Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dulce D'Leche Goat Cheese Cookies

Since I have been working hard all week on edits of Lost and Fondue, (and I'm done...and now it's on to the holidays...) I needed a break and that meant baking cookies!

I know Krista just had a cookie contest and Cleo just shared her beautiful Pfeffernusse cookies, and you might be cookie'd out, but I adore cookies. Making cookies is therapeutic for me. I love mixing the dough. I love the aromas of the spices that go into them.

I love the aromas that emanate from my oven. The house smells great for days. I enjoy how my dog hovers nearby while I bake. He knows he'll get a biscuit when I get my first cookie. [If I eat, he eats. We graze all day. That's just our way.]

The next best thing about cookies are that they can be an incentive. If I write 50 pages...it's cookie time. If I edit 100 pages...cookie time. You know the drill. Set a goal; reward yourself. The system has worked for me for years.

My grandmother's basic sugar cookie recipe is the absolute best (BEST), and I'll share that one soon, but this week, I'm inspired by a recipe I found in the newspaper. It's a shortbread cookie, stuffed with Dulce d'leche filling and melt-in-your-mouth fabulous. There are two ways to make it--with goat cheese and without. I tweaked the recipe to suit my tastes.

*By the way, our very own Julie Hyzy taught me how to make the Dulce d'leche. I've linked her delicious recipe below (It is on our MLK site)!


Back to the filling...I kid you not. Goat cheese!


Here's the recipe -- both regular and gluten-free.

To my gluten-free buddies, I was surprised how well these cookies turned out. They are crispy and my regular eaters couldn't tell the difference at all! I think it's the pecans that are thrown into the mix.

The dough freezes well, too. So you can make half a recipe, freeze it, and bring it out again when you have a party.
(If...you can talk yourself into not eating the whole batch!

Good luck there.)






GLUTEN-FREE ingredients - DULCE D'LECHE GOAT CHEESE COOKIES

(makes 2 dozen “single” cookies; 12 sandwiches)

1 stick butter, melted

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/8 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 large egg yolk

1 cup gluten-free flour

1 teaspoon Xanthan gum

3 Tablespoons pecans, chopped fine

2 ounces goat cheese

3 ounces dulce de leche

EXTRA powdered sugar for dusting


REGULAR ingredients - DULCE D'LECHE GOAT CHEESE COOKIES

(makes 2 dozen “single” cookies; 12 sandwiches)

1 stick butter, melted

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/8 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 large egg yolk

1 cup flour

3 Tablespoons pecans, chopped fine

2 ounces goat cheese

3 ounces dulce de leche

EXTRA powdered sugar for dusting


DULCE D'LECHE INSTRUCTIONS - MAKE AHEAD - IT'S EASY:

DULCE DE LECHE: Easy homemade: Take a can of condensed milk. Pop two holes in the top. Place the can in a deep pan of hot water. Do not have the water cover the holes! Bring water to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 2 hours. Remove the can and let the can cool. Remove the top and you have Dulce de leche (caramel).

BAKING INSTRUCTIONS FOR EITHER VERSION OF THE COOKIE:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In medium-sized bowl, whisk butter and sugar, about 2 minutes. Add the yolk and whisk. Fold the flour (and Xanthan gum for gluten-free) into the bowl. It will become moist and clump together. (It will not be as smooth as regular cookie dough. Stir in the pecans.)

Roll the dough into a ball and then, on wax paper, roll it into a log/roll about 8-10 inches long. Wrap the log and twist the end of the wrap. Refrigerate (at least 2 hours or overnight).

Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. On a cutting board, slice off the ends (you may still cook these, but don’t use for “sandwiches” - good tasting slices). Slice the log into 24 slices. They will be thin.

Place the slices ½ inch apart on baking sheets. Put the baking sheet (s) in the oven. Rotate the sheets after about 6 minutes. Bake cookies for a total of 12-14 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool. [ROTATING IS KEY]

While the cookies are cooking, warm the dulce d'leche over low heat. Don’t let it bubble. Remove from heat and add the goat cheese. Stir until well mixed. Cool.

Sandwich a teaspoon of the dulce mixture between 2 cookies and dust with powdered sugar.

These cokies may be eaten single, with just powdered sugar, and no dulce d'leche. Like a tea cookie. They may also be dipped into caramel sauce...fun for the chef.


Julie Hyzy's Caramel Apple Dip - She makes dulce d'leche for the dip and it's fabulous! CLICK THE NAME OF THE RECIPE FOR THE LINK.

* * * * * * * *

Now...for a Christmas treat...who among you write out there? I'm not talking just mysteries. Do you write poetry, write in a diary, do you blog, do you write scientific journals? Do you write thank you notes?

