1.13.2018

The Cookie Connection

Need Girl Scout cookies? I can hook you up. I have connections.

Avery and Addison with "the goods!"
You see, I know Avery and Addison. They keep me in cookies every year, and I'm grateful.

My favorites are the Thin Mints. I could eat a tube a day… but try not to.

Yes, it is Girl Scout cookie season and I, along with millions of others, will topple from my virtuous bed of lettuce to lunge for several boxes. They are sold in front of grocery stores, at sporting events, and door-to-door.

But I have connections. Last year, I didn't even need to leave the house. Just a quick call to Avery and Addison and I was all set.

This year, I used a box of Trefoils to make the crust for a tart our friend Barbara and I invented in the fall of 2011, when we were in Italy. Be prepared… to surrender your willpower: this is mascarpone, flavored with saffron and honey, in a cookie crust flavored with rosemary.

When we got back, I wrote down what we had done, and now, with a little further tinkering, have pretty much perfected the recipe for you.

Saffron, one of the main flavors, is easily found these days in grocery stores, if a bit expensive. It is worth the cost, as it adds such great flavor and a beautiful mellow yellow color to the filling. In Italy, most grocery stores sell little packets of powdered saffron and I use a couple of those packets per tart. Saffron threads work well, too.

Yes, it's time. Time to support your local Girl Scouts. Time to test your will power. Time to make this tart.

Avery also raises eggs - perhaps I used hers in this tart?
If you live in Tucson and want to connect with Avery or Addison, let me know. It's always good to have connections!

~ David

Saffron-Mascarpone Tart 

1 9-ounce package Trefoils
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
500 grams mascarpone cheese
3 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
2 packets powdered saffron, or 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1/4 cup mild honey
pinch salt


Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a food processor, process the cookies to fine crumbs; add the sugar and chopped rosemary and process again till ingredients are well-distributed and the crumbs are very fine. Place in a large mixing bowl; you should have about 2 cups. Add melted butter and mix well to form the crumb crust.

Press crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Place onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. (The butter will ooze a bit from the bottom.)

Meanwhile, wipe out the mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients and, using a whisk, beat until smooth. Add the filling to the par-baked crust and return to the oven. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake until golden and set (the middle will still jiggle a bit) for 30 minutes. It will puff up quite a bit during baking, but will sink down nicely. When cool, refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Serves 8-10.




40 comments:

  1. A lovely post, David! We love having a connection with you, and can’t wait to try this gorgeous tart!

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    1. Let me know what you think, Darcy - I hope you and the girls like it!

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  2. OMG "Ginger" tries to corner the market every year - his favourite last year was the chocolate covered graham version S'mores. But he might just have to try your tart!

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    1. I am generally a Thin Mint kinda guy, but wouldn't turn down a S'more ever! I am also a shortbread cookie fan, so I get sad when everyone passes up the Trefoils!

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  3. Wow. This sounds really incredible!

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    1. Thanks, Mimi - it was really fun to create!

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  4. What a gorgeous tart, love cooking with saffron but have never tried baking, will definitely have to change that. So clever to use Trefoils. My favorite is the peanut butter, can't remember the name right;)Take care!!

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    1. I think the peanut butter ones are Tagalongs?

      I think you will love saffron in baking, Cheri - it adds such a delicate and floral note to baked goods!

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  5. Wow, I'll have to bookmark this recipe- I'm always on the lookout for more pie crust recipes. I often see other groups selling items in front of supermarkets, but it is usually candied popcorn, etc so I decline to buy it. But if Avery and Addison appear, I'll definitely be buying!

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    1. If you don't see Avery or Addison, you can always use Walker's shortbreads! :)

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  6. Nice recipe. We have a connection too...our granddaughter. We pay her for lots of boxes of cookies then tell her to sell them to someone else. Double money that way and we don't consume all the calories. Win, win for us all. :D

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    1. That is a brilliant strategy, Karen! I usually but tons and then bring them to my colleagues at work. I look like a hero on both ends... however, your version is much better!

