4.23.2014

Leaf Lard Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies w/ Salted Honey Buttercream


Leaf Lard Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies w/ Salted Honey Buttercream


Leaf Lard Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies w/ Salted Honey Buttercream

Note to self:
If you put buttercream between two warm chocolate chips cookies, it will probably melt. (pictured below)
Additional note to self:
This is ok because you can just lick the buttercream off the paper.  (not pictured below)
Growing up my grandmother had this “thing” about that pre-made packaged cookie dough.
It was the same “thing” she had about the chicken at Kentucky Fried and how in no way did Jesus ever intend for chicken wings to be that big..
“Where they gettin them chickens from? I'm telling you that ain't real chicken”
We didn’t eat there.
We didn’t eat the pre-made cookie dough either..  My guess is Jesus didn’t intend for dough to be wrapped in plastic although I’m still a little unsure of the logic behind the Tollhouse aversion.
I remember feeling left out. Everyone was eating those cookies in that yellow packaging but me.
It wasn’t until my time with Ms.Mattie that I learned the process of making them from scratch. By then as an adult, I was fully versed on the art of tollhouse slice and bake.  
Then I became fully versed in the art of lard and corn syrup, which were to two main ingredients in Ms. Mattie’s chocolate chip cookies. 
Sweet would not be an accurate description for these cookies. If you can imagine the combination of  corn syrup and the pure cane sugar that was used for these cookies you’d have an idea.
Nevertheless, they are still the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had..

Leaf Lard Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies w/ Salted Honey Buttercream


There are 6,4543,35436 chocolate chip cookie recipes on the internet. I don’t see a lot using lard or shortening or even the greatness of corn syrup.
Is that a southern thing? The corn syrup and the lard part?.. I’m gonna go with yes..
But I’m still curious..
Ms. Matties recipe is a good one.. but sweet really very sweet.
So I found another one in a cookbook that I received recently by a wonderful chef here in Atlanta.
About a few pages in there is a recipe for Leaf Lard (Lardo) Chocolate Chip Cookies.. Clearly this was a sign.. a sign to make y’all some cookies.. with Lard..
Cause I was feelin fancy, I decided to make a little salted honey buttercream to consciously couple two cookies to make them complete. Yes, I went there...
This resulted in a heavenly sandwich cookie with buttercream that will melt when spread on a hot cookie.  So don’t be impatient like me and let them cool first. Or be prepared to lick buttercream off of parchment paper when no one's looking.
Waste not want not…




Leaf Lard Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies w/ Salted Honey Buttercream


Leaf Lard Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies W/ Salted Honey Buttercream
Prep Time- 45 mins (1 to 24 hours of inactive time) Cook Time- 7-10 mins Yields- 24 sandwich cookies


*side note- Leaf lard is the highest grade of lard and has no pork flavor when added to baked goods.
It can be somewhat tricky to track down. Check with your local butcher (mine calls it “White Gold”) or you can easily render your own.  Try this step by step from the Kitchn.*




Ingredients:
For the Cookies
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 ¼ sticks butter, unsalted at room temperature
1 cup leaf lard, at room temperature
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon fleur de sel  (if you don’t have this, Maldon or any other good quality flaky sea salt will do)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
4 ½ cups all purpose flour
3 cups chocolate, coarsely chopped

For the Buttercream:
1 cup of butter, unsalted
3 tablespoons honey
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons fleur de sel or any other good quality sea salt
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream


Directions:

For the cookies: In a stand mixer (paddle attachment), cream together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, lard ,baking soda and half of the fleur de sel. Once the mixture is incorporated add the eggs one at a time, making sure ingredients are well mixed after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and vinegar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Reduce the mixer speed to low; then add in flour slowly until just combined. Add in chocolate mixing just briefly to incorporate. . Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate  for at least an hour but up to 24 hours. ( I let mine sit and chill overnight, that gave me better results than the 2nd batch I made that just chilled for about 2 hours)

To make the buttercream:  Whip together the butter and honey using a stand mixer until light and fluffy.  (I used the whisk attachment) Add in powdered sugar, salt and cream mixing until all ingredients are whipped and well incorporated.   I placed the prepared buttercream in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it for my cookies.  Be sure to allow the buttercream to come to room temp before using. And giving it a little re-whip if needed.