Share what you write in a comment. I'm giving away 1 free copy of THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE today to a commenter as a thank you for all the good wishes throughout the year!

If you've read the book already, you can give it to a friend!

C'mon, leave a comment. :)

Happy holidays!!!

PS. Yoo-hoo to winner, Ashley, from last Sunday's giveaway for our guest blogger Janet Rudolph. You have not contacted me yet. You need to send me your snail mail address by this coming Monday or I'll have to pick another winner. Email me at avery (at) averyaames (dot) com.


And last but not least...a sneak preview of book two: Lost and Fondue is up on my website. Check it out at AVERY AAMES.

While you're there, sign up for the mailing list and you'll be included in future contests coming up to promote Lost and Fondue.



18 comments:

  1. I blog on mostly Christian books in order to share the good books I've read, encouraging them to pick them up and read them.

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  2. Avery - First of all, there is no such thing as cookie'd out. Never heard of it, lol. These cookies are absolutely amazing. I can't wait to try them. And big congrats on finishing your edits for Lost and Fondue. Just in time to celebrate the new year! (Can't wait to read your new mystery.)

    Have a happy holiday,
    ~ Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

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  3. I blog about everyday things in my life as well as my the quilt projects I'm working on and the books I've read.

    Congrats on finishing your edits.

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  4. I can always have more cookie recipes! Love them! And this one sounds amazing. I'd never have thought about a goat cheese filling, but it sounds wonderful. Merry Christmas, Avery!

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  5. Hi, all. Sorry for the few misspells (etc.) prior to your comments. I think I've cleaned them up. Can you tell I'm in editing mode???

    Linda, how lovely to share books you've read with others.
    And Dru, I didn't know you quilted. What fun!

    Enjoy the day.
    ~Avery ...and say cheese :)

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  6. There can never be too many cookie recipes, Avery! Especially at this time of year. I bet goat cheese is great in cookies!

    Um, I write mysteries . . .

    ~ Krista

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  7. Congrats on finishing those edits. I'm just getting started on some today! Love your cookie recipe (and thanks for linking to my Caramel Apple Dip!). You are so incredibly creative with your use of cheese. I love it!! Thanks for this one. No way am I cookie-d out either!

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  8. Krista and Julie, I agree. I just finished making my grandmother's sugar cookies. Oh, yummmm. Now I must have protein. (Do you think Santa thinks this way?)

    ~Avery

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  9. What do I write? Blog comments, Christmas cards, thank you notes, book lists for my Mom, email notes to lots of friends, agendas for my church social justice group, recipes for friends and checks at various stores…nothing too interesting, I’m sad to say. Now I'm off to cook dinner and bake cookies!

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  10. Avery,
    Goat cheese...in a cookie??!! You have made the cut for our traditional Christmas Day cookie baking!! We are a small family; Mr. Nanc, me, the lovely Emily and Chef Connor. We have made several fun traditions through the years...most of them to address my proclivity for procrastination!! One of those traditions is baking after presents! It is always fun and the kids have never once complained ;-) I look forward to sharing this recipe with them on Saturday. Another of our traditions is Dulce de Leche with apples, pears and sponge cake while we open gifts. How nice to have a use for the left over!!
    Wishing you and yours a lovely Christmas! Oops...I forgot to add...I am a "closet" writer. I have kept journals for many years, have some children's stories, and have also been encouraging myself to once again try blogging in the New Year!!
    Nanc

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  11. I think I'm cookie'd out, and I haven't even made any! I blog - about "reading, ebooks, technology, crocheting, cats, and life in general" These sound good, and Julie's Dulce de Leche caramel recipe sounds easy and fun.

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  12. LSC - nothing is boring about all you do!
    Nanc - yes, goat cheese. What a fun tradition to bake after presents. Love that.
    Shel - Julie's recipe is so simple it's scary!

    Happy cooking and writing to all
    ~Avery

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  13. Happy Holidays, all! Man, do those cookies look scrumptious. I love goat cheese.

    I write hot, steamy romance novels.

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  14. Avery, you temptress! DH loves anything with dulce de leche. My Christmas baking is done, but I think I'll try these for New Year's Eve. They sure sound and look good!

    As for writing, I've written all my life, from plays in grade school for the neighborhood kids to perform, to school newspapers and later for company newsletters. I also wrote a lot of (bad) poetry in the 70's, self-pubbed a family cookbook in the 80's & wrote my first mystery set in the Caribbean, wrote some children's stories for my nieces and nephew, then scribbled another mystery and recently tried my hand at women's fiction and romance. Oh, and this year I completed my first NaNo draft! And lately I seem to make lots of lists, LOL.

    Merry Christmas!

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