Appetizer & First Course, Vegetarian
Grilled Washington Apricots with Hazelnut Shortbread
Beecher's Blank Slate Cheese & Mt Rainier Fireweed Honey
Grilled Apricots & Cheese
6 fresh or 12 dried apricots, cleaned & halved
1-6 oz container of Beecher’s Blank Slate-Honey
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of ground black pepper
Pinch of allspice
Hazelnut shortbread, recipe follows
1 small jar of Mount Rainier Fireweed Honey
2 Tbsp finely chopped toasted and skinned hazelnuts
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
Preheat grill to medium heat.
Brush apricots lightly with olive oil. Place on grill; cook for 1 ½ minute on each side. Transfer to a plate & cut each piece in half again; set aside.
In a small bowl, blend together Beechers Honey Blank Slate cheese with spices and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble: top each shortbread with a heaping teaspoon of Beecher’s Blank Slate cheese and a piece of grilled apricot. Drizzle with honey and garnish with fresh mint and finely chopped hazelnuts.
5 oz unsalted butter
2/3 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned & ground, divided
Place butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until golden brown -- do not burn. Pour butter into a metal or glass bowl and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Put butter, powdered sugar and salt in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Add flour and hazelnuts; mix until just blended. Add 2-3 tsp of cold water to the dough, and then shape into a ball (may need a little more water if too crumbly).
Roll out dough on a lightly floured board to 1/4” thickness. Cut into rounds with a 1 ½” cookie cutter. Transfer cookies to a baking sheet; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or just barely browned.