HEIDESAN: BROWN BUTTER COOKIES
To make about 3 dozen cookies.
1 tablespoon butter, softened
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
With a pastry brush or paper towel,
lightly coat one large or two small
baking sheets with the tablespoon of
soft butter and set aside.
In a heavy 3-4 quart saucepan, melt the
12 tablespoons of butter over low heat
and let it cook until it browns
slightly. Be careful not to let it burn.
Pour the butter into a large mixing bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
Then stir in the vanilla. Sift the
flour, baking powder and sugar gradually into the butter, stirring as you proceed. With your hands mix the dough until it is smooth and can be formed into a compact ball. Place it on a board. Then pat and shape it into a long roll about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, wrap it in wax paper, and refrigerate for at least an hour until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. With
a sharp knife, cut the roll of dough
into 1/4 inch thick rounds and place
them an inch apart on the prepared
baking sheet or sheets. Bake in the
middle of the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are firm and light brown. After removing the cookies from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet. With a spatula transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Heidesand cookies can be stored for several weeks in tightly sealed jars or tins.
NOTE: For more elaborate cookies, divide the dough in half after it has been mixed and work 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa into one of the halves with your fingers. Then roll both halves out into similarly shaped rectangles about 1/8 inch thick and place one on top of the other. Roll the double thickness of dough jelly-roll fashion into a long clinder, wrap it in wax paper and refrigerate. Then cut it into rounds as described above. The finished cookies will have a pattern of colored swirls.