Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fig and Blue Cheese Savories

We went to a going-away cocktail party recently (the kind where the hosts are trying to put to good use all of the alcohol they can't/don't feel like moving to their new place), and while we were asked not to bring additional wine/beer, we were invited to bring snacks. I wanted to do something bite-size, non-sweet, and easy, since we were also hosting out-of-town friends that weekend.

The easy part was slightly questionable only because our current kitchen has tiled counters, so rolling any type of dough is always a bit of a challenge. (I ended up doing it on a big bamboo cutting board. Special thanks to Mihai who made the indentations and placed the fig jam filling while I struggled to roll out the dough and cursed whoever came up with the idea of tiled counters.) If you aren't plagued with tiled counters however, this is a great recipe since the dough otherwise comes together very quickly in a food processor.

Word of warning: if you are serving this at a party, it may make sense to create some sort of sign for what this is - Mihai and I thought these were really tasty, as did some of the other party guests, but apparently those who were expecting a sweet cookie were in for a bit of a surprise.

Fig and Blue Cheese Savories
Adapted from Food52

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup butter, room temperature
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
Ground black pepper
Fig preserves, about 3 tablespoons

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the flour, butter, blue cheese and a few grinds of black pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the dough just comes together and starts to form a ball.

3. Lay out a couple of sheets of plastic (saran) wrap, so that they overlap and form a large surface. Lightly flour the plastic, dump the dough on top of it, and knead a few times to pull the dough together. Sprinkle some more flour on top of the dough and cover with another sheet (or two) of saran wrap. Now roll the dough under the second surface of plastic wrap with a rolling pin until it's roughly ⅛ inch thick. If you have tiled counters, the plastic wrap method is the only thing that'll keep you from tearing out your hair when you have to roll out dough (thanks, Amanda!). Even if you have nice, smooth counters, I am sure this method is extremely helpful.

4. Cut rounds out of the dough with a floured 1-inch cutter (we used a shot glass) and transfer the rounds to the parchment-lined baking sheet.

5. Using the non-spoon end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation in the top of each dough round. Spoon about ¼ teaspoon of fig preserves into each indentation, using your finger to push the preserves as best as possible into the indentations.

6. Bake the savories for 10 – 14 minutes, until the preserves are bubbling and the pastry is light golden on the bottom.

7. Let cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes, then remove to a plate (or wire rack if you have one) to cool some more.