Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Spoon Cookies

The first of this month I submitted a cookie recipe to Gourmet Unbound, a site dedicated to cooking and choosing recipes from Gourmet magazines past issues.
Had I been aware of this site in December I probably would have chosen this Spoon Cookie recipe to submit. It's from a December 2005 issue of Gourmet.
I was curious about the name and found myself looking it up just to see why it is called this. Turns out it's named this because you fill a spoon with the dough, press the dough down into the spoon and then slide out the formed dough. Well, ok..and here I thought, what? That it was made out of spoons? Kidding!
But this cookie is a bit tricky. The most time consuming part of making this spoon cookie is browning the butter. If you've never done this before, take a look at this for a quick lesson. Or my photos, of course!
These cookies are quite crumbly and delicate, but they are light and delicious.

Just so you know, I halved the recipe. I figured just in case I botched the browning part, I would only be wasting one stick of butter.
So start by browning the butter. To do this, melt the butter in a saucepan( I cheated and used a saute type of pan), over moderate heat.
As the butter melts, it forms white foam on top.

Tiny bubbles begin to form as the heat increases and the white foam starts to break up a little.
After about 5 to 7 minutes the butter turns this nice golden color.
Stir more at this point and once tiny specks appear on the bottom and the color is a nutty brown shade, take the pan off the heat and place into your sink filled with cold water. Oh, didn't I mention that? Yes, before you start the browning process, first fill your sink with about 2 inches of cold water.
Placing the pan in the sink with cold water stops the cooking.
Stir the butter. It will start to look opaque after a few minutes.
Remove the pan from the sink and pour in the sugar and vanilla.

Stir to combine the sugar and vanilla with the butter.

Whisk flour, salt and soda in a small bowl and stir into the butter mixture til a dough forms.

It will seem crumbly but it does come together.

Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic.
Let it sit at room temp. for 1 to 2 hours for the flavor to develop.
Preheat your oven to 325 and place your rack in the middle of the oven.
The recipe originally said to scoop using a teaspoon. I thought this size was way too small so I used..
I used a half tablespoon spoon, measuring spoon that is. The particular measuring spoon I have has a nice shallow "bowl" and it's easy to slide the dough out. BTW, doesn't the dough in that photo above look kind of creepy?!
Anyway, press the dough into the spoon, then slide it out carefully. It may want to crumble so if it does, just press it back in there and try again.
They don't spread at all when baked.

Let them cool 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
In the meantime, heat the fruit preserves you'll be using. I used black raspberry.
Then go ahead and place some preserves onto the flat side of one cookie and top with another cookie to make a sandwich. Allow the filling to set.
There is a note about the cookies that says they get much better after a few days. I'll have to hide them to find out if that's true since they're almost all gone already!
Spoon Cookies (from Gourmet Magazine Dec. 2005)
2 sticks of cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces.
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups AP flour
1 tsp. soda
1/8 tsp. salt, slightly rounded
1/3 cup fruit preserves
Fill your kitchen sink with 2" of cold water
1. Melt butter in a 2 - 3 quart heavy saucepan,( I used a shallow saute type pan.) over moderate heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, til butter turns golden with a nut like fragrance and flecks on the bottom of the pan turn a rich caramel brown color, about 10 - 12 minutes.
Butter will initially foam, them dissapate. A thicker foam will appear and cover the surface just
before butter begins to brown.
Stir more frequently toward the end of cooking.
2. Place pan in sink of water, to stop the cooking and cool it down. Stir frequently til butter starts to look opaque, about 4 minutes.
3. Remove pan from sink and stir in sugar and vanilla.
4. In a small bowl, whisk flour, soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture til a dough forms.
5. Shape dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Let it sit out at room temp. for 1 to 2 hours for the flavor to develop.
6. Preheat oven to 325 and place rack in middle of oven.
7. Place a piece of dough into "bowl" of teaspoon ( I used my half tablespoon measuring spoon.)
Flatten out the top. Slide the dough out of the spoon and onto an ungreased cookie sheet with flat side down. ( Dough will feel crumbly).
8. Bake til pale golden. I found it took almost 15 - 18 minutes to bake.
Cool on sheet 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
9. Heat fruit preserves in a small saucepan over low heat til just runny.
Pour through sieve, if needed, cool.
10. Spread cookie with preserves and top with another cookie. Let set 45 minutes.
* Cookies get much better after a few days*.
Cookies will keep in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.
Makes about 30 sandwich cookies ( teaspoon size).

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