With the holidays soon upon us, I thought I’d post one of my very best cookie recipes. Or perhaps I should say cookie dough recipes: in addition to being able to fashion it into all sorts of cookie shapes and flavors, it also makes a great bake-ahead tart crust. Fleur de Sel Cookies, Earl Grey Tea Cookies, Coffee Vanilla Bean Cookies, Shortbread Pastry Lids and Shells for Tarts, and Brown Sugar Lime Curd Tart are just a few of the creations it easily morphs into. Once you know the basic thinking behind it, you can improvise endlessly with it.
When asked to bring a dessert to a holiday party, I invariably turn to this recipe for delectable, melt-in-your-mouth cookies fragrant with butter and the caramel flavors of light brown sugar. A few drops of orange flower water subtly intensifies the flavor of the butter, a trick I learned from my Greek grandmother.
Never one to write a simple, cut-in-stone recipe, I can’t seem to help writing out ideas for improvising upon a basic approach, with lots of examples. In fact, I wrote a whole book of recipes for improvising, which gives you the tools to do-your-own-thing right away, called The Improvisational Cook. As my holiday gift to you, here’s a PDF from The Improvisational Cook, for Brown Sugar Butter Cookies with Many Improvisations.
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