Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TWD: Cottage Cheese Pufflets


YEAH! It’s finally my turn to pick the weekly Tuesday’s with Dorie recipe! Many, many thanks to Laurie of Quirky Cupcake for starting this fantastic group and of course, to Dorie Greenspan, author of "Baking, from My Home to Yours", for continuing to inspire us week after week with fantastic recipes. Hers is one of the best overall baking books to be had. And to all of the other bakers who offer suggestions and encouragement week in and week out, Thank You!

For my pick, I chose the Cottage Cheese Pufflets.


There was a lot of discussion in the TWD forum that the pufflet dough was very soft and sticky and that plenty of chilling time was essential while rolling out the dough. This actually worked out fine for me though, because our annual neighborhood garage sale was this past weekend.

Somewhere between making, rolling, and cutting the dough, then forming the pufflets, I was able scrounge up enough ancient and dusty “treasures” from the depths of my closets to hold a halfway respectable sale.

If I ever get a wild hair and decide to get a PhD after I retire, just for giggles, you know, I think I’ll major in Psychology and my thesis will be “The Psychology of Garage Sales”. Because, really. What is with people at garage sales?

Maybe it's because I'm a night owl, but I just don't understand why people show up before the sale starts, before you've even opened the garage door. I came stumbling out of my garage at 7:30 (on a Saturday morning!) to find people waiting. Is it really that important to get first dibs on my 10-year old (but still fully functioning) blender?

Then there are those that get mad when you have the nerve to charge, like, a whole dollar for something. That happened with one cranky grandma and her sweet little grandson. I was about to give them the “cute-kid” discount for some books he wanted when she opened her mouth and started giving me attitude. I quickly decided the “cranky grandma” surcharge cancels out the “cute-kid” discount. Maybe I should have offered them a pufflet, surely that would have helped.


Then there are the serious hagglers. I had one woman pick up a big pile of cake-decorating books, each with a $1 sticker attached (they definitely cost more than a dollar new). She asked how much I wanted for them. I was thinking to myself “I want $1 each for them, and that’s why I have a $1 sticker on each and every one”. It seemed pretty self explanatory. But I, being nice and also lacking in negotiating skills, gave her a price maybe 60% of the asking price. Then she asked if I would take a dollar less. I just stood there and looked at her. She had nerve, I give her that.

But no, it wasn’t all early birds and cranky people and hagglers. They were few and far between, really. Most people were friendly and nice and it brings joy to my heart knowing that so many adorable kidlets will enjoy my boys’ long neglected toys. Not to mention the little pile of extra “dough” (of the green variety) that I have stashed in the drawer.

Oh wait, you came here to talk about dough of the cottage cheese variety, right? Right.

I have to agree that the dough was very soft. I chilled mine for quite a while before rolling between two pieces of wax paper. Then I chilled for another spell before cutting into squares (yes, I know most of those are really rectangles. I seem to be incapable of cutting a square.)



I had to chill between every 4 to 5 pufflets, but eventually got them filled. I used cherry preserves.



I have to tell you first, before showing you the baked pufflets, that I DID seal the edges. I did, I tell you!


Too bad there's not a prize for "Most Leaky Pufflets", LOL.


And how were they? I really enjoyed them. The cookie had a nice, rich flavor due to the cottage cheese. Since the amount of sugar was small, they weren't very sweet, but more on the tangy side. That paired nicely with the sweet cherry preserves.

I need to try them again so I can redeem myself in the leakage department. I will also try the suggestion of some bakers to drain the cottage cheese first.

Thank you to those that stopped by and listened to me gab about my big adventure this weekend. I'll sign off with one last thought... a little piece of advice for folks trying to decide whether to date or marry someone. Take them to a garage sale first. That will tell you everything you need to know.

Cottage Cheese Pufflets

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
8 ounces (about ¾ cup) cottage cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
About ¼ cup thick preserves, marmalade or jam (your choice)
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Put the butter, sugar and salt in a food processor and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times, for 2 minutes, or until the butter is completely creamy. Add the cottage cheese and vanilla and process for another 2 minutes again scraping the bowl once or twice. The mixture will be velvety, more like whipped cream cheese than cottage cheese. Add the flour, pulsing only until it is thoroughly blended into the dough.

Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a piece of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into a rectangle or square, pat it down, cover it completely and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 3 days. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.)

Getting Ready to Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

To roll out the dough, you can work either between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface.

Cut the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough to a thickness of a scant 1/8 inch. Because you are going to be cutting the dough into squares, it’s best to roll it into a rectangular or square shape. If at any time the dough seems too soft to roll, pop it into the refrigerator for a quick chill.

Using a cookie cutter, a paring knife or a pastry wheel, cut the dough into 2- to 3-inch squares. (I use a 2 ¼ inch square cookie cutter.) Put a dab of jam on one square of dough, just off center, and, with a wet finger, moisten the edges of the dough. Fold the dough over to enclose the jam and form a triangle, pressing lightly to seal the edges. Repeat with the remaining squares and line the pufflets up on the baking sheets, spacing them about ½ inch apart. Poke a minute steam hole in the center of each. (You can roll, fill and shape the pufflets, freeze them on a tray, then, when they are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container. The pufflets can be baked straight from the freezer – no need to defrost – just add another 2 minutes or so to the baking time.)

Bake the pastries one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes, or until puffed, firm and beautifully golden. Transfer the pufflets to a rack, dust with confectioner’s sugar and cool to warm or room temperature before serving.

Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

57 comments:

Marie said...

I had leaky pufflets too, but my goodness they were delicious! Thanks so much for picking a great recipe! This is one of my favourites thus far!

Cakelaw said...

These look great Jacque - the slight leakage adds colour. Also thanks for hsoting this week.

Romaine said...

Like your last word of advice about a prospective spouse. :-)

I'm not sure why, but I loved your choice this week of the pufflets. Guess the cottage cheese peeked my curiosity. Nice job with yours.

Cecille Ericta said...

They came out real pretty, Jacque! I enjoyed making and eating them. They are simple to make yet satisfying. Thanks for hosting this week.

Your garage sale story is funny, I can totally relate. LOL!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I wish I was closer for your garage sale. Any around here are just filled with creepy garbage like old, used stuffed toys or else they want retail prices. I never get the good deals. Maybe I should get up earlier..!
Cute little pufflets. I am a big fan of cottage cheese.

Amanda said...

LMAO - gotta love the early birds! You know those people go through the newspapers and look for the sale signs the night before, mapping out their route and deciding who to pounce on first. Guess you were the lucky recipient LOL

Don't you know books at garage sales are only supposed to be a quarter?? (Insert sarcasm here)

Thanks for hosting this week! I'm sorry I didn't bake along, but I have been so very swamped at work that things just didn't work out for me.

chocolatechic said...

They look lovely.

Thanks for picking this week.

spike. said...

I loved these cookies- thanks for a great pick! Your garage story is hilarious- people make me crazy with haggling on $1 price tags

natalia said...

Ciao ! I really did enjoy the pufflets !! Thank you for choosing them ! I wish we had garage sales in Italy !!

Pamela said...

Jacque, I'm so sorry that I wasn't able to bake along with you this week. Everyone seems to have really enjoyed these little pufflets. Yours look terrific. Kudos to you on the garage sale! I always want to give it a try, but I'm a little chicken!

Isabelle said...

merci Jacque pour le choix de cette fabuleuse recette. J'ai adoré beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup ....
merci encore :)

ostwestwind said...

Thanks for this experience!


Ulrike @Küchenlatein

Jo said...

Ooh these look like real delicious treats! And who cares if they are leaky!

Katrina said...

I pinched my pufflets, then forked them and they seemed to stay shut that way. No matter, your pufflets look great and cherry sounds good! Fun pick!

Beth said...

GREAT pick! The Jewish holidays got the best of me and I didn't ahve time to make these, but I really want to try the recipe.

Also, I tend to be the early bird at yard sales. It's the thrill of the hunt! You never know what you're going to find and if you get there early, you could snag the best item :-)

myfamousrecipe said...

