For some time now, I’ve been wanting to mix things up a bit and start another theme for blog posts. So I thought about something involving French food. One of the things I’ve been incredibly amazed at in French homes is the absence of variation in French recipes. Perhaps people don’t need any change for reasons of…perfection? Perhaps. I get bored with the same things and tend to try to create different flavors and spin a different tune with standard themes. Sometimes, I can only do that given what’s on hand (coupled with my laziness to go drive to the market and get any ingredients). Anyway, so my new blog theme is this: hybrid recipes that are almost French but infused with another culture or idea or ingredient that is not typically French – it’s called Massacred French Recipes because their names will oftentimes massacre the French language and the recipes will only have hints of Frenchness in them. Will purists call these Sacrilege? That’s fine. They might be! All recipes will be my own experiments in the kitchen. I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to do these but will try to do them on a regular basis. Kudos to daily food bloggers who do this regularly with much more complex recipes, and then take eye candy photos to boot.
One is looking at you.
I thought I’d call these cookies, “Peanut Butter Palmiers aux Pépites de Chocolat,” By the way, “pépites de chocolat” means chocolate chips but sounds fancier in French, doesn’t it? This recipe is not fancy though, but rather, a simple one. These cookies are basically palmier cookies (Elephant ears) made with puff pastry puff dough with peanut butter and chocolate chips.In French puff pastry dough is called pâte feuilletée. You can make it yourself, but it’s much faster and easier to buy it already made. My favorite pâte feuilletée here in France is from Tablier Blanc (make sure to get the one that says pure butter) in the refrigerated section of the market; In the U.S. there’s an ok one from Pepperidge Farms (thaw it out first). I had a round pâte feuilletée in my frig and used that one but it’s best to have a rectangular one that is approximately 12 inches in length by about 10 inches. For mine, I trimmed it on 2 opposite sides to (sort of) resemble a rectangle. Don’t waste the trim I put several chocolate chips in a strip and rolled them up like a tiny croissant. (Just bake them with your cookies.)
Regarding the chocolate chips. In France, you can buy French versions of them but they are pretty stingy with ’em here and there aren’t many in one bag, and they are tiny. I always buy Nestle’s chocolate chips in the U.S. and bring them back. I’ve grown up eating them and sort of need them now! They are always good to have on hand.
I used organic crunchy peanut butter (with sea salt) from Germany that I buy from an organic store in Burgundy. You can use the peanut butter of your choice.
Here’s the recipe:
Peanut Butter Palmiers aux Pépites de Chocolat
– 1 pâte feuilletée (puff pastry)
– 1 C crunchy peanut butter
– 3 Tablespoons of pure cane unrefined sugar
– 1 C Nestle’s Toll House Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Flatten out the pâte feuilletée, cut it if necessary into a rectangle. In a small bowl, mix together peanut butter and sugar, then spread an even layer over the pâte feuilletée covering it entirely. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the peanut butter mixture. Using your hands or a rolling pin, gently press down the chocolate chips so they stick to the peanut butter. Next, fold the two (long) opposing sides to meet in the middle of the pastry. Press down gently. Then fold over again meet in the middle. It should resemble a roll. Wrap it in its parchment paper and refrigerate for about 20 minutes to harden. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. After refrigeration and the roll is nice and firm, cut into about 3/4 of a inch slices with a very sharp knife and place on baking tray lined with parchment paper or silpat. Leave approximately 2 inche spaces between cookies. Bake for about 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Wait until they are completely cooled down before eating. Makes about 22 cookies. Note: The uncooked roll freezes nicely so you can save it for later use.
Last note: What actually got me to launch this Massacred French Recipes thing was the fact that David Lebovitz is hosting a “Sugar High Friday” on the 26th, which I thought I’d participate in – so make sure to check out all the posts next week related to his specialty, chocolate. Get ready to drool chez David Lebovitz.