Chocolatey Butter Bites
I’ve written before about my old dream of one day having a tea shop. Or some kind of bakery. A place where people wanted to walk in and sample the sweet and savory creations sitting just on the other side of the window case. Sometimes, the dream morphs into a more of a cafe where fresh salads of not so usual vegetables and fruit are served alongside a great bowl of soup.
Like I said. Dream.
Although that dream has been buried for a while, occasionally, I’ll see something that reminds me it still must matter, and that if I wanted to, I could dust it off a bit to give it renewed attention. Consider whether it’s possible.
Not too long ago, Food & Wine featured the delectable treats created at Big Sugar Bakeshop in Los Angeles. Big Sugar is the brainchild of Lisa Ritter and Mary Odson, women not all that different than me: they like to bake and had a dream. As I read, I couldn’t avoid lusting after the photos of their baked goods, but I was more interested in thinking again of the remarkable ability that some have to act on their dreams, and know that although I have done that myself, it has been for far different reasons. Wistfully, I glanced back at the photos, scanned the ingredients, and for the thousandth time thought, "I can do that."
But I haven’t.
I tagged the pages with colored post-its knowing that I would get around to making some, but not all of the recipes. And when I finally got around to trying one of them, I’d enjoy thinking about whether someday, I’ll finally give in to a dream that never quite goes away.
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
semisweet chocolate for dipping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large jellyroll pan with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter and 1/2 of the powdered sugar with a few pulses making sure that all the butter is evenly distributed throughout the dough. Add the cornstarch, vanilla and flour, processing until a soft dough forms. Pour out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into four equal pieces.
Roll each of the pieces of dough into ropes about 12 inches long and then cut each into 12 pieces. Roll each of the 12 pieces into a ball and organize all on the baking pan.
While the cookies are baking, melt the chocolate slowly in a double boiler.
Bake the cookies in the center of the oven for about 15 minutes or just until beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Have ready a sheet of wax paper on another baking sheet as well as a fine mesh strainer to sprinkle powdered sugar with.
To finish the cookies, invert each, one by one, and put a dollop of melted chocolate on the bottom. Turn each over, placing on the wax paper covered pan, pressing very gently on each to push the chocolate from under the cookie to just beyond the edge. Sprinkle powdered sugar over as you go. If desired, put a small dollop of chocolate on each cookie.
Cool completely if you can wait that long before sampling one of these delicate pieces of cookie yumminess.
Notes: This recipe was adapted from Big Sugar Bakeshop’s recipe for Baby Buttons. I did not alter anything in this recipe except for adding the chocolate, and yet my cookies spread out quite a bit more than what is shown in the photographs accompanying the recipe in Food & Wine. The cookies also did not cook nearly as long as called for in the original recipe. In some cases, most likely because my butter may not have been soft enough, while baking, two or three balls of dough completely melted, fanning out like florentines. It was pretty hilarious and my 16-year-old and I have a good laugh over it.
The powdered sugar needs to be sprinkled on while the cookies are still warm. Yet, it sort of dissolves, so you have to keep adding it and decide when enough is enough. The chocolate is excellent with this cookie. I did try some nuts as well, but it was beyond messy and not very attractive, so clearly, I need to go back to the drawing board on that one. Oh, the possibilities…
I need to give this recipe another try. I really want to get that cute button look featured in Food & Wine. The cookies are good, but not outstanding. They’re light, not too sweet, and crumble easily. Without the chocolate, they’re good, but not to die over like these.
But that buttony cuteness? I love that.
Mine? They looked more like some kind of strange dessert slider.