Friday, November 10, 2006
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Pennies from Heaven
Brand-New Book of Great Cookies
by Maida Heatter, 1995, Random House
“Tiny cookie sandwiches, delicate and dainty, with a
dough that is a delicious classic shortbread. It is baked in rounds not much
larger than quarters, and they are sandwiched together with just a bit of
buttercream. Make these for a tea party. Or serve them alongside a fruit or ice
The recipe is from Chris Gargone, the executive pastry chef at Remi, which Gael
Greene called the best Italian restaurant in New York City. At Remi they serve
these on a plate of assorted cookies. However I serve them, I don’t have enough.
They are too good.”
I want to thank my good friends Nick Malgieri and Richard Sax.
Without their help, I couldn’t have gotten this recipe.
About 70 small cookie sandwiches
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (to use when shaping the dough into
long, thin rolls)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sifted unbleached flour
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon strained cornstarch
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the oatmeal in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the
metal chopping blade. Pulse the machine several times, until the oatmeal is
powdery. Remove from the processor; set aside.
It is not necessary to wash and dry the processor bowl and blade now.
Place the flour, cornstarch, and sugar in the bowl of the food processor fitted
with the metal chopping blade. Pulse once or twice to mix. Cut the butter into
1/2-inch pieces and add to the flour mixture, along with the salt and vanilla.
Process only until the ingredients form a ball and hold together.
Work with half the dough at a time.
Spread the processed oatmeal on a large board or work surface. Place the dough
on the oatmeal. With your hands, form the dough into a tube shape. Roll gently,
back and forth, using both hands. Start at the center and work your hands out –
as you roll – to the ends. Roll until the dough is 11 inches long, about 1 1/4
inches in diameter, and evenly shaped. Set aside; roll the remaining half of the
dough to the same size and shape.
Place the rolls on a cookie sheet (you can just roll them onto it) and
refrigerate for about an hour (or longer if you wish).
To bake, adjust a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees
F. Line cookie sheets with baking parchment or aluminum foil,
shiny side up.
Use a knife with a very sharp and very thin blade. Cut the dough into slices
about 1/8 inch thick or a little thicker. Place the slices 1/2 to 1 inch apart
on the lined sheets.
Bake one sheet at a time for 14 to 16 minutes, until the cookies are
sandy-colored around the edges (they can still be pale in the centers). Reverse
the sheet front to back once during baking to ensure even browning. (If some
are done before others, remove them individually.)
Transfer the cookie to a rack to cool or slide the paper or foil off the sheet
and let stand until the cookies are cool. You can slice and bake both rolls now
or, if you wish, you can wrap and freeze one to bake at some other time.
3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon dark rum
2 teaspoons heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
In the small bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter until
soft. Beat in the vanilla, rum, and cream. Then beat in the sugar.
When well mixed, transfer to a small bowl for ease in handling.
Place a small dab (a scant 1/4 teaspoon) of the filling on the bottom of one
cookie. Place another cookie over it, bottoms together, and press gently all
around to spread out the filling. There should not be enough to show; it should
really just be enough to hold the two cookies together. Continue sandwiching all
Place them in the refrigerator briefly, only long enough to harden the filling.
You will probably have leftover filling. It can be saved in the freezer for the
next time you make these.
Store in an airtight container.
Shortbread Cookies with Amaretto Cream Filling & Strawberries
Laurie Colwin's Classic Shortbread
Gourmet's Souvaroffs (Jam-Filled
Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Lemon Sugar Cookies
Index - Cookie Recipe Archives