>Salted Brown Butter Shortbread

August 12, 2010 § 22 Comments

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Before I get started on this entry I want to mention that between now and the end of September I won’t be updating much. I’ll be out of town quite a bit, and with my 30th birthday (yikes) also coming up my generous friends have planned dinners for me on many of the nights that I am in town. That means I won’t be spending much time in the kitchen or have time to update either. I’ll still be reading up on all your entries as much as possible though, so don’t fret! Also, per status quo I will still be spending an embarrassing amount of time on twitter, so I invite you to join me over there: @monstroxity if you haven’t already. We can have a twitter party.

 
Brown butter, sea salt, and cookies… the perfect storm. The reasoning behind this special cookie on this special day is twofold. First, I learned the hard way last week that western sweet treats are the way to go with my friends and colleagues who are not Asian. Last week I shared my mochi with friends and coworkers, only to find that they were very unfamiliar with and puzzled by this delicious treat and hence very hesitant to try it. Aside from my Asian brothers and sisters they went largely untouched. My feelings weren’t hurt, in fact it was the opposite – it was eye opening to assume that because I grew up with something I shouldn’t expect that it’s familiar to everyone else as well. When I think about it, it makes sense. Red bean paste? That doesn’t sound one bit appetizing.
The second reason for the cookies has to do with the use of salt. In a nutshell I have had a couple rough days this week. I’ve come home frustrated and on the verge of tears, and found solace not only on my yoga mat but also in the kitchen. Immediately when I got home I began cooking dinner while simulataneously making these cookies. I think there was a movie (or book, or music video?) once about a chef whose emotions would be cooked into the food she made and her customers would experience as they ate what she was experiencing as she cooked. For the most part they would experience love, joy and happiness, but one sad sad day she cried as she cooked and her food was filled with salt from her tears, and her customers felt her sorrow as they ate. I don’t shed tears often and didn’t shed any this week but I did decide to sprinkle some of my own proverbial tears into and on top of this delicate cookie.

Salted Brown Butter Shortbread:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, browned and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 generous pinch kosher salt
Fleur de sel for topping

Cream the butters and sugar together. Then add the vanilla, and slowly add the flour and kosher salt. Shape the dough into a disc and refrigerate for at least half an hour. Preheat oven to 350. Place cookies onto lined baking sheets (I got 32 cookies out of this batch) and refrigerate for another 15 minutes. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the edges are browned. After removing from the oven sprinkle each of the cookies with a touch of fleur de sel.

Adapted from Bakelist.

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§ 22 Responses to >Salted Brown Butter Shortbread

  • May Ling Wu says:

    >Nice and simple. Yum!

  • >These look so crisp. I would love the brown butter cookies too.

  • JillyAn says:

    >This is the second salted shortbread cookie I've seen this week. That must be an omen that I need to make some! They look so buttery and good!!

  • Stella says:

    >Hey Roxan, that's so nice that your'e going out of town-I need a vacation or just some type of R & R so bad. We'll all be here when you get back, you know!?p.s. Yummy brown butter cookies by the way. Can't stay and stare too long (smile).

  • >Congratulations on your big 30 birthday celebration, it's always a big deal breaking into a new decade,lol. Your salted shortbread cookies look absolutely perfect, such great flavors. We will miss your posts but hey everybody needs a break from the routine and I plan on taking one soon myself.

  • >Well congratulations on the upcoming B-Day! It sounds like you will be having a blast. The movie you are speaking about reminds me a bit of the novel and movie Like Water for Chocolate, somewhat similar. The cookies sound delicious and buttery. I love the salt topping that is just perfect! See you soon.

  • >I remember buying the exact same salt on vacation a couple of years back

  • Monet says:

    >I adore brown butter…just the thought of it is making me want to pull out a stick and get to stirring! And sea salt always makes cookies taste so good. Such flavor! Thanks for sharing (and tempting me!)

  • Judy says:

    >Hey Roxy (does anyone even call you that?!? I'm not sure why that popped into my head), Happy early birthday! I remember my 30th – it was a good one and not so traumatic since I endured the drama of 10 best girlfriends turning 30 before I hit my own. My birthday is at the end of the year. :) Cookies look lovely. Miss ya while you're away. Maybe my bloggie mojo will be back by the time you return! Heh.

  • >Yoga and baking are awesome cures for stress. And these cookies look delicious! I've been wanting to bake with brown butter, but haven't yet, and I think this is the perfect recipe to start with.

  • >Happy Birthday this month! I love salted sweets–it's such an odd and perfect combination. Are your cookies crispy? They look crispy. That would make them perfect.Also, that movie could be the one based on the book Like Water For Chocolate, but there was also a horrid Sarah Michelle Geller movie with the same premise.

  • >Happy almost Birthday! These cookies are wonderful, I adore browned butter :)

  • Chef Dennis says:

    >so your taking off and I'm going back to work….have a great time with your friends, and thanks for sharing that salted shortbread it looks delicious!

  • >Wow! Those cookies look so good – I love the beautiful golden fawn like colour! You know the movie you're talking about sounds a lot like one of my all time fave foodie movies – Like Water for Chocolate, except the protagonist in the movie wasn't selling anything LOLHope you have a great trip and birthday and so sorry your gorgeous mochi treats (LOVE red bean paste) didn't go down so well…..

  • FamilySpice says:

    >Another great cookie recipe I must try! Sounds yummy and looks yummy, too!

  • >Happy Birthday in advance. Enjoy your time off.Your Salted Brown Butter Short Bread looks delicious. Thank you for sharing. I actually just bought those salt too.

  • >Ha. I saw Judy's comment and it made me laugh. I called you Roxy! ^^Okay, serious business. Happy Birthday!I guess your bday is sometime next month? I know 30 sounds scary but I think when it comes you won't feel it much? Mine is coming up end of the year! I would also say..Yikes.Vacation is nice and will take your mind from crazy workplace and world. I just got back from short trip too. It feels good! Hope your days are better. I'm sorry to hear for whatever reasons were to make you frustrated. Screw them! :D I like your story of that Chef. It makes me sad about the tear and salt. Your cookies look very lovely and delicious. I would be happy to eat all those even with your tear!I know what it's like with non-Asian friends and Asian food :)

  • mysimplefood says:

    >Love the cookies. Have a great birthday. 30 is just a number. Enjoy life!

  • sweetlife says:

    >love your cookies, super sweet…have fun!!sweetlife

  • Cristina says:

    >I hope your spirits are better and a happy birthday to you! ;) These cookies must smell as good as they taste with the brown butter. Sounds like a shortbread good for any time. I will be trying this!

  • Jean says:

    >Brown butter and salt in a cookie? Sounds like a winning combination in this case. Happy 30th! What great friends you have to keep you celebrating in the coming weeks!

  • Stella says:

    >Hey Roxan! Thanks for dropping by even though you're on vacation-sweet. I'll be back soon to see if you post something. Otay? Stellie

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