Saturday, March 29, 2008

Butter Cookies

Another food I never cared for as a child - butter/shortbread cookies. So boring. You get a tin of them for Christmas and they sit on the counter until you throw them away, right?

Well, Bobby's parents wound up with a tin this Christmas, and for some reason, when I go over there, I can't stop eating them. All I want is a cup of tea and one (or four) of those cookies. I'm sure I'm the only one eating them, and I flirt with the idea of asking to take them home with me. More evidence of my changing tastes, I suppose.

A couple of weeks ago, Emma and I had to do some grocery shopping, and we looked around for a tin of them, but to no avail. I was going to have to stock up next Christmas. I mentioned this to a co-worker, and he responded with, "You could find a recipe and make your own."

Why the heck didn't I think of that?!
And so the search began, and after reviewing a few recipes, I settled on this one. I think what did it for me was that her Danish great-grandmother used to make them. Once I had some free time at home, I whipped up my cookie dough.

I made one alteration - I used shortning in place of butter, as I always do when baking. It felt wrong, making butter cookies with no butter, but it was a sample batch. I baked 9 cookies, and put the remaining dough in the freezer for the future.

Thinking of the cookies in the tin, I expected little compact cookies, but the dough expanded as cookie dough does. The cookies were firm, the way butter cookies are, but they weren't quite as dense as the store-bought kind. They reminded me more of sugar cookies, but not soft as fresh baked cookies are. The flavor is a bit different than the store-bought, and at first I was disappointed, but then I dipped.

Something about the way these cookies taste dipped in tea is divine. Thier firmness holds up well when dipped, and they seem to sponge up just the right amount of tea, so they have a soft flavorful crunchiness. I find myself wanting them all the time. Now I just need a tin to put them in.

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