Great choice! Mine tasted very much like the "house made pop tarts" I had at one of my favorite restaurants in Maine this past summer. I've been trying to duplicate the recipe, and this worked beautifully. Thanks!!

Amber Marie said...

I love your garage sale story! Glad you stuck it out and have a little stash to show for it. Great pick!

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

I hate doing garage sales, my kids and Mr. left me to tend to it all day long myself. Never again. lol

Your came out great! Mine fell flat and also leaked some.

Lauryn said...

Great job!!! You really picked something different then I have ever made before! Your pufflets really look beautiful. And it is sooo true, garage sales definitely attract a "wide range" of people!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I don't think my hubs (of 28 years) would have even gone to a garage sale with me! Hmm, what does that say? My worst garage sale story was a lady that rang my doorbell one rainy Friday afternoon, waking my girls from their naps. "I saw that your neighbor will be having a garage sale tomorrow morning. I was wondering if you will be part of it and if I can see your stuff early." No, it is my neighbor's sale, not mine, but thanks anyway for waking my children and taking out a strip of my grass because you can't back your car out of my driveway. Sheesh, people!

Thanks for picking the kind of recipe I'd have chosen!! I enjoyed your post and your cute DAISY background!!

Megan said...

Great choice Jacque - even though these were temperamental and difficult (like me, sometimes) - it was an experience to make them!

Clivia said...

Delicious choice! I found the bits that leaked out were the most yummy.

vibi said...

Thank you so much Jacque for such a cool recipe.

Contrary to most, I had no trouble at all with the dough and am going to make it often from now on. I had a lot of fun playing around with this...

Yours looks pretty darn nice too! WOW!

dorie said...

Funny post and really nice pufflets. I'm always delighted when someone chooses a recipe that doesn't have a photograph. I know it's more challenging, but it's also usually a lot of fun. I'm glad you enjoyed the little treats.

Nichi said...

Hehe your advice at the end... priceless!
Nice choice on the pufflets. I haven't made mine yet, but Im looking forward to it.

Jules Someone said...

Thanks for getting me to try something new. These didn't quite work, but , ah well!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Sorry about the leaky pufflets! I wish we had garage sales here! I would have bought all your cake decorating books, giving you a 60& premium, instead of discount!! :P There's soo much stuff that we throw away here, it would be so convenient!! Stupid apartments make it impossible though :(

Nina said...

Jacque--thanks so much for picking this recipe-I LOVED these! Great job with yours and enjoyed your garage sale story! Thanks again.

isa said...

Funny garage sale story! I’m sorry about the leaky pufflets.
Thanks for such a wonderful recipe, I reaaly loved these cookies:))

Flourchild said...

Ha I love your garage sale story! I have several too! YOur pufflets look really good, even with the filling blow out!

Mimi said...

Great choice in recipe. Some of my puffs had leakage. I think it is because I over filled them. Those with less filling didn't leak, puffed higher and tasted great.
Mimi

Madam Chow said...

I have to tell you, this dough was a nightmare, but my husband LOVED these. So did I. Great pick, Jacque!

Ms. PH said...

Thanks for the pick! My dough is chilling right now. We will see how they roll out tonight!

At my last garage sale, I was shocked at the number of people who were pissed I didn't have larger sized kids clothes. "What sizes do you have?" Um . . . three months to 4T. "Ugh (big sigh) don't you have BIGGER kids clothes??" Um no. I have a four year old and a two and a half year old. Why would I sell clothes bigger than they are at a GARAGE sale?

People are weird.

Susan said...

My best friend lived and breathed garage sales. We used to go to them whenever I visited her. She was a haggler, but a nice one. :)
The pufflets were delicious. I am glad I tried this recipe.

jillbert said...

I had some leak and some that just completely unfolded themselves! I had a heck of a time making these, but they did taste good!

Leslie said...

Thanks for picking something totally out of our comfort zones! It was a great experience to make them and they were delicious. I did say some bad words...maybe that was why they didn't puff as much...

