Chèvre, Coconut & Guava Sandwich Cookies from Shortstack Chevre
If you've ever searched for a killer goat cheese recipe online- say you've already made that chèvre and arugula salad and are aching to put the extra six ounces of the log to tasty use, you'll likely have noticed most chèvre recipes are savory. That is to say, not sweet. Beet and goat cheese salad. Chèvre and quinoa bowls, you get the picutre. Which might lead one to believe that that's all chèvre is good for.
While I would never turn down a goat cheese tart, my hands-down favorite way to enjoy chèvre (fresh goat's cheese/goat's milk fromage blanc) is sugared up.
When sweetened with sugar, dark chocolate, fruit, or honey, chèvre transforms whatever dish into which its incorporated into a bright, luscious, sunny dish. Its lemony notes help lift sweet and rich creamy desserts to lighter places, bring out layered notes in chocolate, and add a subtle creme fraiche or buttermilk flavor to baked goods.
Now my friend Tia is skilled (she opened Caselulla and Murray's Cheese Bar in NYC), so it's not the only recipe I'm batting my eyelashes at, but it was the first one to scream "make me now," or to put it more accurately, "eat me first." When Tia describes the recipe in the intro and says the chèvre gives the cookies a buttermilk biscuit flavor rather than a chèvre flavor, she's spot on. I might even try them with an extra thin layer of chevre spread over the guava if I was serving them to a fierce goat cheese crowd, but they're charmers as is. I served them at a Memorial Day party, and they off the cookie plate fast. And I brought my friend and her husband two for a treat and my friend ate them both. I did not tell her husband.
Thanks for sharing these Tia! The recipe follows. Buy the book here for more chèvre love.
Chèvre, Coconut & Guava Paste Sandwich Cookie Recipe
These hearty, biscuity sandwich cookies are best with a big ol’ mug of milky tea or coffee. The chèvre lends a buttermilk biscuit twang to the cookie, which is a nice contrast to the sweet filling made from guava paste. Guava paste is the working-class cousin of cheese-plate-stalwart quince paste—and a more affordable and readily available fruit paste for pairing with cheese.
3 1⁄2 cups cake flour, plus more for rolling out the dough 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar 1⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar 2 tablespoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 11⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt 4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes 6 ounces chèvre, crumbled 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes 1 egg 1⁄2 cup heavy cream 2 teaspoons demerara sugar 16 ounces guava paste (such as Goya brand; available at super- markets), cut into 2-inch cubes
Preheat the oven to 425° and place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a food processor, combine the flour, granulated and brown sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter, chèvre and coconut and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream; set 3 table- spoons aside in another bowl. Add the remaining egg mixture to the flour mixture and pulse until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently to bring it together. Roll the dough flat to a 1⁄4 inch thickness and cut out rounds with a 21⁄2-inch cookie cutter or rim of a drinking glass. Place the cookies 1⁄2 an inch apart on the baking sheets, 16 cookies per sheet (you’ll have less than that for the last sheet and will need to bake in 2 rounds for 4 sheets total).
Brush the cookies with the reserved egg mixture and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the sheets between the upper and lower racks halfway through baking, until the cookies show just a bit of color. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then, using a spatula, transfer them to a cooling rack.
Place the guava paste and 1⁄4 cup of water in a small saucepan. Melt the paste over medium heat, stirring occasionally at first, then more frequently as the paste melts, 15 minutes. You will need to stir vigor- ously, forcing out any lumps in the last minutes of cooking.
Drop a 1⁄2 teaspoon of the hot filling onto the bottom half of a cookie, then place another cookie on top of the filling to make a sandwich (if the filling cools and gets stiff before you finish assembling the cookies, reheat the filling to make it easier to work with). The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Reprinted with permission from Short Stack Editions Vol. 33: Chevre, by Tia Keenan (shortstackeditions.com).