Sunday, November 6, 2011
Grandmother's Ice Cream Cookies
I wish these were as marvelous as they sound. But instead of being "lovely for afternoon tea" as described in the recipe, the cookies tasted like, well, a cow pasture. And I know the culprit -- farm fresh butter that turned out to be a *bit* too assertive for the recipe.
I love butter to the point that in Paris, for example, I spend as much time in fromageries buying butter as in museums looking at art.
But this particular butter (purchased at the wonderful Saxelby's in the Essex Market) while delicious on bread, did not work in these shortbread-like cookies where butter is the star. I wanted to taste sunshine and cream; instead the flavor was of damp meadow grass.
Ironically, this is probably exactly what these cookies tasted like to Grandmother, who surely used farm fresh butter in baking.
The recipe is from Mrs. Osborn's Cakes of Quality, published in 1919. Those who want to try this, using a mild but good butter (Plugra, for example), will find that the dough is too soft to knead. I just formed it into a circle and placed between waxed paper in the fridge for a few minutes, before fitting it into a 9-inch cake pan and baking. Next, invite the grandchildren over for some cookies and ice cream.