At least once a month, my mom and I kidnap my grandma to get her out of the house. My grandfather is a touch of a conspiracy nut, and spends all day in front of the computer, wondering if the world is ending. While I am happy he was able to embrace technology, there are some concepts that seem to elude him. Like Photoshop can be used to make a certain president’s birth certificate look um...dubious?
Anyways, my grandma is very social. She hates being trapped in the house. I can’t say I blame her. So we kidnapped her a few days ago to take her to lunch and a movie. She’s hard of hearing, but The Artist is playing, and I’ve been dying to see it. The silent movie aspect of it helps. Most of the movie has a soundtrack, but it is so weird not hearing footsteps or doors slamming. I didn’t miss hearing the actors speak, but I did miss background noise.
Before the movie, we went to lunch at Pizzeria Mozza. Every single thing I have read about this place was true. It was fantastic. Easily the best pizza I have ever had, and we have some fantastic pizza places. What really stuck out for me was the dessert.
I have been wanting to try the Butterscotch Bundino since last summer when my mom and I saw Hairspray at the Hollywood Bowl. People sitting behind us had gone to Mozza2Go for their picnic supplies, and all I wanted was to steal their butterscotch pudding cup. When I finally tried it this week, it was as good as I had imagined. The bundino was amazing (and I will be making it soon), but what made the dessert were the Rosemary Pine Nut Cookies.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I adore pine nuts. They are my favorite nut. I eat them plain, in pasta, and now in cookies. If you come over for dinner and there are pinenuts in the food, chances are very, very high that I made it.
I don’t know if I could have perfectly replicated these on my own. They are perfect as is. Lucky for all of us, Nancy Silverton included the recipe in the Mozza Cookbook*. I made them large and small, but the large were quickly devoured, as were most of the small.
*This is where I would apologize in advance for all the recipes you will be seeing from this book in the future, but I'm not sorry
**I should probably just change the name of the blog to "Sunday Suppers at Mozza" and call it a day
Rosemary Pine Nut Cookie Recipe
Barely adapted from Nancy Silverton
The dough is easy to work with, but it is pretty crumbly. Go heavy on the rosemary. You want every bite to have rosemary, and if you make the larger cookies, this isn’t achieve with one tuft per cookie. I would say 4 tufts per large cookie, 1-2 for a small. If you want to make the cookies all in one day, make the cookie dough first because it needs to chill for 2 hours, and make the nougatine while it is chilling. This recipe makes about 2 1/2 dozen small cookies or 1 1/2 dozen large cookies.
Can be made 1 week in advance. Refrigerate, and let it come to room temp before using.
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons mild-flavored honey (clover, wildflower)
1 whole vanilla bean
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 fresh sprig rosemary
In a small, heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine the cream, sugar and honey. Use a small sharp knife to split and scrape the vanilla bean. Smear the scrapings on the butter. Discard the bean (I save them with the intention of eventually using them). Add the butter with the vanilla scrapings to the pan and cook over high heat, stirring once or twice, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add the sifted flour, whisking until smooth. Seriously, you need to use sifted flour. I didn’t and lumps ensued. Pour the mixture into a bowl and fold in the pine nuts and sprig of rosemary. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until you’re read to make the cookies. Allow to come to room temperature before using it.
1/2 cup (1 stick) room temperature unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour (what I used) or unbleached pastry flour (what I will try next time), plus more for dusting
1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal (polenta)
2 heaping tablespoons rosemary tufts
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to incorporate. Add the flour and the polenta, and mix until thoroughly combined. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for a few minutes, until it forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Dust a flat surface with flour, cut the dough into chunks, and knead the dough to soften it, until the dough is the texture of Play-Doh. Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick, adding more flour to dough, work surface, and rolling pin if the dough sticks. Cut the dough with a 1 1/4 or 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter, making the cuts as close together as you possibly can. Lift the rounds onto the parchment, and place 1 inch apart.
With the nougatine at room temperature, work it between your fingers, creating a thin disk about the size of a dime for small cookies or a quarter for large cookies. Place the disc of nougatine in the middle of the cookie. My nougatine was really soft, so I spooned it onto the cookies. If yours is soft too, just plop some in the middle of the cookie. Stick some rosemary tufts on top of the cookie, making sure to pierce the dough so the rosemary doesn’t fly off in the oven.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature before eating because nougatine straight from the oven burns the roof of your mouth...not that I know from personal experience.