Nuts in a Blanket
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5 from 1 vote

Nuts in a Blanket

Nuts in a blanket is an adorable riff on pigs in a blanket. They are ricotta cheese pastries filled with an orange walnut log. 
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time20 mins
Chill2 hrs
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: nuts in a blanket, ricotta pastry
Servings: 20 cookies
Calories: 154kcal

Ingredients

Ricotta Cheese Pastry Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour spooned in and leveled (this yields a smaller amount of flour than scooping)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 1 egg yolk save the egg white for use with the filling

Walnut Filling Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • egg white from above
  • 1/2 cup sugar for garnish

Instructions

Ricotta Cheese Pastry Instructions

  • On the kitchen counter, arrange two linen or pure cotton dish towels (do not use terry cloth) on top of each other.
  • Spread the ricotta lengthwise on the towels, shaping it into a thin rectangle.
  • Roll the cheese tightly in the towels and twist over the sink to remove excess liquid.
  • Let sit for 30 minutes and repeat with fresh towels, waiting for another thirty minutes before using the cheese.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium-low speed until smooth.
  • Add the drained ricotta and mix well.
  • Pour in the sugar and then blend in the egg yolk until just combined.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the remaining dry ingredients by hand, mixing until just incorporated.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead four or five times, until smooth.
  • Shape into a 3" x 6" rectangle. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, 2-3 hours or up to three days.

Walnut Filling Instructions

  • Place the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until the nuts are finely chopped.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  • Add the chopped nut mixture and milk.
  • Cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes or until the mixture is very thick, like thick oatmeal.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the orange zest and vanilla.
  • Refrigerate until cold.

Assembly Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Roll out the pastry dough to just under 1/4" thick.
  • Use a knife or a pastry wheel to cut dough into 1 1/2" x 3" strips.
  • Make heaping teaspoon-sized balls of nut filling and roll them into log shapes just slightly longer than than the short side of the dough strips.
  • Place the nut logs on the short side of the pastry strips and roll the pastry around the logs.
  • Brush on a little egg white at the end of each strip to glue it closed.
  • Transfer unbaked nuts in a blanket seam-side down onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. If any of the nut log is falling off (this can happen), just push it back into the blanket.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the pastry just begins to brown.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with sugar.
  • Set on cooling rack to cool.
  • Store in an airtight container layered between strips of wax paper for up to three weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 49mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 4.1% | Vitamin C: 0.2% | Calcium: 2.9% | Iron: 2.8%