Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Test Recipe: Honey Sesame Cookies

This week’s test recipe was not one that had been laying around for awhile.  

Instead, the idea of finding this recipe had been floating around in my head since last winter, when Mike and I discovered a wonderful Thai restaurant, Land, just around the corner from the apartment.

For dessert, I had blood orange sorbet, which was served with a sweet, crisp sesame cookie.

While I knew how to make the sorbet, I had never had this type of cookie.

After a little searching, I found a recipe which looked similar in appearance and flavors.

But before I made the cookies, I decided to whip up some blood orange sorbet to complete the trial.

I cut open all the blood oranges, which revealed that deep, dark beautiful red color.

I juiced all of the oranges, by hand, through a small strainer until I had about 16 ounces of juice.

Then, I strained the juice again into a saucepan on the stove.

And added ½ cup sugar.

I warmed this over a medium-low flame just until all the sugar was dissolved and then chilled the syrup for the remainder of the afternoon and evening.

Now it’s time for the test recipe!

As with most recipes, I cut the recipe down so as to only yield a few cookies.  So, if you decide to make the full recipe, do not be worried if my ingredients look much smaller in comparison!

Okay – confectioner’s sugar, honey, orange juice and butter into a saucepan.

It will begin to melt.  Make sure you are stirring liberally.

And then it will begin to boil.  Let it boil for 1 minute and then remove from the heat.

Add flour, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds and orange zest to the sugar mixture.

Allow this to reach room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Following the directions, I scooped the mixture with a ½ ounce scoop and placed them far away from each other on a SilPat lined baking sheet.

Place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the top begins to become golden.

I set my timer and returned to the kitchen to do some clean-up.  When I checked on the cookies about 5 minutes later, I discovered the four cookies had melted down to become one large sheet!

No need to panic.  I already know what to do.

Once the cookie sheet was golden and removed from the oven, I allowed it to cool just a few minutes until the cookies and SilPat separated easily.

Now for some cookie cutting!  First, I grabbed my heart-shaped cutter.  I thought these would be super cute.

And they would have been – if this had actually worked.

Next, I tried various sizes of my circle cutters. 

These worked much better since you could apply pressure AND twist the cutter.

Near the end of my cutting frenzy, as the cookies began to cool off, I did run into some breakage.

I allowed these to cool completely.

About 30 minutes before we were ready for dessert, I turned on my ice cream machine and poured the chilled blood orange syrup into the vessel.

This churned for about 35 minutes and yielded the most color-rich, sweet tasting sorbet.
I plated a few scoops with one of the honey sesame cookies and delivered this week’s test recipe to Mike for evaluation.

Mike was unimpressed with the cookie.  Rather, he loved the blood orange sorbet so much, he said it did not need the cookie.  Taste and appearance wise, he found it to be distracting from the real gem of the plate.

I thought it made for a prettier presentation and enjoyed the textural contrast the cookie provided.  However, I remember the cookie from Land having a little more flour, a little less sweet and no orange.

For now, I will keep this recipe in my binder.  But I will also be sure to make a note to, eventually, find an even better version.

Please find this week’s test recipe, Honey Sesame Cookies, below.  I have also included my own recipe for blood orange sorbet.

Citrus Sorbet
from Allison M. Veinote

16 ounces freshly-squeezed citrus juice (e.g. red grapefruit, blood orange, lemon, lime, etc.) 
½ cup granulated sugar 

Preparation Instructions 
Place sugar in small pot.  Add just enough juice to saturate the sugar. 

Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves completely. 

Stir sugar mixture into remaining juice.  Chill. 

Freeze according to ice cream maker’s instructions. 

Honey Sesame Crisps 
adapted from ‘Martha Stewart Living’, December 2000  

½ cup confectioner’s sugar 
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 ½ tablespoons honey 
1 tablespoon orange juice 
¼ cup white sesame seeds 
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds 
2 tablespoons AP flour 
Zest of ¼ orange 
Pinch of salt 

Preparation Instructions 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper, and set aside.  

In a small saucepan, combine confectioners' sugar, butter, honey, and orange juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute.  

Remove pan from heat, and stir in remaining ingredients. Cool to room temperature.  

Using a 1/2-ounce ice-cream scoop, drop batter onto prepared baking sheets about 4 inches apart. (Alternatively, place closer together and, once slightly cooled, cut with cookie cutter into desired shape). 

Bake until cookies are crisp and golden, 10 to 12 minutes.  

Transfer from baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.

1 comment:

  1. i am very curious about your sorbet recipe. i make a lot of sorbet and sorbetto (i distinguish sorbetto as more concentrated, like gelato vs. ice cream) and have never seen a citrus sorbetto that does not rely on sugar syrup. i like this idea (certainly pushes it into the sorbetto camp) -- how is the texture? does it freeze well? I always add alcohol to keep it from freezing solid (limoncello in meyer lemon sorbetto is sublime -- plus it helps use up the enormous bottle of limoncello i made one lemon season...).


Site Design By Designer Blogs