Kim said...

Great pick! Die hard garage sale people always baffle me. Love all the pictures and the post.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I would love to try these, but try as I may, I can't seem to get the recipe to copy. How are you on the technical end of the recipe? I can see you are great at the artistic realm, because the cheese pufflets make my mouth water. Can you help?

Mini Baker said...

yum yum yum! thanks for sharing this recipe!I just found your blog and I love it, I'll be checking back often :)
-Mini Baker

Grace said...

very interesting little cookies--the name is awesome, i'll give 'em that. nice choice!
meanwhile, i've tried to learn a few tricks of the garage/yard sale trade from my grandmother--she's a master haggler. :)

Jayne said...

I had leaks, too! But who cares - they still tasted great.

And your yard sale recap! I have met those people! They came to my yard sale last year, I'm positive. It's amazing, isn't it? It seems like that certain select few come determined to spend attitude rather than cash.

Thanks for choosing this - I probably wouldn't have tried them otherwise, and now I'm glad I had a did.

margot said...

I'm glad you ended up liking your selection, they look yummy! Oh, garage sales. My boyfriend always makes fun of me for wanting to stop at them, since most times I don't find anything, but I always tell him that one day someone will be getting rid of all their cookbooks or knitting supplies and it will be worth our time.

Jo said...

They look great! A wonderful selection...thank you! It's become an instant favorite.

Tia said...

i'm so glad mine weren't the only ones that leaked! thanks for the great pick. i enjoyed these.

Jess said...

Thank you for picking such an intriguing recipe! Mine were yummy, if not so beautiful. But your leaky pufflets look gorgeous with the jewel-like jam.

I'd love to throw a garage sale (in New England they're called tag sales) but I'm scared of those early bird, hard-core hagglers!

SUGAR B said...

I love the detailed photos. Nothing wrong with leakage either, it adds depth and color to the pufflets!

Thanks for choosing this recipe. Cottage cheese is now a welcomed ingredient to my house! ;)

steph- whisk/spoon said...

haha--love the kooky garage sale stories! thanks for a great pick--i really liked these pufflets a lot!

Amber Marie said...

Thanks for the profile tip Jacque! I had no idea it was not showing up. I think I've fixed it now so thanks again!

Kayte said...

Okay, I waited until you commented on mine before coming over here to appreciate your lovely little pufflets and I had a very good reason for doing so. Research. I wanted to see if you were perhaps visiting EVERY SINGLE BLOG and commenting (apparently you are) as I am scared to death that I am going to need to do this in a couple of weeks as I picked in October...LOL. That blog roll is very very long...I figure it will take me DAYS to get that all in. I almost passed on my pick for that reason alone...how do you do it? We liked the pufflets (one-bite wonders as the teen boys were calling them), so thanks for your pick...gave me a chance to try something new.

Bunny said...

They leaked but boy they still look good! I'd be embarrassed to haggle at a garage sale! I'm glad those that did were far and few between!

TeaLady said...

Nothing wrong with leakage if they taste good.

Nice pick, Jacque. I liked the taste of the dough.

And your story is why I don't have garage sales, plus the fact that by the time I am ready to part with something, no one else wants it.

Carol Peterman said...

I am finally catching up, again! I've been having a hard time keeping up with the schedule lately. This dough was a little sticky and tricky for me. Mine tasted greasier than I cared for. I think leaking jam is a nice little tease of what hides inside. I bet the cherry jam was really tasty as a filling.

Jaime said...

the dough was definitely hard to work with but I enjoyed these very much! thanks for a great pick

Liz said...

Good pick! I love cottage cheese anything so I was excited to try them in pastry.

April said...

Sorry about the irritating garage sale people, some people have lots of nerve. Your pufflets looks great! Mine didn't work out this time but I will try them again!

Cupcake Activist said...

I love cottage cheese and I love pastries. Why not put them together? Great idea! Thanks!

Hannah said...

my dough was almost unmanageable. it took almost an hour to get the pufflets made after the initial(2 day) refrigeration. i wonder if maybe some more flour would have helped?