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French Butter Cookies

These super delicious butter cookies are easy to make and even easier to eat.

So you love the butter cookies from Hongkong import Jenny Bakery. Except the queues at its Ang Mo Kio shop are long and it costs a whopping $48 per large tin. Solution? Make your own ones. We trawled the Internet for several “copycat” Jenny Bakery recipes for the simplest one, then adapted it to make it more glam. These sinful gems aren’t difficult to make — you just need to get the right ingredients, like a fine balance of flours of different strengths that will hold their structure against all that butter. And the butter needs to be at the correct temperature so your cookies don’t spread into a melty mess while they bake. This can be mitigated by the use of margarine or canned butter, which hold their texture even at room temperature. But we’ve been told that that stuff is totally unhealthy, so we decided that if we were going to eat all that fat, it’d better be the best fat money can buy. Hence, we chose French butter. Refrigerating the cookie dough briefly before baking helps them keep their structure as they bake. Lastly, to gussy it up a little more, we sprinkled our cookies with fleur de sel, delicate French sea salt flakes. The result was some elegant, tasty butter cookies. No tacky Teddy bear tin, too.

Makes about 36 cookies

Ingredients:

200g unsalted French butter (try Echire from Cold Storage), softened but not too melty; so it can be creamed in the electric mixer

50g caster sugar

75g plain flour

75g bread flour

25g corn flour

25g rice flour

1 tbsp fleur de sel or coarse sea salt 


Method:

  1. Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment on medium speed till pale and fluffy, about 3 to 4 mins.
  2. Sift all the flours into the butter and sugar mixture.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the ingredients together until all the flour just disappears into the mixture. Use a light hand to do this, as you don’t want to overwork the dough, which will result in hard cookies.
  4. Transfer the dough to a piping bag or cookie extruder fitted with a 1M star-tip nozzle.
  5. Pipe the cookies onto a lined baking tray, making circles or spirals of about 3 to 4 cm in diameter. Start from the centre and pipe outwards. Leave about 1.5cm between each cookie as they will spread a little while baking. Sprinkle the cookies with salt.
  6. Cover the tray of cookies with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  8. Bake the cookies for 9 to 12 mins on the middle shelf, or until they turn golden. You don’t want cookies that are too pale ― they will be overly soft once they cool.
  9. Remove tray from the oven, place tray on a cooling rack and allow cookies to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container. Eat within a week, preferably.

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