So, I’m a few days late posting last week’s French Fridays with Dorie post. I did make the recipe last week, but then I went out of town for a three day weekend and didn’t get the post written.
The recipe for the week is called Salted Butter Break-Ups. It’s a wonderful buttery cookie made from the most basic ingredients: flour, sugar, salt (preferably sel gris – gray sea salt) and butter. The ingredients are bound together with just a little bit of water. The process of making the dough is very similar to making a pie or tart crust. It is baked as one large cookie, and then broken up into pieces after it cools.
When I made this last week the end result tasted fabulous, but the texture was not quite right. The cookie ended up crunchy. I was expecting something more crumbly and cookie-like. It did get slightly over-cooked, but I don’t think that was the problem. It almost seemed like the sugar had caramelized and the result was a little candy-like.
Since I was already late getting this posted, and I suspected I knew what the problem was, I decided to make another batch of break-ups today. I’m happy to report they turned out wonderfully! The texture was just what I was hoping for. The flavor of the salt comes through perfectly.
So what did I do wrong the first time? I think the problem was my sugar. We’ve been buying this organic sugar from Costco. I had been using it successfully in my baking, but in the last few bags the sugar granules have not been as fine as in the previous bags. I’ve noticed a difference in my baking . The second time I made the break-ups I used regular old sugar and it turned out great. I don’t think I’ll be using the organic sugar in my baking any more.
A couple of notes about this recipe: I found the baking time to be a little long. As I mentioned earlier, my first batch got overcooked slightly. I checked today’s batch early, and they only baked for 27 minutes instead of the 30 – 40 suggested in the recipe. Secondly, several other Doristas noted that they didn’t feel the salt flavor came through enough, so I used a generous teaspoon of sugar. I thought the amount of salt was perfect.
As always, you can find the recipe for Salted Butter Break-Ups in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.