Friday, May 8, 2009

Butter cookies-sables à la poche-sand in your pocket

I always call them butter cookies. Apologies for the love of convenience. I recall a few years back I received a big bag of these for New Year gift. It was so rich and was really really and really hard-to-put-down. The whole family loved it and we finished a 2-pound bag in only a few days.

I used to have the recipe with egg yolks but again…. I lost it. The problem back then when making this cookies was that the dough tended to melt very fast while piping. The hot/humid weather in Bangkok was to blame.

I found a recipe using egg white and strong bread flour that caught my interest. I doubted how bread flour would help with piping. Here is what Apple Pie Patis Pate quoted in this web site “…..The sandy texture reminiscent of shortbread is achieved through the use of small amounts of liquid and sugar to minimize gluten development. The spread is also limited through the use of strong bread flour, allowing the piped cookies to hold the star tip pattern during baking….”. Genius huh !!!

The recipe below is from Apple Pie Patis Pate who adapted it from Michel Suas’ Advanced Bread and Pastry. What I did differently was adding a few drops of vanilla extract and decorated with chopped dried cranberries.

For the wet ingredients:

12 ounces / 340 grams butter, at room temperature
4 + 1/2 ounces / 128 grams powdered sugar
1 +3/4 ounces / 50 grams egg whites
a few drops of vanilla extract

For the dry ingredients:

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I omitted this)
13+ 3/8 ounces / 380 grams bread flour
2/3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
For decoration
Dry cranberries , chopped

Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Cream the butter until pale and cramy then mix in the powdered sugar. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract slowly and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix just until thoroughly incorporated, taking care to prevent over-mixing. Using a pastry bag with a large star tip, pipe into 1 1/2 inch wide mounds.

I decorated each cookies with dried cranberries.

Bake the piped cookies at 325ºF for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden and well-browned on the edges.


Gale Reeves said...

These look great!!!!! I can't wait to try the recipe with bread flour and egg whites. Thanks for sharing.

Nuntiya said...

You're welcome Gale. Let me know how they turn out!

Gale Reeves said...

I baked these today. I linked your blog in my post. I was expecting a 'sandy' cookie, and mine were not very sandy. I think next time I'll dip one edge in chocolate! They are very pretty. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

Grace said...

They look nicer when unbaked (i prefer white color than brown):-)

Lisa said...

I use this exact book for my culinary arts class. We're learning how to do these today so I'll recommend putting cranberries on top b/c they look delicious!

Yos said...

Hi Nuntiya,
How's your cooking school?
We're all missing you... :D
Ps : pls reply my email in ur gmail.