Sunday, November 18, 2007

Practice

One of my favorite things about the holidays is that I get to do a whole bunch of baking. By the time Christmas rolls around my home is redolent of cinnamon, coffee, chocolate and sugar. Every year I try to make different recipes though I do keep a few favorites on the list. Today I decided to get in a little practice before the main event. I give you...

Walnut Butter Cookies

It's an incredibly easy recipe.

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter slightly softened
1 egg at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar-firmly packed
3/4 walnuts, lightly roasted and finely chopped.

Powdered sugar (optional)

Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl. Beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture and beat until well incorporated. Stir in the walnuts. Divide the dough in half and on a lightly dusted board form into two logs about 1 1/2" in diameter and 8 inches long. (If the dough is very soft after mixing you can chill for a bit before forming the logs.) Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1/2 an hour and up to 2 days. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the logs into 1/3" slices, place on a ungreased cookie sheet and bake until golden around the edges, about 15 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool. Once they are cool you can coat them with powdered sugar. (I skipped this step this time. I was in the mood for something less sweet.)

And that's it.

2 comments:

Epiphany Alone said...

Jessie made oatmeal walnut cookies this week with whole wheat flour, which were almost hurt-your-teeth sweet even though they only had a scant quarter cup of brown sugar. The cookies were a bit too hard outside. Is that a wheat flour issue?

If you substitute honey for sugar, what's the conversion and how does it change the taste?

The Plaid Sheep said...

@Epiphany: The whole wheat flour may have something to do with it. It may also be a proportion problem. Even though there is not a lot of sugar there may not be enough fat. Butter makes a cookie tender. In your average recipe you can substitute honey for sugar in equal volume. It will make the cookie softer and chewier and if the honey is dark and strong you would probably taste that a bit if it's a plain butter cookie. You can also just substitute part of the sugar with honey or maple syrup if you need a softer cookie.