Sunday, November 20, 2005
I am in love with these cookies. So simple to make yet sophisticated to eat. They pair wonderfully with a cup of coffee, crisp enough for dunking. A few notes on slight changes I made to the original recipe. First, I sifted my powdered sugar to ensure a smooth batter (though if you sift directly into your stand-mixer bowl, scrape the sugar down into the bowl before turning on the mixer--unless you want to end up with fine white dust all over yourself and your kitchen--not that I would know, of course). Also, in the original, Batali instructs the cook to use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. No specification on what shape or size of cutter, and there's no picture. Instead, I cut them into 2 in. squares, which required a tad more time baking time than he suggested.
from The Babbo Cookbook by Mario Batali
4 c. walnut pieces
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. dark brown sugar, packed (I used light brown and the sugar police never showed)
3/4 c. sifted powdered sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Granulated sugar for sprinkling (I forgot this step)
1. Preheat the oven to 325. Spread the walnut pieces on a baking sheet, and toast for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Cool completely, then blitz in a food processor until just finely ground. Set aside. Reduce oven temp to 300.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and powdered sugar together until very smooth and creamy, then beat in the vanilla extract.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the ground nuts, flour, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat to form a soft dough. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill until firm enough to roll, about 30 minutes.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Divide the dough in two, roll one piece out to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a knife, cut out as many 2 in. squares as you can and place them on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough (you may have to bake multiple batches). Sprinkle each cookie with granulated sugar.
6. Bake the cookies for 15-17 minutes, or until they turn light golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely and store in an airtight container.