A colorful range of dried fruits ( prunes, candied orange, cranberries, and apricots) are folded into a creamy hazelnut frangipane. A dollop of this is placed in a doubled square of buttered filo, and pinched up into a 'kiss'. Baked kisses make a unique addition to a finger sweets display(my initial motivation) and can be served as is or accompanied by a vanilla crème anglaise dipping sauce.
In standing mixer with paddle, beat 6 ounces butter and sugar til soft and creamy. Add eggs a little at a time, then add flour, rum, hazelnuts, scraping up sides of bowl to mix well. Transfer to shallower bowl and fold in chopped fruit. (Can be held in frig a few days as is.)
Open up filo onto the side of your counter and cover well with dampened towels. Remove 2 sheets of filo together and place in front of you, horizontally. Fold back one side of the top sheet, lightly butter the bottom filo and cover with the top fold. Fold back the other side of the top sheet and repeat the method. Lightly butter the whole top sheet,especially the edges (they dry out first). Cut through the 2 sheets into 9 squares. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of each square. Pull up around the filling and pinch into a kiss or purse shape. Lightly butter all the outsides of the kisses and place them shoulder to shoulder on a sheet pan. Freeze sheet pan in sealed plastic bag or transfer kisses to sealed container. Keep in freezer (or frig.) and bake on parchment or silpat at 350-375 degrees F for ~ 20 minutes til browned and filling is firm. Serve plain or with creme anglaise.
* Optional- macerate chopped fruit in brandy, armagnac and/or sweetened black tea concentrate that has been brought to boil and then turned off. Fruit can sit in it overnight, then remove the fruit and cook briefly over low heat til fairly dry. Cool and use as above. Remaining liquid can be used for drinking or with ice cream or in another dessert recipe.
I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom.
I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??!
While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines.
Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!)
I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me.
I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.