Derby cookies! Leave your links here.
Brown sugar, bourbon, and walnuts! Posting date is May 8.
- 3½ ounces (100 g) walnuts (about 1 cup), toasted
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (270 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces (2 sticks/225 g) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons good-quality Kentucky bourbon
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (110 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (120 g) bourbon sugar (see sidebar) or raw or demerara sugar
- ¾ cup (85 g) confectioners’ sugar (optional)
- In the bowl of a food processor, process the walnuts until almost all are finely ground but some remain coarse.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter, bourbon, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and combined. Add the brown sugar and beat again until the mixture is well combined and light, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and add the nuts; mix for 15 seconds. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating the nuts with a wooden spoon.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a small ice-cream scoop with a release mechanism (or a small spoon and your hands), form balls from tablespoons of dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet about ½ inch (12 mm) apart. More than likely, you should be able to fit all of the balls on one half sheet baking pan; the dough does not really spread during baking. Freeze the balls until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Remove the balls from the freezer and let sit for 5 minutes. Place the bourbon sugar in a wide shallow bowl. Roll the balls in the sugar to coat them completely, applying pressure as needed to make the sugar stick, and place them back on the baking sheet. Bake just until the balls start to color, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes.
- If using, sift the confectioners’ sugar into a wide shallow bowl. Roll the balls in the sugar and place then on a cool surface. Let the balls cool completely and sprinkle them again with more of the confectioners’ sugar right before serving.
- Vanilla bourbon sugar is addictive. Use the leftovers to finsih other desserts, to stir into coffee, and to make assorted fancy cocktails.
- Quick and Dirty Bourbon Sugar: Place 5 cup (120 g) raw or demerara sugar in a ceramic canister that has an accompanying lid (or use a small bowl covered with a small plate). Add ½ teaspoon bourbon, cover with the lid, and shake vigorously until well combined. Wait at least 30 minutes for the flavor to develop before using.
- Slow and Steady Vanilla Bourbon Sugar: Place 1 cup (240 g) raw or demerara sugar in a canister that has an accompanying lid. Split a vanilla bean lengthwise and stick the vanilla bean halves into the sugar. Drizzle the sugar with 2 teaspoons of bourbon, and top with 1 more cup (240 g) raw or demerara sugar. Cover the canister and shake like crazy. Place the canister in a dark, cool place and wait about a week for the flavors to fully develop.
A resounding YES to buttery crescent cookies this week!
What did everyone think of this simple little cookie?
Next up: Mae’s Crescent Cookies! Posting date is April 10.
- ½ cup (55 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 8 ounces (2 sticks/225 g) unsalted butter, cool but not cold
- 2 cups (255 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (50 g) walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1⁄3 cup (65 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the sifted confectioners’ sugar in a wide bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour, walnuts, granulated sugar, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until completely combined.
- Scoop and roll heaping tablespoons of dough between your hands just until they form a short, stubby log, then form them into crescents or half-moon shapes by pinching the ends slightly. Toss the crescents in the confectioners’ sugar to coat (reserving any remaining) and place them on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.
- Bake until the cookies just start to color, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool them on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then toss them one more time in the confectioners’ sugar to coat, and serve warm.
Another year, another great week of baking for Baked Sunday Mornings!
Happy New Year, everyone! Leave your links here for our first bake of 2016!
We’re starting off 2016 with pistachio-chocolate chip meringue cookies. Posting date is January 3!
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups (185 g) shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped and toasted
- 6 ounces (170 g) mini dark chocolate chips or chunks (about 1 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and sugar and whisk until just combined, about 15 seconds. Set the mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water) and whisk by hand until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Transfer the bowl back to the mixer and whisk on medium-high speed until the mixture is glossy and voluminous and slightly stiff peaks begin to form (when you pull out the whisk, a peak should form, then slowly flop over). Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated.
- Switch to the paddle attachment of the mixer, then add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for 5 more seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to manually fold in the nuts and chocolate.
- Using a small ice-cream scoop (about a scant tablespoon) with a release mechanism, drop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) between all of the cookies. (Alternatively, for larger cookies, scoop and drop by heaping tablespoons.) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (smaller cookies will bake faster), rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the cookies are hard and crackly on the surface.
- Set the pans on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely.
Our bakers came up with a variety of creative toppings for their whipped shortbread this week!
Who baked shortbread this week? Leave your links here!