Friday, February 3, 2012

The best desert I ever made ( and the simplest) - Salted Butter Breakups

If there is such a thing as pure joy, this is it.  These “cookies” have got to be the food’s version of crack-cocaine, they are that addictive.  You get the buttery, the sweet, the salty, crunchy, and soft all at once and if I had to choose one food to eat for the rest of my life, this would be it. The edges are a bit crunchy and darker, the interior is moist and buttery, and because you bake these “cookies” as one giant one, everyone gets to choose which ever part they like most.  I like it all.  This is the kind of a treat, that if you have it in the house you can’t pass by it or ignore it, until you finish it.  Hours after all kinds of decent eating deadlines have passed you are haunted by their immediate presence.  The call on you, they mock you, and you go for another bite.
 The simplicity is mind boggling.  I wish I could claim this recipe as my own, but I can’t.  The sheer stroke of Dorie Greenspan’s brilliance is all in this recipe.  I can only say “Wow!”
The reason I am blogging about this recipe, which is not mine, is because I think that it needs to be shared with the masses.  It comes from my favorite French cooking book “Around my French Table”.
This cookie has only four components, so don’t skimp on the quality of the ingredients.   You can taste everything! So go for the best French butter you can find, it makes all the difference!  Go for the Fleur De Sel or Sel gris, which is the finest of French salts.  And remember, you are only about 90 minutes away from sheer bliss.
The recipe if by Dorie Greenspan from “Around my French table”
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp of Sel gris or Fleur de Sel
9 oz of cold cubed butter (French is best, Belgian or Irish if you cannot find French will do)
3 to 5 tbs of ice cold water
1 egg yolk + ½ tbs of cold water for the glaze

The best French butter, you can really taste the difference.
The "reall good" salt

In the food processor combine flour, sugar and salt, pulse to combine.  Add the butter and pulse until the butter is broken up into pea size clumps.  With the food processor on, start adding ice cold water one tablespoon at a time.  As soon as the dough comes together into a ball, stop mixing.


Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and shape it into a square.  Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  On the floured surface roll out the dough to about 1/8 of an inch thick trying to keep it into a rectangular shape.  The dough will be very crumbly, so if you can’t keep the shape, don’t worry about it too much.

With the back of the fork, make a crisscross pattern all over the top side of the cookie.  Brush with the egg yolk mixture.  Transfer the cookie, glazed side down, onto the parchment paper.  Repeat the crisscross pattern and the glazing on the top side.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until the edges begin to brown and the middle is perfectly golden.  Cool on the baker’s cooling rack (or the bottom will be soggy).

Break apart and try to leave some for the family!

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