Thursday, March 16, 2017

Crispy Butter Cookies

I love indulging in butter cookies and the only thing that is stopping me is my bulging tummy and my flabby thighs... LOL!

Nonetheless, the so-called-always-conscious me is not going to stop baking and enjoying my butter cookies... LOL! I keep reminding myself that life is short and an occasional indulgence is ok!

Yes that I love butter cookies. Throughout all my baking and blogging years, I have learned to bake many different fully-incorporated butter cookies... I mean butter cookies that are baked with maximum amount of butter and can't be loaded with extra butter any further!

Based on all that I have tried and tasted, my always number one best butter cookies is this recipe with no egg!!! ... even though the addition of egg yolk can help to stabilise the shapes of the cookies after baking.

Then, I have also derived three different types of fabulous melt-in-the mouth Nyonya butter cookies recipes at here and from these bakes, I have learned not to incorporate whole eggs into my butter cookies.

Most importantly, I have learned from my copycat Jenny bakery butter cookies baking experience at here that I can use canned butter and flour with higher protein content (not cake flour) to stabilise shapes of butter cookies after baking.

What now? Now, I want to bake butter cookies that are crispy... Crispy butter cookies that snap with a sharp cracking sound when you bite or break them. Nice, huh?


crispy butter cookies
Now proudly presenting... my crispy butter cookies!

What did I do to make my butter cookies crispy?

1) Use caster sugar. No icing sugar. No brown sugar. The use of icing sugar will make the cookies more melty rather than crispy. Brown sugar will make the cookies softer and chewy.

2) Add more sugar. This is baking 101! To create cookies crumbs that are crispy, I know that I will need substantial amount of sugar to "harden" the cookie crumbs. So please do not reduce the amount of added sugar in my recipe if you want your cookies to be crispy.

3) Add baking powder. It is an essential ingredient to create air pockets in the cookies making the crumbs finer with more crisp.

4) Use shortening but I didn't use it! Yes that I can't deny that incorporating a good percentage of shortening can make my cookies extra crispy but I'm resisting this idea because I want my butter cookies to be made with 100% butter! Hmmm... Will you use shortening to bake your crispy butter cookies?

Like the taste of crispy butter cookies but don't like the shape of over-expanded butter cookies?

To address this over-expanding cookie problem, I have actually incorporated a small amount of egg yolk to stabilise the cookies. Plus, I would strongly encourage NOT to over-beat butter and sugar while mixing the cookie dough.

If you are a perfectionist who only bakes perfect looking cookies... like the commercially Danish Butter Cookies Or Jenny Bakery Butter Cookies, I suggest that you can substitute 10% to 30% added butter with shortening or use canned butter (like the Golden Churn or Red Feather butter that I used at here) instead of regular butter that we store in the fridge.

Although I'm quite a perfectionist with baking, I would re-emphasize that I don't like the overly salty taste of canned butter cookies and want my butter cookies to be made with 100% butter. For this reason, I can accept the slightly expanded look of my butter cookies. Hmmm... What is more important to you? Perfect pretty cookies or crispy yummy cookies? I will say crispy yummy cookies!

crispy butter cookies
The whole house is smelling so good with sweet buttery vanilla aroma when I was baking these cookies.
crispy butter cookies
Ai yo! Buttery crumbs everywhere... after I munched on one of these crispy cookies :p 

Here's a video showing how I baked my cookies. You will see that you don't even need any fanciful equipment to mix this cookie dough. Yup! Just a wooden spoon and a mixing bowl will do! NO muscular arm is required too because my arm is absolutely NOT muscular!!!  LOL!

Believe it or not. When I broke one of the cookies in the video, I can actually hear the snapping sound of the cookie and I don't think that you will be able to hear it because I didn't put a microphone next to the cookie... LOL! And of course, I'm sure that the music in the video might have masked the faint snapping sound. Nothing I can do about this. I guess you just have to believe me or bake these cookies and taste them if they are really crispy!


Here's the recipe.

Makes about 20 medium cookies - they will spread after baking*

For the biscuits:
125g unsalted butter, very softened at room temperature
75g caster sugar
7g egg yolk, about 1/2
1/4 tsp vanilla paste or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
125g all purpose flour (NOT cake flour!)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

*If you prefer your cookies not to spread too much, you can either use canned salted butter instead of regular butter and omit the addition of salt or use 90g butter with 35g shortening instead of 125g butter. The use of canned salted butter or partial amount of shortening will help to stabilise the shapes of your cookies

Preheat oven at 170ºC / 325ºF.

Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl for about 1 min until combined and just creamy. Do not over-beat. Then, beat in yolk and vanilla.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into the butter mixture and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix to form a soft dough.

Spoon dough into a piping bag or cookie press fitted with any shape that you like.

Line baking trays with baking papers. Pipe dough into any shapes that you like with about 5 cm apart onto the prepared trays. Bake for 20 mins until the cookies are thoroughly baked with golden brown edges. Do not under-bake cookies or they won't be crispy. Allow the biscuits to cool slightly (about 10 mins) on the trays and then transfer them onto the wire rack to cool completely. Cookies are crispy only when they are completely cooled.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Happy Baking
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5 comments:

  1. Those do look amazingly crispy!!! I would never use shortening for butter cookies, then it's name will get lost, right? :)

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  2. Even the top pattern is perfect..I cannot picture you in the description of yourself:) I don't see any flaws:)

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  3. Oooo this sounds fabulous! I've done your veneisse biscuit recipe and it's such a winner although it's the typical softer and melty texture. Look forward to trying this!

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  4. Such a delicious bake, Zoe ! Hope you're going to have a great weekend.
    Blessings, Kristy

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  5. Those cookies look so perfect in texture and shape too... good one

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