Monday, December 13, 2010

Doughn't Mind If I Do

Pastry dough. Ain't nothin like it.... it's buttery, it's flaky, it's crunchy, it melts in your mouth. And have you ever thought of how versatile it is? It can be either savory or sweet, highly convenient if you're like me and need to have a little bit of both.

At my Thanksgiving dinner, an investment in 2 sheets of pastry dough resulted in my serving my guests 2 cups full of sea salt clad mustard batons, as well as some sweet, carmelized four-spice palmiers (delicious crunchy French cookies). I based the batons on this recipe from "Savoring Time in the Kitchen", and the palmier on this one from "Food Lover Odyssey." The leftovers--what little there were--made me a very happy snacker the following day.

Follow my lead.




For mustard batons:
1 pastry sheet ($4.89)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard ($1.79)
1 large egg ($0.20)
Sea salt and pepper
All purpose flour, for rolling out puff pastry
Parchment paper

For palmiers:
1 sheet of pastry dough (see above)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon ($1.99)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger ($1.99)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg ($1.99)
1/8 teaspoon allspice ($1.99)
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus an extra 3 tablespoons
Parchment paper

The Grand Total: $4.36 for the mustard batons, $10.41for the palmiers

For the mustard batons (from Savoring Time in the Kitchen):

Place the racks inside the oven so that the oven is divided into thirds (or, use a toaster oven). Preheat oven to 400F. Place a silicone baking mat or parchment paper on two large baking sheets.

Take one pastry sheet out of the package and keep the other refrigerated until ready to use. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it measures 12 x 16 inches, approximately, with the shortest end facing you. Find the middle and mark it lightly. On the lowest half, spread about ¼ cup of mustard, stopping about 1/8 inch from the side and bottom edges. Fold the top of the dough over the bottom. 

Mark the pastry every ¾ inch or so, then cut into strips using a pizza/pastry cutter or sharp knife.
Carefully, transfer the strips to one of the lined baking sheets (keeping about 2 inches between them since they will puff up) and chill or freeze while you work on the second sheet of puff pastry. At this point, you can freeze them on the sheets and then wrap air-tight until ready to use for up to 2 months.

 When ready to bake, beat the egg with a little cold water and brush the tops of the strips. Sprinkle them with coarsely ground pepper and sea salt. You could also use poppy or sesame seeds.
Bake for 8 minutes, rotate and transfer the sheets, then bake for another 7 to 8 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.

For the palmiers (from Food Lover Odyssey): 
Mix together the 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.  Sprinkle a generous portion (about 3 tablespoons) of the mixture onto the sheet of puff pastry.  Starting at the outer edges, fold over 2 1/2 inches of the puff towards the center of  the sheet.  Do this on both sides.  Sprinkle the newly folded over portions with the spiced sugar mixture.
From both outer edges, fold another 2 1/2 inches over towards the center.  Do this on both sides.  At this point, the folds will meet in the center.  Sprinkle the newly folded over portions with the spiced sugar mixture. Fold the two parts together.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 410ºF and place parchment paper on two baking sheets.

Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator and slice into even slices, 3/8-1/2 inch in thickness.  Place on the baking sheet, leaving a 3-inch space between each palmier.  Sprinkle the tops of each sliced palmier, first with the spiced-sugar mixture, then again with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar.

Bake for 15-17 minutes until lightly golden. Cool slightly. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you enjoyed the Mustard Batons and thanks so much for letting me know you made them!

    Palmiers look wonderful too. Now that you've bought all of the seasonings they'll cost even less to make next time!