Since I’m still in the gather-it-up-and-get-rid-of-it stage ever since The Big Flood, I’m liking the idea of flagging favorite recipes and menus on sites like Epi and My Recipes. They pretty much have every recipe that’s been published in the last decade available for free, so there’s no need for me to stockpile issues in the basement, where I trip over them. I even bought new recipe organizing software that allows me to import recipes and their swell photos. I know! I’m all 21st century now.
Anyway, I’m glad I saved this one since they were so simple and fun to make. This is basically a shortbread dough made with brown butter, which is the secret to their extraordinary flavor. I love the little nut-like bits of browned butter in the baked cookie, too.
These seem to be fairly unusual; in my brief search for similiar cookies, all I found was one in a cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas, The Great Scandinavian Baking Book. She calls them Finnish Teaspoon Cookies.
I chose to fill these with chocolate because, why not? My second choice would be some good apricot jam.
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt, slightly rounded
Chocolate ganache * or fruit preserves
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Cook 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter turns golden, smells nutty, and flecks on bottom of pan turn deep caramel brown. A thick foam will form and cover the surface just before butter begins to brown – keep close attention and stir more frequently.
Pour the butter into a medium bowl set into a larger bowl of ice to stop cooking. Stir frequently until butter appears emulsified and opaque, about 3 minutes. Stir in sugar and vanilla.
Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; add to butter and stir until a dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and let stand at room temperature 1 or 2 hours.
Place oven rack in middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
Pinch off a piece of dough and press firmly into the bowl of a teaspoon. Slide the dough off the spoon and place flat-side down on an ungreased cookie sheet. Continue forming cookies and arrange on sheet. Bake until very pale golden, 12-15 minutes. Cool cookies on a rack 5 minutes before transfering to a rack to cool completely.
Spread cookies with soft, spreadable chocolate ganache or warmed preserves.
Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies.
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream just to a simmer, then pour over chocolate. Stir gently until smooth.