Thursday, January 19, 2012

Melting Moments

January 20th

Dear readers, please check out the beautiful and fantastic JOY OF BAKING website, which is the most reliable and beautiful baking website I know, with all sorts of tried and tested baking recipes, concise videos, and fantastic photography. If you want to learn to bake, or want to find reliable recipes: USE THEIR SITE!

Well, today I made 8 rounds of pressed butter cookies, also known as “Melting Moments”. This is a fantastically simply recipe that I adapted to make in super-large batches. The only variation to Joy of Baking’s recipe I made is to use salted butter, and not to chill the dough because if you want to press the dough, chilling makes it lumpy (bad!).

So, firstly I measured 2 batches of four rounds each of the recipe, making 8 rounds in all. Chinese New Year is coming up and we like to make cookies to share around. These are pretty, delicious, and fantastic.

Last Night's Work

Daddy took me to the local Indian sundry shop to buy two  bags of cornstarch, because I was out and I figured not to take a risk with rice flour, though I know rice flour is a good replacement.

Of course, you can pipe the cookies in swirls too, like i did before

The dough is made by simply creaming the butter and powdered sugar. I use $10 worth of Indian butter, and ground my own powdered sugar because it’s much cheaper. If you have a bullet blender, it’s easy enough to make your own powdered sugar.

I only buy white sugar for fancy baked goods, for a treat, because it’s not healthy. Don’t bother with brown sugar. There’s a bottle of molasses in my pantry, so I make my own brown sugar by mixing a teeny bit of molasses into the white sugar. That is basically what brown sugar is; it’s not any healthier than white sugar it’s just white sugar with a bit of molasses. With just grainy white sugar, you can have brown sugar, powdered sugar, and caramel sugar, which I also made.

Moving on, just sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt into a huge tub and put the fluffy, pale, creamed butter and sugar in that. For the record, I used the Kenwood. Creaming butter and sugar is tough work, especially if the butter is hard.
8 batches of cookies, 2kg of butter, or more?
Finally, I filled the cookie press and began pressing and baking, pressing and baking, etc. These cookies must not be badly browned. They have such high butter content, that they only must be delicately browned. 

Mammoth size batch of cookie dough
Oh, and for filling the cookie press, which can be a messy and sticky job, I fill a plastic bag with the dough, and cut a hole, squeezing the cookie dough into the cookie press tube so the cookie press stays clean! That was the great idea, only these bags I used were cheap and easy to tear so by the end of the night I was on my third bag. If you use a piping bag, it would work well.

Mummy wrapped them in used cookie tubs. They’re pretty standard around here. I collect them, sometimes I buy new ones but for our own use, I use reuse decent-looking ones. They look good with some red tape, an “auspicious” color for this holiday season.

This recipe, with only five common ingredients, is very simple to make in large batches and absolutely rich and addictive. It is lower in sugar than many recipes I know, producing such buttery, fragile little cookies. In the Amish/Pioneer culture of baking, giving, and sharing, these may make great Christmas cookies too, or snacks during a large event. 

Previous Chinese New Year gifts

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