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Rosemary Pine Nut Cookies

A couple of weekends ago I set out to recreate the famous Butterscotch Budino from Pizzeria Mozza. The real deal is delicious and I have wanted to try it at home ever since I first saw the recipe published online. When the Mozza Cookbook came into my life, I knew this recipe was my destiny.

Unfortunately, the quantity of cornstarch in the published recipe is incorrect. As I was measuring the cornstarch, I knew it seemed wrong, but decided to carry on and trust the book. Long story short, I ended up with some puddings that tasted like cornstarch. They were inedible.

It was frustrating, of course, but the team behind the book (who had seen my tweet about the problem) quickly responded with apologies. Mistakes happen, and it was nice to see this one taken so seriously. I didn’t expect anything less. Silverton & Co. take their books very seriously, which is part of why I love them and will continue to cook from them. It was a good lesson for me in trusting my instincts, I knew it didn’t make any sense. (For the record, if you have the book and want to make the budino, the quantity of cornstarch should be 4 tablespoons.)

These Rosemary Pine Nut Cookies that were to accompany the butterscotch puddings were suddenly without a date. Luckily, they they are pretty awesome on their own and were fantastic when they hooked up with that burnt orange ice cream [1]. It is a bit of a project, this recipe. But if you spread it out over a couple of days, you’ll find it is quite easy and the results are pretty impressive.

It is a good example of a recipe that successfully combines sweet and savory elements and a reminder that all’s well that ends well.

Rosemary Pine Nut Cookies (from the Mozza Cookbook [2])

The Nougatine Topping:

In a small, heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine the cream, sugar and honey. Use a small sharp knife to split and scrape the vanilla bean. Smear the scrapings on the butter. Discard the bean or save for another use. Add the butter with the vanilla scrapings to the pan and cook over high heat, stirring once or twice, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add the sifted flour, whisking until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl and fold in the pine nuts and sprig of rosemary. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before removing the rosemary spring and transferring the mixture to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

The Dough:

 

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to incorporate. Add the flour and the polenta, and mix until thoroughly combined. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Dust a flat surface with flour, cut the dough into chunks, and knead the dough to soften it, until the dough is the texture of Play-Doh. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thick, adding more flour, if needed. Cut the dough with a 1 1/4 or 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter, keeping the cuts as close together as possible. Lift the rounds onto the parchment, and place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets (gather scraps and reroll once).
Work the nougatine between your fingers, creating a thin disk about the size of a dime for small cookies or a quarter for large cookies. Place the disk of nougatine in the middle of the cookie.  Stick two rosemary tufts on top of the cookie, making sure to pierce the dough so the rosemary doesn’t fall off after baking.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until they are golden brown around the edges and the nougatine has darkened. Remove to racks to cool to room temperature before serving.

Makes between 1 1/2-3 dozen cookies depending on the size of cutter you use.