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

Nutrition Facts


Anonymous said...

Cathy! I checked here earlier and worried there'd be no Monday with Maida. Silly me. You never fail to impress! I like prunes. In fact, I really love them. And those goodies look delectable. But I think your panelist who made the comment about a senior center love toy was right...Maida really should have given them a different name. Have a great week!

loungetime said...

my name is ilkay.
It's very beatiful blog

Anonymous said...

I too got a kick out of Denny's remark senior center love toy. ;-) Oh my!!

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh about the name, too. My first thought upon reading the name was "prune pillows, what the ?!?" :)

I actually love prunes, though, and I know I would have loved these cookies! They look great!

Cathy said...

Hi Mari! I'm sorry, I normally write my post Sunday night, but got distracted with something else, then Monday I was having my parents over for dinner, so I didn't get around this until late. It was almost Tuesday with Maida, but not quite!

Hi Ilkay - thanks so much!

Hi Rowena! Denny recently realized he's writing for an audience... watch out!

Hi Alice! I think since this came right after the chocolate chip pillows (which were preceded some time ago by the peanut butter pillows), the name didn't really hit me as being odd. I did start wondering, though, if the use of the word "pillow" in refererence to a cookie was unique to Maida, but a little searching on the web convinced me otherwise - it seems to be relatively common.

In any case - you'll have to try these, the filling is wonderful!