Friday, April 1, 2011

Salted Butter Break-Ups

What are salted butter break-ups? Easy, fabulously delicious butter cookies. They're also addictive. Make them and you will find it impossible to pass up breaking off a piece every time you pass through the kitchen. The recipe, which is from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan, couldn't be easier. The dry ingredients get pulsed in the food processor, then you add the butter pieces and pulse, then a little cold water to bring it all together. Pat the dough into a disk, refrigerate, then bash it into a roundish, thinish giant cookie.  Brush with egg wash and score with the back of your longest knife (I used my slicer). The scoring is optional if you're in a rush.

I've made these twice and have a few of tips to share:
  • If you like the sweet/salty flavor profile, you could up the salt or even use fleur de sel. I love how these taste with fleur de sel.
  • I roll mine out on a sheet of parchment on the BACK of a sheet pan. I use the plastic wrap I stored the dough in on top, and never have to clean my rolling pin. Yes, I am lazy. Using the back of the sheet pan offers a few advantages: no repositioning to roll around the lip of the pan and it's easier to score the dough when the lip isn't in your way. If I need the cookies to cool quickly, I can very easily slide the parchment and giant cookie off the back of the pan onto the cooling rack (or my granite counter top, if I'm in a big rush).
  • Make sure you roll them thin enough, or the middle will be more like a bread than a cookie. Still good, but the star of these cookies is the crispy edge.
  • Experiment with flavors! You could use Dorie's method of rubbing citrus zest into the sugar for lightly lemony cookies (or orange, lime or grapefruit!) Dip them in melted chocolate before serving. Finely chopped nuts or, gasp, cocoa nibs, would take these in an entirely different direction. So would finely chopped rosemary or thyme leaves.
  • My blogging, Twitter and Words with Friends buddy Di suggested dividing the dough in half to make two smaller giant cookies. Her rationale is you would end up with more edge area, and the best part of these cookies is their edge. 
  • Let them cool completely before eating them. The cookie needs cooling time to crisp on the edges. Are you sensing that we like the edges?
Guess I should have taken the photos before sampling the cookie. Next time.

I made these for French Fridays with Dorie. The group made them a couple weeks ago, but I am so behind I'm just getting to posting them. If you want the recipe (after all, who doesn't need an easy butter cookie??), you can find the recipe here.


Tracey said...

I meant to try this recipe after everyone in FFwD posted it a few weeks ago and completely forgot, so thanks for the reminder :) Great tips, so glad you shared!

Lisa said...

Leslie, salted butter cookies do not get any better than that. Love how you just break them up into pieces and I love the salted angle. Grew up on plain butter *yawn* cookies lol

That said, oh, yes, please do tweet my Japan donation entry. I usually get 30-50 something comments, so I put aside even more just in case. So far, only 8 comments, and only 24 more hours left!! I could just donate, but the entry is dedicated to the vicitims (the matcha cake) Kind of symbolic and I wanted to pass the entry on to the ARC.

Funny..anything 'free' on my blog is like trying to lure people to loose

Mary said...

Great idea. I will try rolling out onto the top of the baking sheet. Thanks.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Oh goodness, I can definitely understand why it'd be difficult to resist this one each time you were in the kitchen. Traditional recipes like this are really moriesh!

Kayte said...

We loved the edges, too, but we had absolutely no trouble at all getting rid of the middles as well. This was a fun and interesting recipe, wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

Just got through baking a batch of homemade wheat thins - very healthy and tasty. But these butter cookies look even more appealing! Can't wait to try.

Keri said...

Me! I don't need an east butter cookie.

That doesn't mean I would turn you down, if just means I don't need it.