Salted Butter Break-Ups

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.

Before the break up

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.



Filed under Cooking

2 responses to “Salted Butter Break-Ups

  1. Kristi

    I’ve noticed the same issue with the organic sugar Karen. Had a couple of recipes just turn out….”not quite right”…where they were fine before. I think I’m going to have to go back to keeping some regular old sugar on hand as well 😉

  2. Funny how something so small can change things up in a recipe. Good work on figuring it out.

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