Wednesday, January 27, 2010

When friends come to town...foodie friends :)

 My dear sweet friend whom I have known for...well...many years lives in Santorini, Greece. She is a wonderful chef, a fabulous masseuse, and an all round great gal...please meet Phenix!

This year she is launching her SaFooWi tours...Santorini Food and Wine tours. You can pay one price and stay 10 days...dine in all the best restaurants, tour the local wineries, take Greek cooking classes by Phenix and ME :) Stay in traditional cave houses that have been renovated from an old monastery, lay on the black sand beaches, sail in the Aegean Sea and generally have the time of your life in one of the most picturesque places in the world! The price is reasonable the the maiden voyage is in May of this year so if you are interested please write to me and I will give you more info...

Dontcha just love it when your foodie friends come around and you have an excuse to cook things you have been thinking about but never get around to doing cuz your life gets in the way???
So Marty has a new house and wants us all to come see and visit with Phenix so she says, "bring some finger food, it's an afternoon affair". Well, can I just buy some chips and dip and leave it at that??? NOOOOO.... I get some fresh crab and make these insane crab cakes with homemade chili-lime aioli and savory biscotti (which I wasn't a fan of...) Kenny made very tasty and fun lettuce wraps with wild shrimp, fresh ginger and jalpeno that surprisingly went perfect with the aioli that I had made...
and then I made the killer... dulce de leche cookies that I saw while surfing around on this blogspot... I got the original from "form my home to yours via" but right in character...I couldn't just do her recipe I had to expand on something that was already delicious...
The original recipe looked fine but I thought what if I put chocolate chips in there...or maybe some toasted pecan pieces... or or or... get where my head goes!
I go to the store to purchase what I thought was chocolate chips and the dulce de leche and while on the bakers isle I see next to the chocolate chips... HEATH TOFFEE CHIPS!!! Yah baby!!! Toffee chips in an already caramelly, buttery, gooey filled cookie... oh yeah!
So as I am making the wonderfulness... I taste the batter and it needs just a little something... vanilla I see is missing in the recipe so I look in my cabinet and see my coveted Tahitian vanilla... this I save for very special desserts and sweets... it was not only perfect in these cookies but it added an extra dimension of flavor that I didn't expect...folks asked me if there was coconut in them and some asked if there was peanut butter in them and another asked if there was cinnamon in them...nope! Just that incredible vanilla. Amazing what a good vanilla can do to brighten up flavors!
So here is the recipe with my changes... have fun and try not to eat too many of these... they are caloric indeed!! I ate 6!! ;)

   Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies
 recipe from Baking: from my home to yours and
 modified by chefany :)

 makes 30 sandwich cookies
 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup store-bought dulce de leche, plus more for filling
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp Tahitian vanilla or pure vanilla
2 large eggs
½ bag Heath toffee pieces available in the baking isle
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the upper third of the oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  
In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until just softened and broken up a bit.  Add the 3/4 cup dulce de leche, brown sugar and granulated sugar.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate.  Then add the vanilla.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients all at once.  Mix only until the flour is just incorporated.  By hand stir in the toffee pieces being careful not to overmix.
 Spoon the dough onto the lined baking sheets using a heaping teaspoon of dough for each cookie.  The dough will be soft and this might be a bit messy.  Leave 2 inches of space between each cookie for the baking spread.  
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes.  The cookies will be honey brown with a light crust, but still very soft when they come out of the oven.  Let them rest on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before removing to cool.  
Once the cookies are cooled completely, spread them with dulce de leche and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt if you like. I used fluer de sel from France…  Keep well wrapped for up to four days. If they keep that long…these things are very addictive!!

1 comment:

Velva said...

Foodie friends, bring out out the foodie in you! Awesome post. The food and wine tour sounds divine.