Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flour's Oreo Cookies and Marcella Hazan's Spaghetti Carbonara

These days, when I do cook, I keep things super simple and last night was no exception: I made a Sweet Lady Jane-inspired fig, speck, feta spinach salad with a shallot red wine vinaigrette, Marcella Hazan's Spaghetti Carbonara and Joanne Chang / Flour's Oreo Cookies (K. and his family loves Oreos). The cookies were the most time consuming, but everything else was put together in less than an hour. I've made Marcella Hazan's spaghetti carbonara several times now and it always a quick, yet delicious and creamy dish, with the smooth eggy cheesy sauce and little pops of pancetta and peas (not in the recipe, but a good addition). Like everything else from the Flour Cookbook, the Oreo Cookies were delightful and a much loved, an elevated tasty version of the original. They were crunchy and crumbly (but not dense) with a deep chocolate / fudgy flavor on the outside with the sweet creamy frosting on the inside. Again, very well balanced and not overly sweet.
The cookie dough: 2 sticks of melted butter mixed with 3/4 cups of granulated sugar, then 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 cup of melted chocolate and 1 egg. Then it's mixed with the dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 tsp of baking soda, 3/4 cup of cocoa powder, 1 tsp of kosher salt. Let it rest for 1 hour at room temp
Dough is rolled into a log (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter, 10-12 inches long) in parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, rerolling every 15 minutes or so to keep the cylindrical shape.
Cut into 1/4 inches slices and place on cookie sheet, at least 1 inch apart. Bake for 23 minutes at 325, rotating once, until firm on top
My first batch: did not space them 1 inch apart. Also, came out flat instead of rounded on top. Wonder if it's the silpat, never quite comes out right vs. parchment paper
Assembled cookies! Frosting is 1/2 cup of softened butter, 1 2/3 cups of confectioners' sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 TB milk, pinch of kosher salt. About 1 TB of filling per cookie. I made about 22 cookies total. They are huge, like 3-4x the size of an oreo cookie
Spaghetti Carbonara: super easy. Saute 4 smashed cloves of garlic in a few TB of olive oil until they've infused the olive oil with garlicky flavor and turn golden brown, then discard. Then cook 4 oz of pancetta in the oil until crispy, then add 1/4 cup of white wine and let it boil for a minute or two. Meanwhile, cook 1 lb of spaghetti, tossing in 1/4 lb of peas for the last minute. In a large serving bowl, crack 2 eggs, 3/4 - 1 cup of parmesan or pecorino romano and lots of coarsely cracked black pepper and mix. Toss everything together in the end.
Fig, Speck, Feta, Almond Spinach Salad with shallot red wine vinaigrette (minced shallots, red wine vinegar, agave, dijon, salt, pepper, olive oil)
I made the Sweet Lady Jane version of the salad a few days ago, with pancetta and arugula instead of speck and spinach. Both work!

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