Monday, February 26, 2018

Chinese Butter Cookies

Cookies are my undoing, particularly small, cute, tasty cookies. And it is because they are my Achilles’ heel that I decided to bake up a batch of these Chinese Butter Cookies that I found in the wonderful Chinese Takeout Cookbook by Diana Kuan. My only experience with Chinese cookies is almond cookies (that surely would have been a lot easier to make than these), and Fortune Cookies. These appealed to both my artistic side, and my love for butter cookies, so I decided to whip up a batch.

Anyone who bakes (and as I’ve told you I don’t do it, and I don’t like it), will have no problem with these. Me? I had trouble. Lots and lots of trouble. I’m not a fan of the cookie press. I have one, buried in the back of the pantry behind things I haven’t used in years. So, I decided that, instead of
using the cookie press, I would simply use a pastry bag and pipe the dough. Big mistake. What a colossal mess that was! This dough is too stiff to pipe, be warned. I ended up with the biggest mess that you can imagine. Cookie dough everywhere, cookie dough-covered hands, expletives flying, the works! Eventually, I knew that I was going to have to get out the cookie press.
So, after a quick cleanup, I decided to empty out the pantry in order to get to the cookie press. It’s been a long time since I last used it, and I had completely forgotten how. So, after washing up the cookie press, there was a bit of a learning curve involved. The first batch looked like little blobs, so I had to get a rubber spatula and scrape them off of the cookie sheet and back into the bowl. The second batch didn’t look too much better because I used parchment on the cookie sheet (as called for in the recipe) and that didn’t work at all! Every time I would lift up the cookie press it would pull the dough and the parchment up off of the cookie sheet. 

Parchment is not needed here, there is enough butter in this dough that these cookies aren’t going to stick to anything. So I’ve eliminated that aspect in my version of the instructions. I’m not going to make the story any longer than it already is, suffice it to say, that these cookies are so good, that I now have the cookie press on a reachable shelf, and doesn’t that just say everything?
Chinese Butter Cookies
Slightly adapted from Chinese Takeout Cookbook

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a stand mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and cream until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Slowly sift in the self-rising flour and beat until a smooth dough forms.
Add the dough to a cookie press and attach a star or flower-shape disk. Press the cookies onto baking sheet, leaving 1 inch of space around each cookie.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing. The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
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Linda said...

Wow Pattie, I would call you a "determined" baker! Are the cookies a little crispy? They look delicious. said...

oh these look good, I'm going to have to get a cookie press!

Lynn said...

Oh how fun! I'll add this recipe to my list to try, the addition of self rising flour is a new twist. Your cookies look yummy:@)

Miz Helen said...

What a pretty little cookie and looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week and come back soon!
Miz Helen