Monday, May 14, 2007

Mondays with Maida - Danish Butter Sandwiches

Page 221 in the old book / page 248 in the new book

These big, sweet cookies definitely have eye appeal, but they are very big and very sweet - too much so for some. I didn't test them on any kids, but I imagine they'd love them. I thought these buttery, crunchy cookies were very good, but my conscience was troubled with the knowledge that there were over two sticks of butter in just 24 cookies - that's 2 1/4 teaspoons per cookie!

They're very easy to make, but I had one little problem. To shape the cookies you roll them into balls, flatten them slightly between your hands, and then use a fork to imprint them with the stripey design. As you can see above, the dough was a little crumbly, so when I flattened the balls they tended to split on the sides. The only remedy I can think of (except - perish the thought - add more butter), would be to try beating the dough a little longer. The instructions are to beat it until the mixture holds together, but maybe I didn't let it go quite long enough.

I found my kitchen scale came in very handy in shaping these cookies. Since I find those cues for sizing cookies confusing (is a well-rounded teaspoon more or less than a rounded teaspoon?), lately I've been using the scale to create sort of an exemplar cookie. I weigh all the dough and then divide it by the number of cookies it's supposed to make to find the weight of one cookie (say 25 grams). Then, I weigh out 25 grams (or whatever the amount is) of dough and I can see exactly how big each cookie is supposed to be. With these cookies, since it's important that they be uniformly sized and it was a small batch, I weighed each portion.

By the way, the beautiful tray the cookies are sitting on was given to me by Zarah when she visited about this time last year. The gorgeous spring weather that has finally arrived has me fondly recalling her visit and wishing we could make it an annual tradition!

Here's the panel...

Suzanne: "The cookies were very attractive with indentation lines going down the center of the cookie. I guess I’m not a fan of sandwich cookies. I’d rather eat one at a time. Maybe that’s why people (me) separate Oreo’s and eat the center filling before eating each cookie separately. I thought the center browned butter filling was too sweet. The cookie was rather plain tasting. Rating - 3.0"

Laura: "Yummy, buttery, delicious cookies with added treat of a creamy sweet icing in between. Rating - 4.0"

Denny: "OK, nothing special, so nothing to say. Minus one for no chocolate. Rating - 2.0"

Terri: "These are delicious - if you like shortbread cookies you'll love these ones. These sandwich cookies are like two shortbreads with butter creme holding them together. Very sweet and buttery. I particularly like the crunchy crispness in the texture. Rating - 4.0"

Overall rating by the panel - 3.3

Next week - Coconut Washboards

Nutrition Facts


Heleen said...

Hi Cathy! Just wanted to let you know I enjoy reading your blog tremendously and you've inspired me to go through a book I love as well (I've picked Rose's Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum). Thanks for writing everything down and for letting other people in on the fun :o)
Heleen from the Netherlands, Europe

Zarah Maria said...

Yay, I was wondering if you'd remember the tray for these - they look lovely, the cookies!

And sure, let's make it an annual tradition - you come here this year;-)

Brian W said...

Yikes, I just realized that my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe has 2 sticks of butter in it, too--and it only makes EIGHTEEN cookies!

Cathy said...

Hi Heleen! Thank so much and good luck with your new project! I have that book, so I'll be very interested to follow your progress. So, will you be making the "Notre Dame Gingerbread Cathedral" as well? ;)

Hi Zarah - I wasn't going to forget the tray this time! Gosh, we're already a few weeks past the one year mark - guess I'd better hurry and pack my bags!

Hi Brian! I guess there's a price for everything and sometimes for a good cookie it's a few grams of fat and a couple hundred calories :)

Heleen said...

Thank you Cathy :o). I'll be blogging too, so maybe you can take a peek! I won't be making the cathedral, but as a true gingerbread fanatic, I'll probably be making our (to be planned and to be built) new home in gingerbread, so we can dream of actually moving into the real version!

Cathy said...

Hi Heleen - aw shucks, I was hoping to see that Cathedral :) Oh well, seeing a prototype of your future home in gingerbread sounds like fun too! I will most definitely be visiting your blog - in fact I already have!

Leigh said...

I know. How about a dark chocolate filling!

Anonymous said...

I kind of stalled when I read the "over two sticks of butter." That certainly sounds like a lot but the cookies look so appealing! Looking at them made me want to eat it like an oreo cookie!

Nic said...

I admire your cookie-weighing technique, Cathy. I might have to try it, since I frequently get asked how I get my cookies to all turn out to be the same size. Truth is, I just eyeball them and seem to have a knack for it - which isn't that useful when you're giving people advice!

Cathy said...

Hi Leigh! You've been talking to Denny, haven't you? ;)

Hi Rowena! I guess it's no worse than a couple of rolls with a couple pats of butter... gee, can't remember the last time I did that!

Hi Nic! Using a scale is not a perfect solution, but it helps. It's actually better for getting a sense of how big each cookie should be than it is for weighing each portion. I think the problem is that 1/2 gram of cookie dough is not insignificant, so the rounding that occurs can throw you off some.

Nupur said...

There is something about sandwich cookies that is just perfectly adorable. These look absolutely professional, Cathy! Each one is perfectly made.

Cathy said...

Hi Nupur - thank you! I agree about sandwich cookies - maybe it's because it's not something you see very often with homemade cookies.