Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spoon Cookies!

This weekend we hosted a cookie exchange party for the entire neighborhood so we'd have a chance to meet all the neighbors.  The idea was to come with four dozen cookies and leave with four dozen cookies.  Somehow we ended up with somewhere around 10 dozen cookies, which is a bit more than I wanted, but I'm not complaining: we moved into a neighborhood with excellent bakers.

I don't really have a cookie recipe that's "my" recipe, so I decided to try something new.  I had downloaded the Epicurious app for my new Droid phone the other day and a quick search for "cookies" yielded this result:

Photo from epicurious.com

2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt, slightly rounded
1/3 cup fruit preserves (your choice)

Special equipment: a deep-bowled teaspoon (not a measuring spoon)

Make dough:

Fill kitchen sink with about 2 inches of cold water. Melt butter in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until butter turns golden with a nutlike fragrance and flecks on bottom of pan turn a rich caramel brown, 10 to 12 minutes. (Butter will initially foam, then dissipate. A thicker foam will appear and cover the surface just before butter begins to brown; stir more frequently toward end of cooking.) Place pan in sink to stop cooking, then cool, stirring frequently, until butter starts to look opaque, about 4 minutes. Remove pan from sink and stir in sugar and vanilla.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and stir into butter mixture until a dough forms. Shape into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and let stand at cool room temperature 1 to 2 hours (to allow flavors to develop).

Form and bake cookies:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.

Press a piece of dough into bowl of teaspoon, flattening top, then slide out and place, flat side down, on an ungreased baking sheet. (Dough will feel crumbly, but will become cohesive when pressed.) Continue forming cookies and arranging on sheet. Bake cookies until just pale golden, 8 to 15 minutes. Cool cookies on sheet on a rack 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Assemble cookies:

While cookies cool, heat preserves in a small saucepan over low heat until just runny, then pour through a sieve into a small bowl, pressing hard on solids, and cool completely.

Spread the flat side of a cookie with a thin layer of preserves. Sandwich with flat side of another cookie. Continue with remaining cookies and preserves, then let stand until set, about 45 minutes. Transfer cookies to an airtight container and wait 2 days before eating.

Cooks' notes:

Dough can be made 12 hours before baking and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature to soften slightly before forming cookies, about 30 minutes.  Cookies keep in an airtight container at room temperature 2 weeks.

My notes: 

These cookies are amaaaaaaaaaaazing.  Simple, but buttery and full of flavor.  Plus, browning the butter made the house smell absolutely incredible.  I'll definitely make these again.


Sleepwalker said...

Those look wonderful. Like something from Pepperidge Farms, only homemade.

I Have To Have It said...

Yes, but butter--I mean better. :) They were really divine. I plan on making these again.

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