Posts Tagged ‘Ming Tsai cookie dough’

Oh, these are so delicious.

Loathe to waste the six egg yolks leftover from our Mother’s Day pavlova, I used them to make two batches of our shortbread freezer cookie dough. I froze seven of the eight logs, but left one in the fridge to experiment with.

The following morning, I let the roll come to room temperature, then kneaded some very finely chopped crystallised ginger and bake-stable chocolate pieces into the dough.  I tried to make the inclusions as small as possible, to allow for a cleanly sliced cookie.  The dough was then reshaped into a log and popped back into the fridge to firm up, before slicing and baking in a 160C (fan) oven for 18 minutes.

The end result is a moreishly crisp shortbread, with distinguishable bursts of flavour.  The bake-stable chocolate – the Callebaut baking sticks shown below – hold their shape in the oven, and as a result the cookies kept their variegated appearance, rather than being dotted with oozing melted chocolate chunks (which is usually a good thing, but not what I wanted in this case).

If you haven’t tried the shortbread cookie dough, I hope you’ll give it a go.  The original post  is here, and I’ve updated it to include cup measures and a printable version.

The shortbread is quite easy to make, providing you have a large mixer, and the frozen logs are a useful standby to keep in the freezer.  The dough is endlessly adaptable and makes a fantastic emergency gift or treat – you can have freshly baked cookies on the table within half an hour!

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One clever way to prepare for Christmas gift giving is to have a few batches of cookie dough in the freezer. This shortbread recipe, created by Ming Tsai, will keep for a week in the fridge or a couple of months in the freezer, provided the logs are well wrapped.

Having frozen cookie dough on hand is very empowering – you can have a freshly baked gift ready to go in under an hour.  Package these in homemade origami boxes, and you’ll feel like a true domestic goddess!

Butter Shortbread Cookie Dough
(adapted from Simply Ming, Episode 120)

  • 375g (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 290g (1⅓ cups) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large (59g) egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 550g (3¾ cups) plain (AP)  flour
  • scraped seeds from half a vanilla pod (optional)

Note: our homemade vanilla extract has a sprinkling of black seeds in it, so I don’t usually bother with the vanilla pod.

1. You’ll need a big mixer for this recipe. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and salt on medium until well blended (about two minutes).  Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing until incorporated.  Add the vanilla extract and seeds.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

2. While the mixer is off, add all the flour.  Turn the machine onto its lowest setting and mix until the flour is completely incorporated.  Do not overbeat.  Remove the dough and divide it into four, then shape each piece into a log about 25cm (10″) long and 3cm (1¼”) in diameter.  Wrap each log in parchment paper (roll it up, then twist the ends to seal) and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.

To store rolls in the freezer, overwrap the top of the parchment paper with a sheet of foil, seal tightly to prevent freezer burn, then label with a permanent marker.  When using the frozen dough, allow it to defrost slightly before slicing.

3. To bake a standard shortbread cookie – preheat the oven to 160C /320F (with fan).  Slice the chilled dough into 1cm (½”) discs, then dip each cookie into a small bowl of raw or Demerara sugar.  Lay them out on a baking tray lined with parchment, sugar side up.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly brown, then allow them to cool on a wire rack before serving.  Make sure you don’t overcook these, or they’ll lose their crumbly buttery texture.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

. . . . .

You can do all sorts of clever things with this dough!

Here are some of our favourites:

Chai Shortbread Cookies – chai lattes are the latest café trend in Sydney, and our local coffee shop was selling bags of chai tea blend.  I added a little of this powdered mix to the Demerara sugar and dipped the cookies in it before baking – the result is a sophisticated cookie with hints of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  Chai mix is also readily available at Indian spice stores.

Linzer Cookies – my friend Christina, bless her, brought me back these snazzy cookie cutters from the US.  I rolled the dough out onto a sheet of parchment to a thickness of about 5mm, then cut tops and bottoms with the cutters.  These were baked for ten minutes each and allowed to cool, before sandwiching with some of Pete’s delicious raspberry jam.

Tarts – roll the dough out thinly and bake it in a small tart pan for a crisp base.  Once cooled, fill it with some homemade lemon curd (which only takes a few minutes in the microwave) or chocolate ganache and you’ll have an instant dessert.

More freezer dough recipes to come!

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