Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Who Needs Ready Made? Make Your Own French Butter Cookies, Just Slice and Bake.

   For somebody who claims not to bake a lot of cookies, I sure have been baking a lot of cookies lately. Why is that? Well, there have been a hell of a lot more parties this season and cookies are an easy last minute bring along. Pop-ins are another. Since we've been in the new house we've learned to expect those. Finally holiday house guests, and nothing says welcome more than a plate of fresh baked cookies, or not so fresh baked as it turns out. More on that later. Either way, I've really been breaking my no cookie rule this Winter and as it turns out, not regretting it one bit.

   Every time I go to the market (and I'm talking nearly every day here) I always notice big rolls of pre-made dough in the refrigerated section. I also start wondering just how hard is it to make your own, slice and bake cookies using minimal fresh ingredients, no preservatives, no additives, just real stuff. Turns out not so hard at all. Professional looking butter cookies take just a few minutes, and you have total control over what goes into them. Nothing wrong with that! For these cookies I used local cage-free eggs, and grass-fed butter which if you're going to eat butter is the butter you'll want to use. Simple, local (as you can get) and clean. Now for the easy part. Making cookies.

French Butter Cookies

Here's What You Need:
3 egg yolks (save the whites for another recipe)
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter (1/2 cup measure) plus 2 Tbs more
1 1/4 cup of flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt

Here's What To Do:
In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer, cream together the egg yolks...

...and the sugar.

Cream them together until they're nice and thick and pale.

 Add in the softened butter.

Mix it until it's well combined.
Then add the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Mix this together.
When it's blended, take it out and roll the dough into a ball.
Cover it with plastic wrap and set it in the fridge to chill overnight. 

Yes, this recipe takes planning, but once you've made the dough it's on your schedule.
When you're ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Lightly grease cookie sheets and cover them with parchment paper, or if you don't want to do that use silicone mats.
Take the chilled dough out of the fridge.
Roll the dough out so it's about 1/4 inch thick.

Then take a biscuit cutter and cut out cookies Place them on your baking sheets.

And put them back into the fridge to set for another 30 minutes or until they're nice and firm again.

Take them out and pop them into the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes. While they're baking sit around looking pleased with yourself dude, you just beat the food industrial complex!

Watch the dog take a nap. Did you know dogs sleep on average 14 hours a day?

Look out the kitchen windows and check out the tail on that squirrel!

When the cookies look nice and golden, take them out and cool them on a baking rack.

Arrange them stylishly...

...and serve them up.

   Notice all the cookies? Well, the dough for these was made ahead of time. it can be refrigerated or if properly wrapped in waxed paper, stored in the freezer. Just take them out, slice, and bake. follow these directions and you're all set cookie-wise. Once baked and cooled the cookies can also be put into an air-tight container, think tupperware type, and frozen for later. My friend Jane the Nurse told me that this worked and by god it does!!

   So bake once, slice twice, or three times, you will never ever run out of homemade cookies. Coming up next. Preserving and protecting those fabulous Fuyu Persimmons before they go out of season. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

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