This week’s TWD choice was Arborio Rice Pudding and I just haven’t been feeling it the last few weeks with TWD choices so I took the freedom again to bake something I felt was more desirable and appropriate for me.I baked the basic chocolate chip cookies again as well as Dorie Greenspan’s Sables.
These rich tender buttery shortbread cookies were absolutely delicious, melt in your mouth make you fat in the belly good. I loved it. I ate many many of them.
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 cups APF
Decorating coarse sugar
- Working with a stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth and very creamy. Add the sugars and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. The mixture should be smooth and velvety, not fluffy and airy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the egg yolks, again beating until the mixture is homogenous.(Of course I don’t own a mixer so the butter is beat with a spoon in a mixing bowl by hand. My palms turn red and my hand gets numb after awhile, I’m getting used to it).
- Turn off the mixer (hand gets a break). Pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and the counter from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time (I just mixed with a spatula). Take a peek – if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple more times; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough and the dough looks uniformly moist. The dough will not clean the sides of the bowl, nor will it come together in a ball and it shouldn’t. You want to work the dough as little as possible. What you’re aiming for is a soft, moist, clumpy rather than smooth dough. Pinch it, and it will feel alittle like play-doh.
- Scrape teh dough out onto a smooth work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long; its easiest to work on a piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic to help form the log. Wrap the logs well and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours, perferably longer. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. (I kept mine in the fridge for 3 hours. I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap and tried to form as uniform a long as possible but it was difficult. It just looks like a very long lightly shaded turd log).
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. Remove a log of dough from tje refrigerator, unwrap it and place it on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Whisk the egg yolk until it is smooth, and brush some of the yolk all over the sides of the dough – this is the glue – then sprinkle the entire surface of the log with decorating sugar. (I think Dorie forgot to add this yolk into the ingredient list because I used those 2 eggs already into the batter. So since I didn’t have any more eggs I just sprinkled confectioner sugar at the end upon taking cookies out of the oven. This made a thick layer of sugar which was sweet but probably not as aesthetically clean looking or pretty).
- Trim the ends of the roll if they’re ragged, and slice the log into 1/2 inch thick cookies. You can make these as thick as 1/2 inch or as thin as, but no thinner than, 1/2 inch. Place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving an inch of space between them. (My individual pieces were not perfectly round whatsoever and it was of concern since it looked really jagged, uneven and ugly, but they came out nicely in subtly different sizes in the end).
- Bake one sheet at a time for 17 to 20 minutes (Mine were in for 23 minutes), rotating the baking sheet at the midway point (I didn’t bother). When properly baked, the cookies will be light brown on teh bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top; they may feel tender when you touch the top gently, and that’s fine. Remove from teh oven and let the cookies rest a minute or two before carefully lifting them onto a rack with a wide metal spatual to cool to room temp.
- Repeat with the remaining log of dough, making sure the baking sheets are cool before you bake the second batch.
This recipe was a success although the thought of consuming nothing more than sugar, butter and flour nauseated me. I’ve gained a few more pounds this month and its of great dire concern. I will take a break from baked goods this month, I’ll continue to bake them but I will IMMEDIATELY disperse and distribute accordingly. Wish me luck.