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FoodBuzz: Share Our Strength

Nancy Silverton and Dahlia Narvaez Nancy Silverton and Dahlia Narvaez I was lucky enough to be asked by FoodBuzz  to cover a very exciting event here in Los Angeles. The event was the 21st Annual Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation.

Share our Strength is a national organization that raises funds to help end childhood hunger in America.  According to the L.A. County Children’s Planning Council, “25%, or 1 out of every 4, children in L.A. County 17 years and under are living in poverty.  Furthermore, over 4,000 children 5 years old and under are homeless on any given night… More than 12 million children – 1 out of every 6 or 7 face hunger in America.”

50 restaurants and 30 beverage venders participated in this event. So the choices were mind-boggling!

Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Border Grill and Ciudad led the event. They steered the crowd through a host of speakers, demonstrations, an auction, and even a mole tasting contest. It was a lot of fun but these women also knew the greater purpose behind these festivities.

Total time Yield Source Published

Rosemary Pinenut Cookies

    1 cup    pine nuts, lightly toasted
    â…“ cup    heavy cream
    3 tbsp    honey
    3 tbsp    sugar
    ½     vanilla bean, scraped
    1 cup    butter
    2 tbsp    butter
    ¾ cup    powdered sugar
    3 tbsp    flour, sifted
         Rosemary, leaves and branches
    ¾ cup    powdered sugar
    1 teasp    vanilla
    ½ teasp    sea salt
    1¾ cups    pastry or all purpose flour
    ½ cup    polenta

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly toast the pine nuts by placing them on a cookie sheet and baking them, stirring occasionally until the nuts are fragrant and just beginning to turn golden, about 9 minutes.

2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, place the cream, honey, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and 2 tablespoons butter and cook over high heat, stirring only once to ensure even cooking, until the mixture reaches 230 degrees on a candy thermometer. Take off the heat and whisk in the 3 tablespoons flour.

3. Turn the nougatine mixture into a bowl and fold in the pine nuts and two whole rosemary stalks. Allow to infuse and cool for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the rosemary stalks. This mixture can be made in advance, stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Bring it to room temperature before rolling out the cookies.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the remaining 2 sticks butter and the powdered sugar until it is creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined. Add the flour and polenta and mix until well-combined. The dough will be soft. Divide the dough in half and shape into disks. Wrap the disks separately and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

5. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. On a well-floured work surface, roll out the cookie dough to one-eighth-inch thick, using enough flour as needed. Cut out circles of dough using a 1 1/4-inch round cutter. Place the circles of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Scraps of leftover dough can be re-rolled after returning the dough to the refrigerator to chill slightly.

6. Work the room-temperature nougatine between your fingers, creating a thin disk about the size of a dime. Place the circle of nougatine on a circle of dough and garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs, about three leaves for each cookie.

7. Once all of the cookies are finished and garnished, bake them about 15 minutes until they are golden brown and the nougatine has changed color to a light hazelnut brown, rotating the pan once during baking. Cool on a wire rack.

Note: This recipe come from chef-co-owner Nancy Silverton and pastry chef Dahlia Narvaez of Mozza in Hollywood. You will need a 1 1/4-inch round cookie cutter. Serve these cookies with Butterscotch Budino