocolate, shaved/sliced small
- 3 ounces heavy cream
- 6 3/4 teaspoons green tea powder
- 3 pinches kosher salt
- Spread out 1 inch layer of white chocolate in ceramic dish or heavy plastic container. Put in microwave and cover lightly (not tight saran or a cover that snaps shut). At medium , heat for 2 minutes. Stir with rubber spatula..Repeat as needed til all chocolate is melted.. Should be smooth, shiny and loose. In a small ramekin,lightly covered, microwave heavy cream on medium high power for 1 minute (should be hot to the touch.) Remove and add matcha, stirring with fork til smooth. Add half of the cream to the chocolate,quickly stir, add rest of cream and stir til combined. Mixture will be weird/thick/ not shiny,( but it doesn't matter because it is just a filling.).
- Freeze filling for 1/2 hour. Scoop out in 1 teaspoon portions; quickly roll in your palms to a ball shape (perfection not necessary.) If too soft , freeze til mixture hardens; then use teaspoon measure to form into balls. Keep frozen.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Green Stuff
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Tea
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