The Mailbox: Teri Watson

Published: Wednesday, May. 8, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5D

Buggy Whip dressing

When my favorite steakhouse, the Buggy Whip, closed last year, I was devastated.

They had the best house salad dressing ever. A similar dressing cannot be found anywhere. I have been unsuccessful in all attempts to replicate it. It was a vinaigrette of some kind.

Does anyone happen to have this recipe?

– Sharyn Nolan, Sacramento


Harvest grain cakes

My family loves the International House of Pancakes' harvest grain and nut pancakes.

I have not been able to make anything like them at home. Does anyone have this recipe or one similar? Thank you.

– Alfreda Christian, Sacramento


Hungarian kiffles

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 14 minutes per batch

Makes about 5 dozen

Rebecca Rogers of Bloomington, Ind., visits a resident at a nursing home where they enjoy talking about cooking and baking. Her friend used to make a cookie called kiffles. Rogers wanted to get a recipe for kiffles so she could make them for her.

Today's Mailbox recipes come from Diane Bozarth of Modesto. This recipe calls for canned pastry filling. This is not pie filling, which is too runny for this cookie. Solo brand cake & pastry fillings work beautifully and have a wide variety of fillings you can try: prune and poppy seed, which are traditionally Hungarian fillings, and raspberry, almond or apricot.

You can also use the nut filling included in other kiffle recipe in today's Mailbox, below.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 to 2/3 cup additional flour, to prevent sticking during rolling

Two 12-ounce cans of pastry filling (Solo brand, for example)

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the dough: Whisk the 2 1/4 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Beat the cream cheese and butter together at medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until very smooth and creamy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture slowly, mixing just until combined. The dough will be quite moist, but not sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of lightly floured wax paper and flatten into a square about 3/4-inch thick. Cut into 4 equal pieces and wrap each separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, a minimum of 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove one portion of the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a well-floured sheet of wax paper. Dust the top of the dough with flour and top with another sheet of wax paper. Roll the dough out to a 1/8-inch thickness. You should end up with about a 10- to 11-inch square. The dough tends to become soft quickly due to its high fat content, so you may need to remove the wax paper and sprinkle on a bit more flour once or twice to keep it from sticking. If the dough is too soft after rolling, return to refrigerator for 3 or 4 minutes before cutting.

Remove the top sheet of wax paper and trim dough into a square with a pastry wheel or sharp knife. Cut the square into fourths lengthwise and crosswise to get 16 squares. Save your scraps for re-rolling.

Working as quickly as possible, place 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of filling in center of each square. Pinch together two opposite corners in the center and fold that "point" over to one side and smooth down very gently. This helps to prevent the cookie from popping open as it bakes.

Arrange cookies 1 1/2 inches apart on the parchment-lined sheet. Bake until lightly golden, about 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for about 1 minute, then carefully transfer to cooling racks. Repeat the process with the remaining 3 portions of dough, using different filling flavors if desired.

Store between layers of wax paper in a tightly-closed container and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature, arrange on a plate and dust lightly with powdered sugar just before serving.

Per cookie: 81 cal.; 1 g pro.; 10 g carb.; 4 g fat (3 sat., 1 monounsat., 0 polyunsat.); 12 mg chol.; 33 mg sod.; 0 g fiber; 49 percent calories from fat.


Kiffles

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes per batch

Chill time for dough: overnight

Makes about 4 dozen

Here is another kiffle recipe from Diane Bozarth of Modesto. You can use the canned pastry filling mentioned in the Hungarian kiffle recipe in today's Mailbox, above, or the nut filling included with this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

For the pastry:

1/2 pound butter, softened

1/2 pound cream cheese, softened

2 cups all-purpose flour

Powdered sugar

For the filling:

1 pound ground walnuts

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Juice of one lemon

INSTRUCTIONS

For the pastry: Cream butter and cream cheese until well-combined. Add flour and mix until smooth. Chill overnight. Roll in powdered sugar and cut into 2-inch squares.

For the filling: Mix walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice until combined. Fill each square with 1/2 teaspoon of filling. Roll up and bake at 375 degrees, 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly brown. When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Per cookie: 113 cal.; 2 g pro.; 8 g carb.; 8 g fat (4 sat., 2 monounsat., 2 polyunsat.); 15 mg chol.; 16 mg sod.; 0 g fiber; 67 percent calories from fat.



HOW TO CONTACT THE MAILBOX

If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email twatson@sacbee.com or fax (916) 556-5625. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.

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