Sunday, January 27, 2008
Ella's Rye Cookies
Ella made great cookies. Our favorites were her rye cookies. They were about the size of a quarters; they had delightful nuttiness and melted in your mouth. Nobody ever ate just one.
It's been about thirty years since Ella died. As far as I know, no one has been able to recreate those rye cookies. Clearly Ella did not follow the recipe which was handed down to us: one cup of rye flour, one cup of sugar, and one cup of butter. Try that and you'll end up with one nasty cookie the size of your sheet tray.
Today I made another attempt at recreating the recipe. I doubled the proportion of flour. I was happy with the results. They aren't identical to Ella's, but they are close.
1 cup rye flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 pinch of salt
1 mixing bowl
1 spoon or fork
1 sharp knife
1 commercial sheet tray
paper towels or drying rack
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl, mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed (omit the salt if you are using salted butter)
3. Cut butter into small pieces (butter should be cold), add to dry ingredients; then incorporate all the ingredients (can be done either by hand or Kitchen Aid mixer) until evenly distributed and the dough forms a large ball (if you have lard, substitute it for one or two tablespoons of butter)
4. Sprinkle small amount of flour on counter then roll dough into a rope the diameter of a quarter; place dough in refrigerator; leaving the dough in the refrigerator over night may improve the texture of the cookies; dough can be frozen
5. Grease sheet tray or use parchment paper
6. Use sharp knife to cut rope in 1/8" disks, place on sheet tray allowing 1/4" between disks
7. Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees
8. When cookies are golden brown, remove from oven and use spatula to transfer to paper towels or drying rack and allow them to cool