Monday, September 19, 2011

Tasty, but Ugly Shortbread Cookies

One of my favorite quotes comes from British author Catherine Aird, "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." Today, as I share one of my failures with you, let me be your horrible warning.

A rainy, dreary Sunday had me in the kitchen experimenting.  Sometimes, as I'm sure you know, things work out, and other times, well, they don't.  As a rubber stamper I am always looking for new ways to use my gobs and gobs of rubber stamps.  So when perusing the Martha Stewart Cookie app and running across a recipe for "Stamped Shortbread Cookies" I got an idea.  Instead of using cookie stamps to make an impression on a cookie (something I've tried in the past with mixed results), why not rubber stamp them?

I wisely made a half a batch of Martha's cookie recipe and while it was chilling, prepared the cookie sheets, selected and cleaned the rubber stamps, and sprayed them with baking spray to keep them from sticking.  
The lightly chilled dough rolled out beautifully, and I was pleased to see that it took the impressions very well (see top photo).  Unfortunately, as has always been my experience when trying to make an impression into dough, once baked, the design tends to disappear.  Such was the case here, alas.  As I pulled them from the oven and waved the cookie sheet in front of my husband, he studied each one and asked, "Am I supposed to recognize something here?"  Yep, that pretty much said it all.
My son stopped by and had a look at them.  
"Is this one of the villains from Scooby Do?" he wanted to know.  
No, I told him, that is Perry Mason.  
"It looks more like, ummm, Perry Mortem," he smiled. 
"It's postmortem, but I get the picture."  And I did. 

It is a rather tasty cookie though, so if you'd like to try it for yourself, here's the recipe:

Stamped Shortbread Cookies (Martha Stewart)

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped and reserved (pod discarded)
Vegetable oil, for cookie stamp

Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl. With an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla seeds until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment to 1/2 inch thick*. Stamp with a lightly oiled cookie stamp no larger than 2 inches in diameter; cut out with a 2-inch cutter. Repeat. Gather together scraps, reroll, stamp, and cut out. Space rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake until edges are pale golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cookies cool slightly on sheets. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 1 week.

*This seemed way too thick to me, so I tried 1/2", 1/4" and 1/8" and found that I liked the cookies rolled to 1/4" the best.

This post is linked to:
Metamorphosis Monday 


Anonymous said...

Hi neighbor, I'm right next door at Met Monday #197. I had to giggle when I read you tale of woe. I learned a long time ago, that much of my cooking can either look good OR taste great. Often the twine shall not meet. But that is OK, cause I always figure I don't know until I try which category it will fall into so I consider it an adventure! I hope you are having a great day!

Babs said...

I can't laugh becuse I just make my shortbread in a round and cut it into triangles. At least yours are creative and you use vanilla bean. Yum.

Tanya@takesix said...

Pattie, you are so funny!! If it makes you feel better, I have used cookie stamps on short breads, and they do the same thing!!! But oh do they taste good! LOL!!!

Tracy Wood said...

You definitely earn an A+ for creativity! They are pretty cute actually!

Mrs. Stranded said...

Shame it didn't work out. Seems like a good idea in concept. I bet they tasted fantastic no matter how they looked.