Saturday, March 30, 2013

Did Someone Say Butter?

When I saw a photo of these cookies on-line, I was sure it was my grandmother’s recipe and I was excited. After years of trying to recreate this recipe and tasting them in my mind almost daily, here it was right before my eyes.

There are two very essential ingredients in butter cookies – the vanilla and of course the butter.

I don’t remember what kind of vanilla my grandmother used and I’ve tried a lot of vanilla’s but Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract is by far the best vanilla there is.

If your budget does not stretch that far- I always find other things to cut out - don't worry because there are quality brands at your market. Just make sure you do not buy one labeled imitation vanilla.

Butter in the US is graded according to flavor, color, texture, aroma and body and one easy way to tell the quality of the butter is by the letter code or numerical number listed on the butter's package. The highest grade is AA (93 score), then A (92 score), followed by B (90 score)

My favorite? I surprised myself when I didn’t go for the French but rather the Kerrygold from Ireland…and not necessarily because I am Irish.

Was it my gramdmothers recipe? As good as it gets without my grandmother making them herself.

Now all I need is a half a gallon of milk and my brother to help me polish off the entire jar.

Bon Appetit!

Shortbread Cookie Recipes

All Purpose Flour – 1 cup
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

In a bowl whisk flour with salt, keep aside.

In another bowl beat butter and sugar well until creamy with a whisk. Add vanilla and give a quick stir.

Add in the flour mixture.

Combine to form a soft dough - If it doesn’t come together add just few drops of water/milk.

Flatten the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it for at least an hour (this is for making the dough firm so that while baking it doesn’t spread but I was in a hurry so skipped the chilling part).

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness, then cut using your favorite shaped cookie cutters. Be careful not to roll them too thin or too thick. I did both.

Preheat the oven to 350 for 10mins.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes(mine took 15-17minutes) or until the edges start turning golden brown.

You can sprinkle with colored sugar before you bake them.