Monday, February 19, 2007
Mondays with Maida - Prune Pillows
Page 196 in the old book / page 223 in the new book
While these cookies appealed to me from the get-go, I was afraid they might be a tough sell at work. A couple of the panelists weren't exactly eager to try them, but they got surprisingly high marks for a prune-filled cookie. The filling, which is tangy and sweet, is delicious. The cookie was slightly crisp initially, but softened with storage. It was good but plain - its purpose was clearly to contain the filling and not much else.
Given that there were a number of cautions in the recipe about keeping the pastry cloth, cutters, etc., well floured, I was surprised to find that this dough was relatively easy to handle. I had very little trouble with it sticking, even in the final stages of shaping the cookies, when it had been sitting around for a while.
For the filling, I stewed the prunes myself rather than buying canned prunes. I kept it simple and didn't add any flavoring. I soaked the prunes for about six hours and then simmered them in enough water to cover for about half an hour. When cooking the filling, I found I needed to add a little extra water a couple of times in order to continue cooking it for the specified time, but I was very happy with the end result. The filling was smooth, but still had a little texture.
If you're a fan of prunes, here's a cookie that makes them the star. I bet you'll love it!
Here's the panel ...
Suzanne: "I enjoyed the prune and nut filling in the pillow-shaped cookie, but if I had my druthers, I think a chocolate and nut filling would have tasted better. The cookie was soft and was covered with powered sugar. Rating - 3.5"
Laura: "The cookie portion of the cookie was very yummy. The pillow portion of the cookie was good too. The walnuts with the prunes made a good combination. However, since I don't really care for prunes, I have to score these lower than I would have... Rating - 2.5"
Denny: "The name was a definite turn off, but they were excellent. Sounded like some kind of senior center love toy. Great UFO look to them, quite a surprise after the name. Very tasty. Minus 1 for no chocolate gives them a 4.0. Rating - 4.0"
Terri: "These are delicious surprises - but you must like PRUNES! I really liked the filling with the walnuts added. These are not too sweet, but the crust and filling almost reminds me of mince-meat pie. Rating - 4.0"
Overall rating by the panel - 3.5
Next week - Hamantaschen