If you like cookies to be boring and simple, this post is not for you.
If you think that caramel is better without the addition of salt, you have no tastebuds and this post is also not for you.
If you don’t like food with deeply intertwined and contrasting flavor profiles, then just get out of my webspace. You disgust me.
Whenever I am baking, I like to push the limits of flavor. To me, something that is just sweet sucks. It makes me want to throw up in my mouth, then run to the dentist for an emergency cleaning. Don’t get me wrong, I love desserts; but last time I checked, cotton candy and sugar packets were not on menu at the hottest restaurants. Mostly because they are awful. (Disclaimer: I’m talkin’ pure sugar stuff, here. Most baking recipes include salt and do not fall into this category.)
Flavors are so easy to mix and match in baking. Combining them is about the most scientific that I get. A lot of desserts out there are on the edge of glory, but need a tiny nudge. In my experience, it is best to choose 2-3 of the following flavors to push it over: sweet, creamy, salty, acidic, savory.
The only reason I include that lovely tidbit is that my blogger buddy Baker Bettie started a cookie series and requested some scientific info in featured cookie posts. Being the kid who let my dad do my entire physics project and practically broke the chem lab, I was reluctant to oblige. But I did, only because she leaves me so many wonderful comments. And we all know I love attention.
These particular cookies choose the sweet-savory-acidic route. The inspiration comes from this recipe by Martha Stewart. But can we really trust a felon with the final say on our beloved cookie recipe? I didn’t think so.
I added a bit of lemon juice and zest to them, then made an olive oil glaze. And boy, were they scrumptious. I like to use lemon zest because it imparts the flavor without adding too much liquid. Baking is very precise, and I am bound to fuck something up if I add too much juice.
I made half of the cookies with the olive oil glaze, and the other half without so that I could use these hilarious cookies cutters that my friend got me for a housewarming gift. Boy, do they warm my heart.
I particularly enjoyed decorating my little amputees and decapitation victims. I also liked musing about how they lost their limbs and what they were trying to say.
So here is the recipe, adapted to my tastebuds. Which are obviously more refined than Martha’s. They probably didn’t even have EVOO for her to work with in prison.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 c. Powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp EVOO
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2-3 Tbsp water
Preheat oven to 375. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg, lemon juice, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, rosemary, and salt, and mix until combined.
Roll dough 1/4 in thick onto a floured surface and cut out in whatever shapes you desire: amputees, puppies, boobs, you get the point.
Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake until edges are golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
To make the glaze: add EVOO, lemon juice, and water to powdered sugar. Continue adding water or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Top cookies with glaze and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
Eat them. Love them. Then get your ass back here and tell me how much you love them. And for the love of God, follow my blog.