A couple of weeks ago I had this urge to make slice and bake (or refrigerator) cookies so that I could freeze the dough and slice off some whenever I feel like something sweet. Usually I don’t eat the stuff I make (usually only having a taste to decide whether the recipe is a keeper), but living alone means that I ‘have to’ finish it, to avoid it being a waste. That said, a slice of cake or a couple of cookies in the afternoon after getting back from the hospital can be heavenly. So slice and bake cookies are perfect. It gets shaped into a log, put in the freezer and taken out on a rainy day. After baking, they are supposed to last 5 days (if they do last that long).
The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen (one of my favourite food blogs) is perfect. It can be adapted in many ways. I decided on poppyseeds and lemon zest.
Slice & Bake cookies
Makes 40-50 cookies
- 230 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
- 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
- Grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky.
- Beat in the egg yolks, followed by the salt and any dried fruits, zest, nuts or seeds. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears (better to underbeat than overbeat – just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a spoon).
- Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 2.5 to 3.5 cm thick (no need to worry about the length). Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
- Preheat the oven 180oC. Line cookie trays.
- While the oven is preheating, slice each log into cookies about 1cm thick (though up to you) with a sharp knife). Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.
- Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. Cool on wire racks.
I’ve tried putting Earl Grey tea leaves in (quite nice!), and swapping some of the flour for almond meal (makes the cookies a bit more crumbly but nutty) and dessicated coconut, added chopped pistachios / walnuts … and they turn out well. They really are a versatile type of cookie!