Follow Mouth of Wonder on Instagram!

If you make something from the blog and don't share it on social media, did it really happen? #mouthofwonder

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Applewood smoked salt butter cookies

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
It’s finally summer! And now my attention turns to my garden. This year things seem to be growing well—unlike last season's failure. Perhaps it’s due to my online soil research, or maybe it’s my new friendship with the neighbor up the street who is a biologist and a farmer. He tested my soil and recommended specific supplements and it worked! Nitrogen and potassium were low, but now everything is happy. In addition to gardening, I try and get out and try new things. I started bouncing on the rebounder (also known as a mini trampoline) daily. A friend recommended it, and it’s a really fun way to exercise! I started drinking a super green supplement and drinking mushroom tea. Perhaps I am losing my mind, maybe I am trying to maintain what’s left of my youth, but I feel great. What does this have to do with baking cookies? Nothing. Just wanted to update you! What's new with you?

So ... basic butter cookies. This is the cookie you make when you have nothing in the pantry. And then you remember how delish butter, sugar, and flour can be. I always keep extra butter in the freezer, always have eggs, sugar, flour, and vanilla. These cookies are delicious just as is. But with slight modifications, you can take this cookie in many different directions. My Pittsburgh friend gifted me some beautiful smoked salt, which was amazing! But you have so many options: sesame seeds; toasted coconut; almond extract and slivered almonds on top; chocolate drizzle after baking with a shaved chocolate garnish; finely diced fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, or dill) for a savory twist; or you can go old-school and stick an M&M in the center. Get creative!

1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (140g) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large, room temperature egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (283g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
2 to 4 teaspoons milk
Sprinkling of smoked salt (mine was from the Spice & Tea Exchange in Pittsburgh)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, and salt until combined. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla. Add flour and mix until crumbly then add in 2 teaspoons of milk, if needed add in another 1 to 2 teaspoons more of the milk for a more pipe-able consistency - add as little as possible for less spreading, though. Transfer to a 16-inch piping bag fitted with a very large open star tip. Make stars or circles onto two ungreased baking sheets. Just to be clear, this might not be easy. The dough is thick. You can add extra water to make it easier to pipe, but the more liquid you add, the more the dough will spread. Sprinkle a few flakes of smoked salt on top of each cookie. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown on bottom, about 12 to 16 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container, or just eat them all.