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Buttermilk Cookies

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Time for baking! This is one of kitchen activities that is relaxing, comforting and satisfying for me (grandfather's genes, maybe). I love to knead, to pat and touch dough, especially yeast dough, when you can feel how the dough is alive and growing under your fingers. But today's recipe is another type of dough that uses acidity of buttermilk and alkalinity of baking soda to make cookies puffy - a fast version of puff pastry. It is pretty easy and almost always turns out OK.

What you need:
1.5 cups & 1 tbsp unbleached flour
100 g (about 6 tbsp) cold butter
8 tbsp buttermilk
Pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar
1 levelled tsp baking soda
Extra flour for working with dough

On a good size cutting board chop butter with flour until fine crumble, mix in baking soda. 

In a mixing bowl mix buttermilk with salt and sugar, mix in crumbles fast with your hand until everything clumps together (do not mix too thoroughly). Form a round and put it in a freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven at 365 F. Roll out dough, about 1/3" thick. Use different cookie cutters to form your future cookies. 

Place cookies rather tightly on a cold cookie sheet, pierce with fork and place in the oven on a middle shelf.
Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
Buttermilk can be substituted by different leftovers in your fridge like old sour cream or yogurt, if you choose to be frugal. You can also use old butter - it is quite good in baked things. This time I had some old and forgotten fatty sour cream and baked milk yogurt. It seems that they didn't do well in this recipe - I had better results. Alas! The good thing is I did use my leftovers (frugal Nadia :).  From my experience with these cookies I can tell that the best most light and puffy cookies are with 50/50 regular sour cream and buttermilk.
To save time, you can avoid chopping butter and flour, and do the following: soften butter and mix in buttermilk gradually, then mix in salt and sugar, then flour and baking soda.
I didn't do it this time, but very often I sprinkle cookies with coarse salt before baking. If you are creative you can play with different spices like cumin or pepper, for example.
This kind of dough can be used many ways. My today's recipe is just a basic one. It will make wonderful pies, sweet and savory, big and small - whatever your imagination calls you to do.
Today's cookies are as good as they are, with morning coffee or tea.  Any savory spread, salami or cheese will make them even better.

1 comment:

Nadia and Masha said...

I'm so glad you posted this. This is truly one of my childhood favorites!

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