Sweet and Savory Butter Cookies

They’re kind of salty, kind of sweet, buttery and soft, with golden, crunchy bottoms. Elegant in taste and look. A very versatile recipe that allows you to experiment with any flavoring you like.

Here are some I made in 2016:

20160115_090634.jpg The black specks are crushed tea leaves. I mortar-and-pestle’d some French tea leaves (Imperial Wedding tea from Mariage Frères) and added to the dough to make them fragrant. Try this with any of your favorite tea leaves. 

20160113_205333.jpgThis is when I used matcha powder. Wonderful color and you get a whiff of the green tea aroma with every bite.

Ingredients:

100g cold, straight-out-of-the-fridge butter, cubed (Regular salted butter)

60g Icing sugar (try 80g if you want more sweet than salty)

10g milk, cold

40g almond powder (ground almonds)

120g pastry flour

5g flavoring powder (cocoa, matcha, crushed tea leaves, etc.) – If not using a powder, substitute with pastry flour

Equipment:

Small blender- If you don’t have a blender, you can use a potato masher or your hands to break up the butter and mix the ingredients together, but it will get messy and you’ll have to work quickly.

Steps:

  1. There’s an order to how I put the ingredients into the blender bowl, so that the dough comes together quickly. I put in half the flour first, then the cubes of butter, then the other half of the flour, powder (if using),  icing sugar and almond powder. The milk will be added later.
  2. Blend until the butter has become smaller chunks coated with the dry stuff. Shake once in a while to move everything around.
  3. Stop the blender, and pour in the milk. Blend again.
  4. Shake out the dough from the blender container. It will look something like this. I didn’t put in any flavoring powders this time, so this is the color you get if you use 125g pastry flour. If you added 5g cocoa powder, your dough would be brown. 20170130_202752.jpg
  5. Unlike other cookie doughs, you actually need to knead this dough. Bring the dough together by compressing the scattered bits into each other.20170130_202811.jpg
  6. Once a ball is formed, start using your palm to push out the dough like you’re making skid marks. Doing this will also take care of any chunks of butter that the blender didn’t get to break down.20170130_202824.jpg
  7. Repeat until dough has become soft and malleable. Do not knead more than necessary, otherwise you will activate the gluten too much and the cookie will become tough. Stop when it looks something like the below.20170130_202905.jpg
  8. Form into a ball and shape into a nice log.20170130_203127.jpg
  9. Wrap with plastic wrap.20170130_203347.jpg
  10. Fold in the ends of the wrap so that the dough doesn’t dry out on the ends.20170130_203445.jpg
  11. Put the dough in the freezer for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 345F while you wait for the dough to harden. I turn my oven on at the 25th-minute mark, and then it’s preheated by the time I am ready to put the dough in the oven.
  12. Take out the dough and cut into thick pieces. I cut mine into exactly 12 pieces. Put on cookie sheet/pan.20170130_212554.jpg
  13. Place in preheated oven and bake 15 minutes, or until edges of the bottoms are golden. These don’t change color on the top, so always look at the color of the bottoms. Here’s how mine turned out.20170130_214502.jpg
  14. They’re very soft when they’re right out of the oven. Let them cool and harden on the pan.
  15. When they’re just lukewarm to touch, carefully use a spatula to move the cookies on to a cooling rack and let cool entirely. They taste the best when they’re at room temperature.

These cookies are so versatile, because you can add any ingredients to them to transform their color and fragrance. They’re savory, buttery, crumbly and they melt in your mouth. Great with coffee or tea.