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.