I am not a baker. I am certainly capable of baking, and do bake my share of birthday cakes and cupcakes and Christmas cookies, but I’m not a fan. The measuring, the sifting, the flown-away flour gumming up my sponge . . . these things do not rev my engine (and my engine could use a little revving right now, but I digress . . . ) A few factors, however, conspired to induce me to bake Dorie Greenspan’s Salted Butter Break-Ups:
1. The French Fridays with Dorie crowd was making her Salted Butter Break-Ups last week, and I had failed to participate, hence a sense of having missed a homework assignment (even if self-imposed).
2. There are only 5 ingredients (if you don’t count the water) – butter, flour, sugar, salt (albeit sel gris, but coarse kosher is a happy alternative), and an egg yolk.
3. A family get-together this weekend provided the perfect venue in which to introduce this convivial cookie.
Let me report that this has to be some of the least labor-intensive baking I have ever encountered. Toss the first four ingredients in a food processor, scrape the dough into a rectangle, refrigerate, roll into a flatter rectangle, paint on some egg wash, bake and break!
The twist on what is basically a butter cookie, is that you serve it whole, placing it in the middle of the table and encouraging your guests to break off how ever much they like. Fun and unfussy! We served it after a Vietnamese meal from a favorite local restaurant – curry chicken with vegetables, chicken with onions and oyster sauce, beef with snow peas – and it was reduced to mere crumbs in a flash.
There are those in my life who are generally desirous of no more than a piece or two of dark chocolate after a meal. But I think I do not go out on too much of a limb to predict that when presented with this cookie, there may be something other than chocolate melting in their mouths . . . and since seeing those I love happy, makes me pretty darn happy, maybe baking could rev my engine after all!
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