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Trao-Mad with Peach Compote



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Heritage, Still Life with Peaches
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Trao-Mad with Peach Compote

Cafe Boulud Cookbook:
French-American Recipes
for the Home Cook

by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan, 1999, Scribner

“Trao-Mad are the tenderest, meltingest, butteriest cookies imaginable. They are
the pride of the Brittany region of France and they are delightfully, deliciously,
and definitely addictive. At Café Boulud, we serve them with a little bowl of
peach compote in the summer and then change the compote as the seasons
change, but Trao-Mad are also good with ice cream or sorbet, mousse, pots
de crème
, or solo – a plate of Trao-Mad and a cup of tea are always welcome.
Like all my compotes and marmalades, this recipe makes more than you’ll
probably need at one sitting, but it keeps well and is infinitely versatile – if you
do nothing more than spread it on toast, you’ll be glad you made a surplus.”

Makes about 32 cookies

The cookies:
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup almond flour* or
finely ground blanched almonds

1. Working in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon), beat the butter, sugar, and salt together until
creamy and smooth. Add the egg yolks and stir to blend. Add the all-
purpose flour as well as the almond flour and continue to mix until the
dough is homogenous.
2. Divide the dough in half and, using plastic wrap to help you, roll each
half into a log that’s 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. Seal the logs in plastic
wrap and freeze for 1 hour.
3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven
to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Unwrap the logs and, with a sturdy, thin-bladed knife, slice the logs
into rounds about 1/3 inch thick. Arrange the cookies on the baking
sheets so that there is 1 inch of space between each cookie. Slide the
baking sheets into the oven and bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes,
or until they are a light golden brown. (If some of the cookies are brown-
ing faster than others, rotate the cookie sheets front to back and top to bottom at the halfway point.) Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the
cookies to racks to cool to room temperature. (The cookies can be kept
in an airtight tin in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week or frozen for up
to a month.)

* Almond Flour: Used often in pastries, almond flour is not milled flour as
we know it, but blanched almonds ground as fine as flour. The most finely
ground almond flour is commercially made, but you can produce a satis-
factory substitute at home in a food processor if you pay attention. The
problem with grinding any kind of nut in a processor is that you risk over-processing it and turning it into nut butter. To help prevent this, process
the blanched almonds with a little confectioner’s sugar, about 2 teaspoons
for every cup of almonds. (This shouldn’t be enough to throw off a recipe,
but if you’re concerned, you can decrease the amount of sugar called for in
the recipe.) Process the almonds and sugar, pulsing on and off, for about 30
to 45 seconds, at which point the mixture will be finely ground (pulse some
more if you think the grind isn’t fine enough), but not fluffy and light –
that’s the oil in the almonds at work. Strain the flour.
Almond flour can be packed airtight and kept in the freezer for a month.

The compote:
1 1/2 pounds very ripe peaches
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
Small pinch of saffron threads

1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Plunge the peaches into the boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds. then drain them in a colander and run
them under very cold water. When the fruit is cool enough to handle, peel
the peaches and cut them in half along their ‘seams’; remove the pits. Set
one peach (2 halves) aside and cut the remaining peaches into 1-inch cubes.
2. Put the cut-up peaches, the lemon juice, honey, and water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring from time to time, for 20
to 30 minutes, or until the peaches are so soft they fall apart when stirred. Add the saffron and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes more.
3. While the compote is cooking, cut the reserved peach into 1/4-inch cubes. Line a baking sheet with a large piece of plastic wrap, leaving enough of
an overhang to fold over itself.
4. When the compote is cooked, pull the pot from the heat and stir in the fresh peach cubes. Turn the compote out onto the plastic-lined baking
pan and spread it out in a thin layer. Cover with the excess plastic wrap
or another piece of plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the compote
to create an airtight seal. Chill in the refrigerator. (Packed airtight, they compote will keep for at least 1 week in the refrigerator.)

To serve: Spoon the compote into a small bowl and put the bowl on a large
serving plate. Surround with the cookies and serve, keeping a small jam spoon
close by so that guests who are not dippers can spoon as much compote as they
want onto each cookie.

To drink: A sweet but still crisp Coteaux du Layon

Featured Archive Recipes:
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