Saturday, April 9, 2011

~The American President...Week-End

Happy week-end everyone! For your week-end viewing I give The American President. Comedy-drama about a widowed US president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all aboveboard, but "politics is perception" and sparks fly anyway. Enjoy with..."As American as Apple Pie Cookies"For the cookie base: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup salted butter, cubed and kept cold 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 cup milk For the apple filling: 2 Granny Smith, or other firm, apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon all spice 1/8 teaspoon cloves 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 2 tablespoons bourbon 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon cornstarch For the caramel sauce: 1/4 cup water 1 cup sugar 4 tablespoons butter 1 cup cream 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 cup bourbon Heat the oven to 350F and have a mini-muffin pan ready. Begin by preparing the apple pie filling. In a medium skillet over medium heat combine the apples, sugar, butter, and spices. Once the butter melts and the apples begin to soften turn off the heat and add the bourbon. Return the pan to the heat and reduce it to low. Combine the water with the cornstarch and add to the apple mixture. Stir until the mixture thickens. Allow to cool while you prepare the cookie base. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and milk. Pulse until the mixture forms a ball. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a log and divide into 32 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place a ball of dough in the cup of a mini-muffin pan and, using a dough tamper or your fingers, press down until the dough reaches the top if the cup. Fill the cups with a rounded teaspoon of the apple filling. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. While the cookies cool prepare the caramel. In a medium pot with tall sides add the sugar in an even layer. Pour in the water and gently stir to combine. Using a pastry brush and some water wash the sides of the pot to make sure no sugar crystals are clinging to the sides. Cook the sugar over medium heat, swirling the pot occasionally but do not stir, until it is a dark amber color. Add the butter and whisk to combine. Turn off the heat and add the cream slowly, whisking constantly until the caramel is well combined. Add the vanilla and bourbon. Heat this mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling cook for one minute. Cool for thirty minutes. Once the caramel is cool pour about 1/2 teaspoon over the top of each cookie. Allow the caramel to set for two hours before serving.