Sunday, November 17, 2013

Guest Post - Butter Cookies

[Kiran] – Hello Everyone.

Guest Posts while blogging are like a mini-vacation with benefits – a long weekend spent chilling & relaxing combined with an assistant who is doing all the work ;). I still do love blogging, but this just gives me more time to relax and think about my next recipes, and I do have some good ones in store for this month.

So today is a guest post from my cousin, who will never cook anything the day I go to her place, and then tell me the next day that she tried all these great things and I will be like ‘what?’ all the while thinking that this is how she manages to have leftovers the next day. She will also never take pictures, and it is while cooking that she has to become ‘sughar’ because just after the dish is made, she will divide it into portions – one for the house, one for the university group of friends, and one for the sister’s family who lives down the lane.  
Obviously, there’s nothing left but crumbs for the camera then. Once I had finally given up, she finally decides to write a guest post! (this demonstrates the power of reverse psychology & how cousins studying to become psychologists fall for it)

And now I shall pass on the keyboard…
Butter Cookies

Hey everyone!

So Kiran’s been begging me to write a guest-post for her blog ever since the idea popped in her head while she was engrossed in the final Twilight book. She was all “Edward, I mean, Ambreen please, I need your infinite baking wisdom for my blog or it will never stand on its own two feet” and I kept telling her “You don’t need my years and years of culinary expertise Kiran, you will manage this on your own.”
[Kiran] I am not a fan of ‘Twilight’! and this character assassination is the one con of having guest posts written by cousins :p.
So after much grumbling and mumbling and not-so-passive aggression…voila! The blog was up and running and all Kiran needed were my good wishes and blessings ^.^
Ahem alright, so before I am forever banned from the Kay’s House of Treats facebook page and blog, let’s get down to business. I am kind of a disaster in the kitchen, except for times when I really pray before I start cooking, or I try out some of Kiran or my sister’s tried-and-tested cake recipes. This was one of my numerous daredevil attempts at trying something new and well, alhamdolillah it worked!These Butter Cookies were made using a recipe found in Cook’s illustrated. I did tweak a bit and well overall the results look and taste great and I encourage you guys to try it at home because hey, if I can do it, so can you (and probably a 10 year old, too).

Glazed Butter Cookies
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated: Holiday Baking

Butter Cookie Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour/maida (12 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup superfine sugar (5 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter , ( 2 sticks or 200 grams) cut into sixteen 1/2-inch pieces,
at room temperature (about 65 degrees)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract/essence
2 tablespoons cream cheese , at room temperature
*Note: If you can't find superfine sugar, process regular granulated sugar in a food processor
for about 20 seconds. Please note this is not the same as icing sugar.

Glaze
1 tablespoon cream cheese , at room temperature
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups icing sugar (6 ounces)


Note: I used 2 cups flour and 200 grams of unsalted butter, which was a bad idea because the
butter kind of took over the dough, making it hard to control and very very buttery (of course).
Moral of the story: always follow recipe instructions.


1. FOR THE COOKIES: In bowl of standing mixer fitted with flat beater (I used my regular attachment as I didn’t have the flat one), mix flour, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined, about 5 seconds. With mixer running on low, add butter 1 piece at a time; continue to mix until mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, about 1 minute longer. Add vanilla and cream cheese and mix on low until dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.

2. Remove bowl from mixer; knead dough by hand in bowl for 2 to 3 turns to form large cohesive mass. Turn out dough onto countertop; divide in half, pat into two 4-inch disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate until they begin to firm up, 20 to 30 minutes. (Can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 weeks; defrost in refrigerator before using.)

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out 1 dough disk to even 1/8-inch thickness between 2 large sheets parchment paper; slide rolled dough on parchment onto baking sheet and chill until firm, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, repeat with second disk. 

The key to making nice firm cookies is to keep the dough chilled, whether it’s after shaping it into discs, or after rolling it out, or even after using the cookie cutter. If it’s not chilled, you will notice it will start to become really loose and soggy and will become very hard to work with.

4. Working with first portion of rolled dough, cut into desired shapes using cookie cutter(s) and place shapes on parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until light golden brown, about 10 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time. Repeat with second portion of rolled dough. (Dough scraps can be patted together, chilled, and re-rolled once.) Cool cookies on wire rack to room temperature. 
5. FOR THE GLAZE: Whisk cream cheese and 2 tablespoons milk in medium bowl until combined and no lumps remain. Whisk in icing sugar until smooth, adding remaining milk as needed until glaze is thin enough to spread easily. Drizzle or spread scant teaspoon glaze with back of spoon onto each cooled cookie, as desired.

And the final result should look something like this before the glaze:
And something like this after the glaze:


Words of Caution:
Make sure you watch your cookies like a hawk when they are in the oven. I mean it. You can’t even turn around to look at the clock because they will go all spray-tan overdose on you in minutes. Think I’m kidding?

See for yourself:

Also, if you do not chill your cookies as much as instructed earlier, they will soon give up on life and begin to deform, making YOU question the purpose of their short-lived cookie existence. Have a look:

So that’s pretty much it. The cookies taste great and smell richly of vanilla, which I personally *love* in anything baked. These are perfect for winters, specially when they are hot out of the oven. Oh and when describing them to your family members, make sure you call them biscuits and not cookies because they will be all like “Why are they so thin? Why aren’t they chewy? You haven’t made them right” and that really isn’t the way the cookie crumbles. Get it get it? HAHAHA-no? Okay I was done anyway *hmmph*

Enjoy! :D

-Ambreen Ashraf

1 comment:

  1. U haven't mentioned how much salt is needed in the ingredients' list

    ReplyDelete