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Plain and Perfect


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I'm trolling for ideas for plain and perfect baking -- the equivalent of the Lorna Doone or the Cameo sandwich cookie. Simple, pared down, delicious.

My favorite is a cookie from King Arthur called the Vanilla Dream. It's all about the texture, which is achieved through baker's amonia.

I'm a big fan of shortbread for this category, too. There's a recipe in the Williams Sonoma collection (the first ones, the green covers) of cookies for a candied ginger chocolate shortbread, which is my favorite, but is pushing the envelope way out here.

Nick Malgieri's Hazelnut Brown Butter Financier comes to mind, too, although it also may not be plain enough.

If we pushed far enough into chocolate, there's a plain little chocolate cookie in Alice Medrich's Bittersweet that is just . . . plain, but chocolate. It's not quite the right flavor for me, but fits this bill.

I suppose these things are good with ice cream or sorbet . . .

Ideas?

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Shortbread would also be high on my list.

I think my favourite plain cake is a ginger cake closely followed by a lemon cake.

If you can included yeasted cakes I would put a toasted teacake at the top of my list. A lightly fruited not too sweet bun split, toasted and slathered in butter.

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A well made buttermilk biscuit. Plain, simple ingredients and yet extremely frustrating if you don't have "the touch"... and I don't. I have no difficulty with laminated doughs, cakes, pastry shells, choux, etc. but can still manage to make a heavy mess out of a batch of biscuits while a little old lady standing right next to me that's never even heard of "laminated doughs" using the same ingredients and same oven can make big, fluffy pieces of biscuit perfection.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I have to add my agreement to pound cake. I have a good friend that makes the lightest, most tender, melt in your mouth poundcake I've ever had. And it uses a full pound of butter. She's a genius.

I also have to add a light, crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, waffle. (With butter and maple syrup of course.)

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I'm trolling for ideas for plain and perfect baking -- the equivalent of the Lorna Doone or the Cameo sandwich cookie.  Simple, pared down, delicious.

My favorite is a cookie from King Arthur called the Vanilla Dream.  It's all about the texture, which is achieved through baker's amonia.

I'm a big fan of shortbread for this category, too.  There's a recipe in the Williams Sonoma collection (the first ones, the green covers) of cookies for a candied ginger chocolate shortbread, which is my favorite, but is pushing the envelope way out here.

Nick Malgieri's Hazelnut Brown Butter Financier comes to mind, too, although it also may not be plain enough.

If we pushed far enough into chocolate, there's a plain little chocolate cookie in Alice Medrich's Bittersweet that is just . . . plain, but chocolate.  It's not quite the right flavor for me, but fits this bill.

I suppose these things are good with ice cream or sorbet . . .

Ideas?

Gail Gand's recipe for Langues de Chat. Dorie G's Old Fashioned Almond Cookies (from Paris Sweets).

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sugar cookies...not the kind that kids decorate, but actually rolled in sugar...maybe mexican wedding cookies too...and I would also add good ole' chocolate pudding

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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I love pound cake.

I love toasted teacakes (just ate the last of a stash from the freezer).

I love shortbread. Michael Recchiutti's Triple Chocolate Cookies in his book Chocolate Obsession is very shortbread-like but not quite as simple to throw together. Absolutely worth the effort, though! Always make a double batch as you refrigerate the logs of dough and you won't be able to get enough of them.

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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My favorite is this recipe for

Cocoa Cookies that I always make for the holidays, but also during the summer - to make ice cream sandwiches.

They are extremely versatile - rolled out thin and cut into strips with a wavy cutter, they can be twisted or folded as soon as they come out of the oven and are still soft enough to bend.

If rolled very thin they can be rolled into "cigarettes" and dipped into chocolate or ?

They can have stuff other than ice cream sandwiched between them.

Varying the baking time can alter the crispness.

As I noted in the recipe, I often use KA's black cocoa half and half with the Dutch process.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Ruth, your suggestions are exactly what I'm looking for -- and I will try them. I have not made Langues de Chat before, and I hadn't thought of a simple almond cookie. Almond cookies . . . ah . . .

Kim, I'll try the Dream Cookies. Looks a little bit like a Snickerdoodle, I would have to compare the recipe.

And Andie, thank you for the Cocoa Cookies. I will definitely try them. There's a taste that comes from cocoa that I find preferable in this sort of cookie, preferable to chocolate. I also use King Arthur's Black Cocoa to oomph a chocolate recipe.

Thanks for the ideas!

I just ordered some tea from Upton last night, so I'm going to need some cookies!

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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My fave simple treat is a spritz cookie. I love that you can color the dough, press it out with differnt shapers, and it all tastes the same! the buttery goodness is so good I can only make them during the holidays. If not for that rule, I'd be as big as a house!

The recipe is so easy and it makes a gazillion cookies at once.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

2 egg yolks

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Sift together the flour and salt; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg yolks, almond extract and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients. Fill a cookie press with dough and shoot cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If you like, decorate with sugar or sprinkles at this time.

3. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven.

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
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