Before you think that this "book thing" is knocking me silly on zee head that I should post "just" about shortbread cookies, I want to tell you about the little gadget that makes cookies a lot more fun....and your chance to WIN IT !!!
One of my little pleasures is to read French blogs, for the recipes as much as keeping in touch with food trends there and more importantly what is the cool slang to use these days. One late (late) night I was reading away I stumbled on a post (can't remember where, sorry) about this ubber cool toy: the Brigitte-Keks, to imprint on Petit Beurre like cookies.
Allright I have lost you...all that French, English and German in one. Petit Beurre are the simplest most traditional all butter cookie you will find in France. The Brigitte -Keks is one smart cutter that not only will cut to almost the exact shape as a Petit Beurre but will also imprint words like these: WIN ME !!
So there I was....wishing away I could get my hands on one of those. A couple of days later, I was reading Autour De Ma Table where Cathy was organizing a group order to the manufacturer since they are not everywhere. Light Bulb! Call mom, put my name in the order and ask mom to write up the check in the proper Euro amount and tell her I will pay her back 10 times over in kisses, that was a joke because the gadget is really not expensive. Then it just dawned on me that one of you guys might also want to have fun with one of these, so I called mom again and she was happy to help as it meant that I shall pay her back 20 times over now!
You can imprint anything and everything, you can be silly or serious, creative or to the point. We have been having fun playing with it the other day, leaving love notes, to do lists, grocery lists...Imagine that, walking down the store aisles, munching away on your grocery list. I also added "Happy Anniversary" cookies to the loot as B. and I are celebrating 10 years together today! Woohoo! The cutter and imprint are a breeze to use after you separate the little letters apart from their grid. Maybe I should have done so with butter free hands, eh?!! So long story short...
I have one extra - brand spanking - new Brigitte-Keks cookie cutter/imprint for one lucky reader. All you have to do to take this little toy home is to leave a comment between today Friday July 11th and Sunday July 13th (and why not tell me about your favorite cookie while you are at it). You can enter from anywhere in the world, and I will ship anywhere. No rules, just a couple of requests:
- please, please, please, even if you register your comment under anonymous, leave me an initial, a pseudonym, an X...anything. It's nicer to announce if you win!
- try not to enter twice, it makes it easier for the random drawing
- Mom: you can't enter the drawing, I'll make you some cookies with your name on it.
Before I forget, I have tried many versions of Petits Beurre recipes but none that came close to the original so I am giving you my next favorite cookie recipe for Shortbread Cookies. They are not like the Irish shortbread cookies you might purchase at the grocery store, but more like "sables" from Brittany. Use orage flower water for a Provencal twist!
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
In a stand mixer or with hand held electric mixers beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolk and beat until well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, flour, baking powder and salt and mix until the dough just starts to come together and form a ball. Stop the mixer and gather the dough with your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a least 2 hours. Flour your work area lightly and start rolling.
To roll dough easily (works with pretty much all pastry dough) : start from the center and roll away from you, then close to you, repeat, lift the dough, flour your area, rotate the dough 1/4 turn and repeat the rolling process. Make sure to sprinkle the flour you work with, not dump it on. A little goes a long way. I usually sprinkle about one teaspoon and brush it away with my fingertips and repeat as a go along. If you try to roll the dough flat in the minimum of moves possible and you keep rolling away, you will warm up the butter too much and the dough will stick and you'll get mad and you'll swear off making dough forever.....
So I hope this helps because your homework when the book comes out is to make dough....! Ok, that's not true but there will be some dough to get rolled!
Anyways...Once your dough is rolled to about 1/2 inch thick, and cut squares or rectangles with a sharp knife or other shapes with the cookie cutter that you like. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.