SAN FRANCISCO -- Thirty years ago, life for Jim Dodge pretty much revolved around cookies.
Here are a couple of Jim Dodge's favorite dessert recipes.
Lemon and white chocolate tart
Makes 1 double-crust pie or 2 tarts.
FOR THE CRUST:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons whipping cream
FOR THE FILLING:
3 ounces white chocolate
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
One-third cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Cointreau (optional)
1 cup whipping cream
To make the crust:
Mixer method: Cut butter into 1-inch cubes. Place it in mixer bowl with sugar, salt and flour. Using paddle attachment, blend at low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cream, and mix until dough comes together.
Food processor method: Cut butter into 1-inch cubes. Place it in work bowl with sugar, salt and flour. Pulse until butter is all cut in and flour takes on golden tone. Add cream and pulse just until dough starts to come together. Turn dough out onto lightly floured table and gently press it into table until it comes together.
Use half the dough to prepare one tart shell. (Form remainder of dough into patty, wrap well and chill or freeze for another time.)
On lightly floured surface, roll out dough into 13-inch circle. Drape dough on rolling pin and center it over 9-inch or 10-inch tart pan. Let it down gently and settle it into pan. Gently press dough against sides of pan.
Fold overlapping dough into pan just to where sides and bottom meet, to form double-thick sides. Gently press dough against sides of pan, being careful not to press against bottom (if dough is too thin where sides meet bottom, it will split during baking). Trim off extra dough from top edge. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes.
Heat oven to 400 F. Line tart shell with aluminum foil, covering edges as well as bottom. With fork, poke holes all over bottom of shell, piercing both foil and dough. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking until shell is golden brown and has pulled away from sides of the pan, about 15 minutes more.
Remove from oven and cool.
Filling: Cut white chocolate into small pieces and set aside.
Beat eggs until light. Beat in sugar, then stir in lemon juice.
Transfer mixture to top of double boiler. Cook it over simmering water, stirring continuously, until it thickens enough to coat back of spoon. Remove pot from heat.
Stir in white chocolate until it is completely incorporated. Stir in Cointreau. Set aside to cool; stir occasionally as it cools.
In small, chilled bowl, whip cream to just beyond soft peaks. Fold it into cooled lemon cream and spoon it into baked and cooled tart shell. Spread filling evenly in shell with back of spoon, doming it slightly in center. Chill tart at least 3 hours before serving.
Walnut sticky buns
Makes 12 buns.
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
1 large egg, beaten
8 tablespoons ( 1/4 pound) unsalted butter (soft), divided use
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups walnut pieces
12 walnut halves
Place oven rack in lowest position. Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter 12-cup muffin tin.
Warm milk, and stir in sugar. Add yeast. Let mixture stand until foamy raft forms on top, 5 to 10 minutes. Blend in salt and egg.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, and stir it in. Stir in bread flour. Mix until dough comes together and is elastic. Shape dough into ball, place in bowl, covered, and let it rise until double in volume.
Meanwhile, prepare filling. Blend cinnamon, brown sugar and remaining 6 tablespoons butter until smooth. Add honey and all-purpose flour. Mix until blended. Set aside.
Punch down dough. On lightly floured surface roll it into 12x8-inch rectangle; spread half of filling over it. Cover filling with walnut pieces, pressing them gently into dough. Roll rectangle into 12-inch-long log. Cut log crosswise into 12 equal slices.
Divide remaining filling equally among 12 cups of muffin tin. Press a walnut half into each cup and top with a slice of log. Cover pan with damp towel and let it stand until dough doubles in volume, about 40 to 60 minutes.
Bake buns at 375 F until tops are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Turn out on sheet of parchment to cool.