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|June 18- June 25, 2009
• Sustainable seafood
How long will our tables teem with fishy delicacies?
by Joan Obra
• Deceptively healthy
Don’t mistake V.G.’s vegan treats for meat
by Clay Fong
The Dessert Diva
A local chef shares her sweet secrets
by Danette Randall
I just realized as I sit down to write, I am really nuts about nuts. This is the third recipe in a row containing nuts, and once again I am full of facts. Perhaps I will spare you all of the cold, hard details of this pesky nut, but wouldn’t that be unfair to the pine, piñon or pignolia? I personally don’t care what you call it because I just call it tasty, tasty, tasty. I can’t think of another nut that is so vastly used, sweet or savory. The use for this recipe is, of course, sweet: Pine Nut Sesame Seed Butter Cookies.
Though they are widely known in the U.S. as pine nuts, many here in the Southwest refer to them by their Spanish name, piñon nuts. If you have been been to New Mexico, you know how readily available they are. They have a piñon nut coffee that is out of this world — the next time you cruise through there I suggest you grab a cup. These same snacks are known as pignolia nuts in Europe. Many countries on that side of the pond have a cookie made with pignolia nuts and almond paste that is traditional for most holidays. This recipe is a little different take on the European cookie.
They are great to bake with, due to the mildy sweet and nutty flavor that lingers on your palate, which only intensifies as they are baked and/or toasted. They have a great shelf life when you store them in your refrigerator, which makes buying them in bulk the least expensive option.
I added some sesame seeds to bump up the nutty, earthy flavor. They work so well together and make for quite a treat. Well, as you’re reading this, please know that I am working very hard (a little sympathy here, people). I mean, I have to go the Aspen Food and Wine Classic and well... drink. I will be eating, too, but of course the drinking is one of the best parts. A little wine here and little Scotch there. Oh, yeah, and mingling with all the chefs, learning what they are doing for the upcoming season. A few years ago I interviewed Boulder’s own Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson from Frasca. This year he will be on Top Chef Masters, so I will see if I can get any exciting info to pass along.
I am also really hoping to run into my buddy Ming Tsai. He and I always have a good time, especially when we do a live TV segment at 7 in the morning and have to sample the products. But wouldn’t it just be wrong to turn away a nice crisp glass of Chardonnay even if I haven’t had a bite to eat and have a few cups of coffee swimming in my belly (perhaps a nice piñon nut coffee). That, my friends, would just be nutty.
OK. Follow the directions, put some love into it, and invite me over when it’s done. Oh, and stay tuned for details from the Classic!
Pine Nut Sesame Seed Butter Cookies
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup pine nuts
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl add flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add in egg and almond extract and mix well. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix well. Fold in sesame seeds.
Place pine nuts in small bowl. Roll dough into tablespoon sized balls, dip one side quickly into pine nuts, just picking up a few. Place on baking sheet dough side down.
Bake for 12-13 minutes until edges and pine nuts are golden brown. Place on cooling rack or parchment paper.
Before serving, dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
Note: If you want the cookies to have more pine nuts, you may need to use a full cup. A lot or a little, they are still delicious.
You can watch the Dessert Diva every Monday at 8:35 a.m. on Channel 2. To contact Danette at the station, visit 2theduece.com and click on Daybreak on the Deuce. To chat with and/or send comments and suggestions, write to email@example.com.
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