Jane’s Sweets & Baking Journal--janessweets.blogspot.com--August 2011

(The pudding recipe below was adapted from Luscious Creamy Desserts, by Lori Longbotham; Chronicle Books, 2008; see pages 72-73. The butterscotch cookie recipe was adapted from When Everybody Ate at Schrafft’s: Memories, Pictures, and Recipes from as Very Special Restaurant Empire, by Joan Kanel Slomanson; Barricade Books, 2006; see pages 185-186.)

Butterscotch Pudding & Butterscotch Almond Cookies

 

Butterscotch pudding

Yield: Four 6 oz. servings

 

Have four 6 oz. ramekins/bowls standing by.

Have a medium-size bowl, along with a fine mesh sieve, standing by; it will be needed immediately after cooking the pudding.

1 and 1/2 cups whole milk

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup unsalted butter (4 Tbsp. or 1/2 of one stick)

1/2 packed light brown sugar

Yolks from 8 large eggs

1 pinch of kosher salt

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 and 1/2 tsp. Scotch whiskey (optional, of course!)

 

In a medium size bowl, whisk the cornstarch and milk until the cornstarch is well mixed in. Set aside.

 

Put the 8 egg yolks into their own medium size bowl with the pinch of salt nearby; set aside with a clean whisk.

 

In a large heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium low heat, melt the butter. Dump in the brown sugar and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth and bubbly.

Whisking constantly, pour the milk-cornstarch mixture into the saucepan carefully, with the heat still on medium. Cook for about 2 minutes, continuing to whisk, until the liquid is hot and any sugar lumps are gone. Take the pan off the heat.

Add the salt into the bowl of egg yolks and whisk. Into this, pour the heated mixture, whisking constantly (or you'll end up with scrambled eggs!). Pour all of this back into the saucepan and put it back on the stove. Over medium-low heat, cook for 6 to 8 minutes, whisking continually all the while (isn't whisking fun?), until big bubbles show up on the surface.

 

Without delay (not even 20 seconds, people!), pour the entire mixture through the sieve you set up over the empty bowl. Into that, whisk the lemon juice, vanilla, and Scotch. Let this cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then ladle it into your ramekins/bowls.

 

Cover each ramekin with a small piece of plastic wrap, pressing it right down onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Cool further, until no longer hot, then refrigerate the puddings for at least three hours, until cold and set.

 

Butterscotch Almond Cookies

Yield: At least 24 good-sized cookies.

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper.

 

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening

1 cup light brown sugar

2 Tbsp. buckwheat honey (or use 1/4 cup extra brown sugar instead)

1 large egg

2 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. almond extract

1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Generous 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup almond meal (Sometimes also referred to as almond flour; you can make your own by grinding blanched almonds in your food processor. Just be careful not to overgrind them into paste. I buy almond meal at Trader Joe's, where it's not too expensive, but you can also find it at health food stores and, increasingly, in regular grocery stores in the baking aisle.)

 

In the large bowl of your mixer, blend together the butter and shortening just for several seconds. Add in the sugar, beating until creamy. Add into this the egg, non-fat dry milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and honey. Beat until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, kosher salt, and almond meal. Pour this into the mixer bowl and blend on medium low speed.

Chill the dough for an hour or more before portioning onto cookie sheets.

 

Scoop the dough using a 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. portion scoop (or, just eyeball it, of course), leaving a couple inches of space between each one. Dampen your palm and gently flatten the dough balls down slightly. Bake the cookies for about 7 to 9 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Cool the cookies for a few minutes on the baking sheet then move to a rack. Store them in an airtight container.