Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ugli Cookies

You read that correctly, but I do mean these cookies were made with Ugli fruit.

Ramune trying the Red Velvet cupcakes
Backstory: I went on a lovely vacation a couple weeks ago (yeah, I'm just catching up on life now) to visit my ol' college buddies who still live on the East Coast. Good times, ate too much, tried lots of desserts (lots of cupcakes), which I thought I would blog about, but am not sure I'll get around to it now. I'll just do a quick shout-out now to the one cupcake that really stuck in my mind that was from a place in DC called Red Velvet. Not too crazy about their actual red velvet flavor, but their special that week was a cherry ginger with yuzu buttercream, and it was pretty amazing. I'm a sucker for anything yuzu though, so that could be why I fell in love.

But I digress. Another highlight of my trip was the chance to bake something with my friend and fellow blogger, Kristy, which is a rare occasion considering the 3000 miles that are generally between us. We thought it would be fun to bake with something neither of us had tried before. We settled on rhubarb, and were certain that the posh grocery store Dean & Deluca was sure to have some. Our dreams were dashed when we discovered we were wrong, so struggled to come up with a plan b on the spot. I was tempted by the fresh passion fruit which honestly, I've never even seen before in person (yet no rhubarb? Com'mon D&D, get with the program). But Kristy pointed out this "special" looking citrus that was begging to be made into something sweet. Tempted by its description as being somewhere between a tangerine and a grapefruit, we snapped a couple up and headed home to experiment.

Kristy recalled a grapefruit cookie recipe that she'd been meaning to try, so we went to it. It is a delightful, rolled butter cookie with a smack of grapefruit buttercream sandwiched between to cookies. I took on the task of zesting and juicing the fruit while she made the cookie dough. I also took an opportunity to document the process, as this fruit was pretty stellar to photograph. It had a very asymmetrical, lumpy shape about it, with a sort of greenish yellow hue to its rind. It was a little larger than a grapefruit, and not nearly as firm. When it came to cutting it in half, to our surprise it was brilliantly orange inside. As well, it seemed like the fruit was naturally separating itself from the pith, which I don't think I've ever seen happen before.

Kristy showcasing the finished product
After making the cookies (which we made verbatim to Martha's recipe, minding the change in fruit), we discovered that the Ugli fruit is way more subtle than grapefruit, so in my opinion, would add a bit more zest and, as well, add zest to the buttercream. I also think I would cut down on the amount of juice that goes into the buttercream as it seemed a bit too runny for a filling and we had to keep the cookies refrigerated so they wouldn't get too sloppy.

But an overall success, and fun attempt to try something completely new.  

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