Thursday, February 14, 2013

Breaking up

It's hard when you've been married for so long to remember how hard it is to break up with someone.

Especially your first real someone.

But I know it doesn't help when, the night before a certain over-hyped day in February, your younger sister says:

"Hashtag Valentine's fail, dude."

Then puts on her headphones and walks away.


Salted Butter Break-Ups
From Around My French Table, by Dorrie Greenspan. A zillion thanks to my friend Cathy, one of the best bakers I know, for introducing this genius treat to me.  Essentially a tender, slightly flaky shortbread full of butter with a great salty finish.  You bake it in one big rectangle, then everyone just breaks off their own piece. Not only is it dead simple to make and incredibly fun to eat, but, as one of the guys in the office said to me today, "It tastes sooooooooo good!"

1 3/4 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. sel gris or other flavorful coarse salt
9 Tbs. cold butter, cut into 18 pieces
3-5 Tbs. cold water
1 egg yolk, for the glaze

Put flour, sugar and salt into your food processor, and pulse several times to combine.  Add the butter pieces and pulse until the mixture is between sandy and crumbly.  With the machine running, gradually add the cold water, just until the dough almost forms a ball, but not quite.  (Mine took all 5 Tbs.)

Turn the dough out onto a cool work surface, press to form into a square and flatten it out by patting down with your hands.  It may be bit sticky.  Wrap the dough in plastic, and put it into the fridge for at least an hour, or several days if you like.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the fridge, and let it sit for a few minutes to soften a little. Place between two sheets of wax paper and roll into a rough rectangle just over 1/4 inch thick and about 8 x 11 inches around. Don't worry about being neat or getting any kind of exact measurement. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet.

Whisk the egg yolk with a little water in a small bowl.  Brush the glaze over the surface of the dough with a pastry brush.  Then, use a fork to create a cross-hatch pattern on top for decoration.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are crisp and brown and the center is golden brown but still has a little spring back when touched.   Allow the cookie to cool to room temperature.  Serve by either putting out the whole cookie and letting people help themselves, or doing the work for them and serving the ragged chunks of buttery, salty goodness.

I may not actually have waited for it to cool to room temperature.  Sue me.

Click to print this recipe!

* Hashtag harsh!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mrs. Van De Wetering (or anyone else who may have been confused!)

    I am so sorry for any angst this post may have caused you regarding the possible dissolution of my marriage, or the supposed heartless cruelty of my sister. We grown ups are all fine and are being exceptionally nice to each other. It's my teenagers that are having issues.