I started with a plan to demonstrate making white chocolate curls.
But Saturday afternoon, it was too hot outside and too cold inside. I attacked the half-frozen, half-melting stuff for a while and then, disgusted, shoved the chocolate aside and reached for some limeade. I opened the fridge and poked around the shelves, looking for…whatever you look for. When you’re mad.
The evening before, I’d mixed up some rugelach dough – cream cheese dough – planning to make a batch of pick-me-up cookies for a slightly depressed friend.
But I had a slab of incredible pepper bacon sitting around, and unable to resist its black-peppered, smoky goodness, I decided to use half the dough as a base for Tarte Flambee – sort of a bacon and onion pizza – for Friday night’s dinner.
Inspired by my head still in France and modernemama‘s enthusiasm, it was bacony perfection, a license to eat four kinds of fat. Oh my.
Now it was Saturday and I was annoyed in the kitchen. I’d abandoned the white chocolate mess and was huffily munching cold bacon tart. Last I checked I’d come in here to do something, not just eat leftovers. I took another slurp of limeade, grabbed the remaining rugelach dough and looked in the fruit bowl.
Slim pickings. Josie eats drippy nectarines all summer like a fruit bat, and there was only one left.
But with a bit of cream cheese dough for crust, one nectarine turned into four little tarts.
There was still a little dough left. I could make a few rugelach for that sad friend of mine, or – nibbling the last chunk – I could finish it off myself.
Hmm. I had a rapidly decreasing ball of dough, and a few strawberries in the fridge. And a lone kiwi.
After a few minutes of rolling, pressing, more nibbling and baking, there were tart shells.
And the presence of tart shells called for the whipping of cream.
Now I had tart shells, honey whipped cream, strawberries, a peeled kiwi and one bowl of lonely, hardened white chocolate in the corner. I narrowed my eyes.
Oh, fine. Who wouldn’t forgive white chocolate? You can play too.
So the sad friend led to rugelach which didn’t get made, which led to a tart flambee, four nectarine tarts, some failed white chocolate curls, sliced strawberries, a kiwi and freshly whipped cream.
Finally, it led to a few pretty things at the end of the day. Just for fun, and just to show how when you least expect it, when you are hot and frustrated and sucking down limeade, everything has a way…
…of coming full circle.
Cream Cheese Dough
8 oz cream cheese, cold
8 oz unsalted butter, cold
2 cups all-purpose flour
Place flour and salt in food processor and process a few seconds, to blend. Chunk butter and cream cheese in pieces over flour, then process, using on-off motion, until dough just forms a ball. Turn out onto floured surface and knead lightly into a smooth mass.
Roll, shape and bake into tart crusts, sweet turnovers, rugelach, and other cookies.
Keeps several days wrapped in the refrigerator, and freezes well.