Wednesday, October 26, 2011

These vanilla cookies aren't plain vanilla

Holidays are creeping up, and that means a few things. First, the weather is getting much more conducive for baking. And second, there are a lot of new cookbooks coming out, just in time to get on your Christmas shopping list - or your own wishlist.

When those two things combine, it means one thing: I'm going to be trying some brand new baking recipes.

I got a review copy of Dolci Italy's Sweets from the publisher and I browsed through it looking for something different to make. I almost decided on making biscotti.- the recipe looked interesting because it included vin santo, and Italian dessert wine.

But then I saw a recipe for vanilla cookies. It was intriguing.

Okay, vanilla cookies might not sound all that intriguing, but there was one ingredient in there that I've never used in cookies, and that was enough to steer me to this recipe.

The secret special ingredient? Egg yolks. But not just ANY egg yolks. This one uses cooked egg yolks.

I've never - ever - ever seen cooked egg yolks used in a recipe before. I had to try it.

The result? These cookies have a very distinct vanilla flavor and fine crumbly texture so the sort of collapse when you chew. These would be a great addition to the Christmas cookie tray.

Vanilla Cookies
Adapted from Dolci Italy's Sweets by Francine Segan

5 hard-cooked egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
14 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup (7 ounce) all purpose flour
Confectioner's sugar, jam, or melted butter (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the cooked egg yolk and sugar in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the butter and process until creamy. Add the cornstarch and vanilla and pulse until combined. Add the flour and pulse again until just combined - don't overprocess.

Pinch off bits of dough and roll then into 1/2 in balls. Arrange them on the prepared sheets. Press down gently in the center of the ball to flatten the balls and make a little divot. Place the sheets in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up the dough.

Bake at 325 for 20 minutes - the cookies should be dry to the touch, but they will still be light in color.

Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets - they are very fragile when they're warm. Serve plain, or dust with powdered sugar. Or, if you like fill the divots with a bit of jam or melted chocolate.


Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray said...

How interesting, cooked egg yolks! They look great!

Jen said...

very interesting with the cooked egg yolks. I must try these, they look very delicious.

trailsnet said...

That's a good recipe in today's Daily Camera. But I'm curious about recipes that call for unsalted butter & then 1/2 tsp. of salt. I'm sure there's a good reason, but ... hmmm?

Donna Currie said...

Trailsnet, the more professional bakers generally use unsalted butter in baking and cooking so they can control the amount of salt. The amount of salt in salted butter can vary a bit, so it would be harder to tell you exactly how much you need.

In a recipe with a tablespoon or two of salt, it's not going to make much difference, but when you've got a stick of butter in a batch of cookies, then it starts to add up.

I generally use unsalted butter for all my cooking and baking, unless I run out.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you are such an avid baker Donna because I am learning so much from your posts. I can totally whomp heiny in the savories main course department but when it comes to breads and dessert baking my repertoire is much more limited. The things I do bake, I bake well, but they've taken me way too long to perfect. I always think some people are natural bakers -- others, like me, not so much. I have been dying for a decent vanilla cookie recipe with the texture you describe above -- can't wait to try this cooked yolks trick! Thanks for the tip.

consultant fiscal said...

This recipe sounds very good and i think it is delicious and it fits perfect with my taste. My opinion is that this isn`t a very hard recipe so i will try it very soon, thanks a lot for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to chew on a slice of the apple ____cake pic'd on the cover. It has been beggung me all day. -C.

Renee said...

Interesting...I am intrigued by the cooked egg yolks. First I have ever heard of it.

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