When ready to bake the cookies, Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. ( I needed 2 baking sheets). Scoop about a tablespoon of dough for each cookie sprinkle with remaining fleur de sel and place them about 1 inch and a half apart on the baking sheet allowing the cookies room to spread while baking. Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheet halfway through  baking. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes (at  the most) The edges will be slightly browned and the center of the cookies will look slightly undercooked. (This is ok)
Allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack.


To assemble cookies: Spread about a tablespoon of buttercream on the bottom of one cookie, then place the second cookie on top,  bottom side down to make sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies. This made 24 cookies for me the first 2 times I made them... The 3rd time I got only got about 16 cookies because I ate a few and I might of made them a little larger than I should have..

4.09.2014

Rosemary Orange Cream Biscuits

Rosemary Orange Cream Biscuits

Rosemary Orange Cream Biscuits

There is this feeling that I have about biscuits; this sense of accomplishment every time I take a pan or skillet full of warm flaky biscuits out of my oven. I can’t help but smile and remember the journey that I took to get here. Biscuits were the very first thing I ever learned how to make, with the guidance of 2 very different cooks.. Something you enjoy, something that seems so simple can turn out to be an innumerable lesson in patience and leaf lard.
You need equal parts lard and butter.. Use just shortening
The buttermilk must be cold..  
Then never use shortening cause only the “fat of a pig” can fluff those biscuits..
These rules and processes began to take away from my adoration of the beloved buttery southern gems..
It took a day in the kitchen with my great aunt for me to turn back around and keep trying.
Her words were to stop overthinking what you’re preparing.. Take the love you feel in your soul for those sitting around the table and let it flow to the food and it’ll show in those biscuits..
Which I’ve always been told is the true meaning of “Soul Food”  
“And if that don’t work use 2 handfuls of flour and a mug of cream.. is all the same”

So with that I walked down this path to biscuitville with a handful of cream biscuits.

Rosemary Orange Cream Biscuits

In their simplest form, Cream Biscuits are 2 cups of self-rising flour and 1 cup of cream.. The end result is a flaky biscuit that could win over anybody.
There is a batch of biscuits made every Sunday in my house, some more complex than others. This is sort of a necessary act for me, reliving this tradition. Sunday dinner meant a gathering at the table, normally my Aunt Mabel’s house.. There were always biscuits and in the summer some church folk would meet in the park and break bread together.
There was this one lady who made this “cake” and I use that term loosely because this cake was really one large cream biscuit that she’d cook in a cake pan, then slice through the middle and add homemade orange marmalade and whipping cream to the center..
Sweet Orange Cake..
It was everything a cake should be and the inspiration behind these biscuits..

Warm biscuits that are studded with bits of orange zest and rosemary are nothing short of incredible. They’re also very simple with impressive results.

Rosemary Orange Cream Biscuits




Rosemary Orange Cream Biscuits
Prep Time-20 mins Cook Time- 12-14 mins Yields-  1 dozen 

Ingredients:                                                                                                     

2 cups self-rising flour                                                                                                   
1 cup heavy whipping cream                                                                     
Zest of 1 orange
¼ cup of orange juice
3 tablespoons rosemary, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400
Add the flour to a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in cream stirring until flour is moistened. Add in orange zest, juice and rosemary. Mix with spatula until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If there is flour remaining on the bottom of the bowl add some additional cream (about a tablespoon at a time).
Lightly sprinkle a board or other clean surface with flour. Turn dough out onto board and sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough. With floured hands, pat dough out to a ½ inch thick, fold dough in half and pat out into a ½ an inch thick for a normal size biscuit or about ¾ inch for taller biscuits. Brush off any visible flour from the tops of the biscuits. Using a biscuit cutter (or the rim of a drinking glass) cut out each biscuit.  Use the scraps to make additional biscuits.
Waste not want not.
Place biscuits  onto  a buttered or greased baking pan. Bake biscuits for a total of 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and serve while warm. Brush biscuit tops with melted butter if that’s your thing.


A few things:  To give biscuits a nice brown top, brush them with the egg white of one egg. My grandma uses a egg yolk and cream egg wash but this can cause your biscuits to get brown rather quickly if not watching. If using a skillet, warm the skillet in the oven first for about 10-15 minutes then add your biscuits to the skillet. This makes for a crustier bottom on the biscuit..