I really disliked the White-Chocolate Whalers from earlier this week. I really didn't want to send them out into the world, especially with surveys. But I have to stick with this "project", and I wasn't anticipating having the opportunity to make another batch of cookies. However, I squeezed these in because they are simple. Simple ingredients. Simple instructions. Simple flavor. Viennese Butter Cookies.
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
3 hard-boiled egg yolks, from large eggs, sieved through a medium strainer
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
36 pecan halves
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter cookie sheets.
2. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, mix the butter on med-low speed until creamy. Reduce the mixture to low and add the sugar, mixing until well blended. Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Add the flour in three additions, mixing until just combined.
3. Using your hands, shape the dough into balls the size of a walnut (1 1/4 inch). Using a flat bottomed glass that has been dipped in sugar, press down on the top of each cookie, forming a 2 1/2 inch circle. Gently press a pecan half into the center of the cookie.
4. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet and place on wire rack.
I would never say I'm lazy when it comes to baking, but hard-boil some eggs? Uh. Thankfully there is Trader Joe's and they actually sell hard-boiled eggs. Does anyone else think that is weird, but awesomely convenient? If you are there, pick up some eggs and splurge on the Irish Kerrigold unsalted butter. It is, after all, the main star of these cookies. But don't worry if you can't, just try to make sure your butter is fresh, and not hanging out in the fridge next to some funky leftovers. FYI- I dipped my glass in a bit of water and then rolled it in my vanilla sugar (I'll tell you how to make it in a later post) before flattening the cookie dough. Another handy tip: Use your butter wrapper to grease your cookie sheets. There is always some butter still clinging to the wrapper, don't let it go to waste!
My Verdict: I made some cookies without the pecans because my son has a nut allergy and he thought they were "Nummy." I can imagine enjoying these cookies with a nice cup of peppermint tea. They're crisp and buttery. Since there is no salt it was hard for me to immediately like the flavor. But I realize the point of the cookie is to enjoy the simplicity of the main ingredient-butter.
Survey Results: 4.3 out of 5. It seemed that testers either really liked or disliked these cookies. I personally don't love them. I got a lot of people saying that they enjoyed the texture. Others thought they needed some flavor ( I agree).