Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Back from the dead! Kind of. I made a really delicious and impressive looking tarte tatin, but the "fancier" "in focus" photos got lost in the ether, so you kind of have to trust me.

There was a request from the peanut gallery up in Newton for scientific cookie analysis. I do you one better! Shortbread recipes always make a reasonable amount of cookies and the ingredients are mad convenient, if you are "into having a couple pounds of butter around." Also shortbread are very sophisticated cookies and will make you feel inspired to say everything with a British accent. Mostly just lines from the Harry Potter movies. Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts!

Shortbread Cookies

(ala Mark Bittman)

1/2 lb butter, softened
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch (leftover from those home science experiments)
3/4 cup sugar
an egg yolk (I bet the whole egg would fly if you cook them longer)
a little salt
EXTRAS: Add chopped crystallized ginger and a serious pinch of ginger. Or chocolate cookies. Or rosemary, if you are feeling herbal. Better yet, add each of these to chunks of the dough as you press them into the pan, like a variety pack.

--Preheat the oven to 300
--Leave the butter on the counter, go watch Dancing with the Stars

--Oh right, I said I would make cookies
--Softened? Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg.
--Add the flour and cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Blend.
--Is that all? Yes. Except that you can add some stuff now, if you are making a variety pack.
--Press the mixture(S) into a greased cake pan of some kind. Here's the beauty-- no matter what, you'll end up with pretty much only cookies & a cookie snack for your crew, not enough cookies for IRRESPONSIBLE COOKIE SNACKING. Good heavens. 8x8 is right on; a loaf pan will make less cookies, but they will be kind of hefty.
--Check up after half an hour, but it might take 40 minutes or so.
--Snack attack!

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