It all started with a Cookie – Cake Boss , Buddy Valastro
I never thought biscuits/cookies would play such an integral role in my life….the girl takes them to school to snack on her short break and I find myself frequenting the biscuit counter at the super market every now and then. We have had some great biscuits growing up…there was the evergreen “KrackJack”, still going strong,the Britannia “Tiger” Biscuits (Glucose biscuits) that are sold at a fantastic price of Rs.5/- for a pack, the Marie Biscuits…and the delicious Unibic biscuits which is making its waves among kids and adults…
I buy them off and on, for it is a convenient alternative, but the fact remains nothing beats home made…and you know, if you love to bake, you have the incessant itch, so i went on a cookie baking spree and made 3 kinds of cookies.
The first I did were Anzac Cookies, with oats and honey, sans egg. Its a ‘healthy’ cookie, one that reminds you of a chewy granola bar, one of those ‘I am on a diet’ kinda cookie…which i realised was just not me.
Then I tried some white chocolate lemon cookies which was too crumbly for my taste ..then i tried these Christmas Sables….
Needless to say, this was ‘Thumbs up’ the best cookie…it is crisp, it is crunchy, has the characteristic snap, the sugar is just borderline, and there is a hint of Cinnamon for a faraway feel…obviously, it comes from one of the Masters of his trade and absolutely delivers.
Re-printed with permission.
All-purpose flour – 300 grams
Almond flour, skinless – 100 grams
Ground cinnamon- 2 grams (1 teaspoon)
Butter – 200 grams
Vanilla extract or paste – 10 grams (2 teaspoons)
Granulated sugar – 150 grams
Sea salt – 3 grams
Whole eggs – 40 grams ( 1 extra-large egg less 4 teaspoons)
Egg Wash – 1 egg, heavy cream and a pinch of salt, beaten together
1. Sift the flour and the almond flour and combine them in a bowl. Add the cinnamon.
2. Place the butter, vanilla, sugar, and sea salt in the bowl of your mixer and mix with the paddle for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the egg and mix for another 2 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure that all the ingredients are mixed together.
3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until they just come together. Stop the machine and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and the paddle, then beat again just until the dough is amalgamated. Do not over-beat or you will activate the gluten in the flour and the dough will be rubbery.
Scrape the dough out of the mixer onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Divide into 2 equal pieces and press each piece gently until it is about ½ to ¾ inch thick.
Wrap airtight and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight to allow the flour to absorb the water in the dough. This will make the dough much more stable and easier to roll out.
4. When you are ready to roll out the dough and shape and bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C with the rack positioned in the middle. Line the sheet pans with parchment paper. Lightly dust your work surface or a silpat with flour. It may be easiest to cut each piece of dough in half and roll out 1 small piece at a time. Take the piece you are going to roll out from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.
Then roll out to 3/16 of an inch. Cut into shapes with the cookie cutters of your choice and place on the sheet pans. Do not cut on the silpat.
5. Brush the tops of the cookies lightly with egg wash, taking care not to allow it to drip down the sides of the cookies. Let sit for 10 minutes and apply a second thin layer of egg wash.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, reversing the pan front to back halfway through, until they are golden brown throughout.
The low oven temperature will allow all of the water to evaporate, resulting in a very flaky cookie. The finished product should be golden brown throughout.
This means that you have baked it long enough.
The cookies will keep for 1 month in a tin or an airtight container.