Its been awhile since my oven got a visit from a tray of cut or shaped cookies waiting to be baked golden(oh i love them a little more than just golden,golden brown maybe for that added crunch)as my brand new 9 holed size 12 muffin traysure did keep me wanting more than ever experimenting with very sucessfull muffins & cuppy cakes & fairy cakeys et all. Havent written or photographed them all nor all the frosting combis i tried but now on will try my best to so can post a few atleast! That said & soon going to be done,back to my cookie story...
After contemplating and even keeping the butter for softening for nigella lawson cut out cookies,i went thru the kaf on impulse & some others for rich butter cookies(well i was dreaming of shewsberry,more on that later & n a nice buttery flavour crunchyly melting on my taste buds ie located some where on my tongue & mouth that get activated at the sight n thought many a gourmet foods...whew!!!)
So searched ,searched & searched & all this searching(very aimfull) led me to holiday butter cookies and that was it,had to try 'em. Plus me had already had a hand at baking nigella's cut out cookies sandwhiching them with my only food color then,yellow,icing(will post that too!)
No fiora de sicilia flavouring(&i had no hope of findin it here coz i cant even find a bottle of real vanilla so m making my own-it flavour is too too good guys),which i researched a bit about & got to know its an italian flavouring with an excellent combi of citrusy flavour combined with pure real vanilla(this can be easily recreated in r kitchens),so anyway me stuck to vanilla which i love so much so in went my gourmet vanilla caviar.....oooo...smells yummy!!!!
Have quartered the recipe and as was bringing the dough together had a couple of ideas kicking up!
There sure are loads of tricks & treats to be learnt & known & studied & experimented in the cookie world but to start with these just a few i've come across in my cookie baking.
am leaving the dough oevernight & its best not to roll butter cookie dough at once to avoid any crumble or cracks(a butter cookie has loads of fat ie butter,remember)so leave it out for half an hour before rolling out for cut outs or less for drop or button cookies.
i always bake on the middle r centre rack one tray at a time,well what a waste u think but belive me when i say that one tray at a time on the middle rack give the best results(my oven does) but if u must then set racks on topmost & lower 2nd & alternate trays halfway thru baking time. Now this applies to home baking & depends on ur oven ,now the professional ovens are another story really!
i alwys love more dan just a crunch, a quite delicate very much prominent crunch so i bake a little longer!
Now this u will learn during ur baking escapades that a cookie hardens as it cools(but make sure u stack them as soon as cooled n/or well frosted into your airtight cookie jar or tin.
now to check during baking if the cookies done for the crunchiness just so right,what i do & it works for me is,when the aroma & sight tells me ,oh ,i'm done, oh i'm done, i quickly place one in d freezer section of my refrigerator & just a min or 2 later its confirmed.worked for me,try it sometime!
now for the recipe that can be eaisly quartered(i did)
adapted from kaf butter cookies
for the cookie dough
1 1/4th cupicing sugar(this confectioners sugar is what gives these lovely cookies an added crunch)
1cup+ 2 tablespoons butter
2 whole vanilla beans or extract
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
now you have everything together begin with ur dough...aint the excitement building
1. combine the sugar,butter,egg yolk & vanilla caviar or seeds or the extract(ofcourse u can use any flavour of ur choice but i love the combination of butter with vanilla,a perfect relationship as they bring out the best of each other really!& vanilla i love workin with always!!)beat well till creamy & smooth.
2.add the flour and beat till it all comes together.u can add a few drops of water if it doesnt but i didn need to.
3. Roll into a nice disc(divide into half if using whole recipe as it is).wrap a cling film & refrigerate for 2hours or overnight.
4.remove the dough ,after the desired time & let it soften for around half an hour for cut out cookies.It should feel cold but soft ,not rock hard.
Roll out to 1/8 th inch on well floured surface,flour the rolling pin too,
cut out ,place on tray & bake in pre-heated oven(180*c) till done for (took me around half an hr but remember i love a crunch& snap ,not a chew).
NOW THIS IS WHAT I REALLY DID
-rolled a few into button size & rolled in colored sugar(made my own).still warm from oven pressed in a choco chip in the middle
-one part rolled a rectangle,spread with nutella choco paste(my hot fav)& roasted finely chopped cashewnuts.rolled in & cut like for pinwheel cookies with those green sealing rolls[worked better than the sharpest knife i had]
-and one part rolled out and cut out cookies heart shaped as in for sandwhich cookies with baby blue frosting & sprinkles
all these combis make a really cute picture &thus; i had a little platter of these 3 ,a few of each. now i didn click pictures but am going bake these again n add pictures to this post soon!