Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The World's Best Cookie

This is my most requested recipe.

I've hesitated for years to pass it out because while they are an easy dough to make you might need to tinker with baking temperature and shape a few times before you get them right. I don't think you can really ruin them (even if they're not crisp enough they will taste good) but if you've had mine and yours don't come out as well, don't be too hard on yourself. They are just a little bit finicky in certain ovens.

One tip is to keep the cookies small when you shape them. Roll the dough into balls no bigger than a rounded teaspoon. Then flatten them out with the heel of your hand. The second image shows the size. They will spread out once baked, so allow some space between them. And parchment paper is critical. I've never used a Silpat, but that would likely work well, too.

Lace Cookies bake best in a convection oven at 300. If you don't have a convection option, just go with 350 and watch them.  In fact, every oven varies enough that you want to be hawkish during baking time. Set the timer for 6 min, then come back and rotate the sheet pan. Then peek at them every two minutes. Total baking time will be between 9 and 12.5 minutes, depending on your oven. Make sure to get them nice a golden brown around the edges. There is not much more lame than pale in the sweet kitchen.

They are fabulous plain, but we like them best sandwiched with a thin bit of ganache. Or you could add melted chocolate to a little pastry bag and pipe a zig zag of chocolate on the surface.

One note of caution is don't make these ahead of time. They positively must be consumed on the day they're baked - they lose their crispness. The dough will keep well in the fridge for about a week, so just roll and bake as needed.

Lace Cookies
Print recipe only here

Makes about 3 dozen sandwiched cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 T flour

Heat together in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly until just melted:

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate (3 ounces)
4 T heavy cream

Remove from heat and stir until fully melted and glossy.

In a medium-large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar. Add the oats, salt and vanilla. Add beaten egg, stirring in well. Stir in flour to combine. Let sit for 20 minutes to cool.

Preheat oven to 300 convection or 350 regular.

Drop by measured teaspoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet. You can generally fit 12-15 cookies on a standard sized baking sheet. If you made the dough in advance and and stored it in the refrigerator, roll it into teaspoon sizes balls and flatten. Bake for about 12 minutes until nicely golden brown, rotating the baking sheet halfway thru baking.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheet. Make the ganache.

When cool, loosen them gently using a thin metal spatula. Spread a very thin layer of ganache on the bottom of one cookie and sandwich with another.

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