I have been long awaiting the new Martha Stewart cookbook – Martha Stewart’s Cookies. It was worth waiting for!
The table of contents is done in pictorial form with pictures of the single cookies in question (as well as their names). The first time I saw this was in the Martha Stewart Living Holiday special in December 2005, and indeed many of the cookies from that magazine are in this cookie book, but there are extras as well. The format of picturial contents is a real wow, like looking at a big display case of cookies and choosing the one just right for the moment. I recognise some of them from the cookie of the month feature in the MSL magazines too. I sort of like that they are not all brand new – some are just classics and should be left in all their glory as they are. I like books of collected recipes.
The book is divided into chapters according to what kind of cookie you’d like to eat or bake: Light and Delicate, Soft and Chewy, Crumbly and Sandy, Chunky and Nutty, Cakey and Tender, Crisp and Nutty, Rich and Dense. There is also a chapter about wrapping and presenting baked cookies to give as gifts. I do need this as I tend to give friends and family little foil packets of goodies.
The first cookie I’ve baked from the book is Alfajores de Dulce De Leche, a shortbread cookie sandwiched together with dulce de leche, the come from the Rich and Dense chapter – rich and delicious I say!
Martha suggests we bake a new one every week, and you know I just might!
My notes for this recipe are: I didn’t sieve the flour and icing sugar, just mixed them in the processor and I immediately rolled and cut out the circles of dough, then refrigerated the dough on my tray, before baking. I also kept them assembled for a few hours and I couldn’t see any difference, although if it were hot this might not be the case. I used caster sugar, but the result was not as good as the sanding suger in the picture – will need to find some sanding sugar.
Alfajores de Dulce De Leche
A halved quantities recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookies 2008
Makes 1 ½ to 2 dozen sandwich cookies
2 cups plain flour
half a ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon icing (confectioners) sugar
6 oz (1 ½ sticks) butter, chilled and cubed
¼ cup (2 fl oz) cold water
Sanding sugar for sprinkling
1 400g tin / jar dulce de leche
(1)Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper or a baking mat
(2) Sieve the flour and icing sugar. Place the flour and icing sugar in a processor and pulse to mix. Add in the butter and mix, pulsing, until it looks like coarse meal, about 20 seconds. Add in the water down the tube and mix until the dough comes together. Form into a flattened circle and refrigerate for 1 hour.
(3) Preheat the oven to 350 oF / 175 oC. Roll the dough on a floured surface to ¼ inch thick and using a 1 ¾ inch round plain cookie cutter cut out discs. Place on the prepared tray and sprinkle half with sanding sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
(4) When cooled sandwich together cookies with about a teaspoon of dulce de leche and use the sanding sugar topped cookies for the top.
Serve immediately after assembling.