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  7. The trefoils and thin mints have always been my favorites, my *only* GS cookies. And I like what you did with your trefoils! Very Italian, indeed.

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    1. Your favorites are mine, too, Jean! While I give away all the others I buy, I save the Trefoils for crusts and the Thin Mints for special treats!

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  8. My favorites are the Thin Mints and the Samoas!! I love that you support the Girl Scouts and I love everything about this tart!! What a creative recipe with the Trefoil crust ❤️

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    1. I really love the work the Girl Scouts do - and how they empower the young girls and women. They have really brought the organization into the third millennium with grace - brava for them!

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  9. You are right. Mascarpone, flavored with saffron and honey I can't even pretend to have willpower. I'm quite impressed by the creation you and Barbara came up with. Of course you were in Italy so some inspired culinary spirits were guiding you. GREG

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    1. Yeah, those Italian food gods are really good, Greg. It is almost as if you can't make a bad meal there...

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  10. What a creative (and delicious looking) use of Girl Scout cookies! And you can't go wrong with mascarpone! I've been know to hide a box of thin mints at the bottom of my underwear drawer for months if I'm dieting during cookie season :)

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    1. I hide the Thin Mints away, too, Inger - and sometimes so well that I completely forget about them for month! Luckily, they have a great shelf life!

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  11. I just made this, and I can't wait to try when its cool, tomorrow morning. Rosemary, saffron, lemon zest, honey, creamy dairy barely sweetened are my favorites. I just couldn't wait to tell you thanks. It is beautiful!

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    1. Thank you, Amy - your comment made my day! Please let em know how you like it - the combination of ingredients makes it so special for me.

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  12. Ok I may not have girl scout connections or connections to these particular cookies, but I have an instant connection with this tart. Simply gorgeous, David.

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    1. Thanks, John - you can definitely use Walker's shortbreads to make this... but you are really missing out on the Thin Mints. :)

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  13. We don’t have Girl Scout cookies in the UK, I always think I am missing out on something amazing they all sound so good! I always see such amazing recipes using them. And this tart is no exception, looks and sounds divine.

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    1. Sorry you don't have GS cookies there - but your cookies are pretty good, I have to say! Thanks for your kind comment, Caroline!

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  14. What a delicious way for Girl Scouts cookies.

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    1. I thought so, Gerlinde! I wonder what I can do with Thin Mints?!

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  15. Oh i love the rosemary in the crust. such a great addition! I too have a Girl Scout cookie connection -- right across the street. Thank you for reminding me that it's almost that time of year again! :-)

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    1. I remember telling you about this tart last year when I made it! How fast the year went, Valentina!

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  16. You know, I haven't had Girl Scout cookies in years. Didn't they used to go door to door selling them back in the day? Not sure how you get them now... Do you need connections? ;-)

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    1. Well, at the very least you need to know where the girls are selling them these days - often at grocery stores or malls. They used to go door-to-door when we were young, but I think there is a safety aspect to that which makes selling as a group easier.

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  17. So cool how you post a recipe using these biscuits to boost the Girl Scouts cookie season, I love that!

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    1. Thanks! I will have to create something new for next year!

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  18. A delicious tart, I'm sure! The filling sounds heavenly!

    I also want to say that I had to skip your previous recipe as I have a hard time with duck and rabbit recipes given that I had both as pets. :( I personally just can't do it.

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  19. Aha, I now have another excuse to buy even more boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Rosemary, lemon and saffron - oh. my. The tart sounds scrumptious!

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  20. Such an interesting combination! I know in the West we rarely dare to use saffron for desserts, but it can be truly delicious :)

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    1. Thanks, FoodTrotter! I think we are getting braver int eh West when it comes to saffron (and rose)... perhaps Ottolenghi has helped a bit, but there were so many before him.

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