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Santé Et Nutrition

This Wedding Cookie Recipe Is the Only Married Thing About Me



About seven years into my partnered unmarried life, I made these brown butter wedding cookies. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to a Zola registry, and for that, I’m relieved. I like to keep my distance. From institutions, not cookies! I like to be close to cookies. Very close.

In the powdered sugar-strewn timeline of desserts, there have been many variations on these cookies: Mexican wedding cakes, Italian wedding cookies, butterballs, Russian tea cakes…Regina Schrambling at the Los Angeles Times traces the buttery trail here. But the common link is this: a melt-in-your-mouth cookie made with a shocking amount of butter, powdered sugar, nuts, flour, and vanilla. A double layer of powdered sugar gives them a velvet coating that dissolves on the tongue like a freshly fallen snowflake. Scenic much?

Nutty Browned Butter Wedding Cookies

Because this is Basically, our recipe is a pared-down, simple version that doesn’t tinker and tweak with added extracts, zests, or alt-flours. However, we do start with brown butter instead of normal butter, which adds a caramel-y, nutty flavor to the already-nutty cookie. Double nut fun! If you’ve never made brown butter, now’s your chance to learn and have a whole cookie universe opened up to you. (It’s a game-changer in chocolate chip cookies too.)

basically how to brown butter 3

Photo by Alex Lau, Food Styling by Judy Mancini

Brown butter looks like this, if ya wanna know.

Once you’ve made the brown butter (TWO STICKS, BABY!), you chill it ‘til it’s solid, then cream it with powdered sugar using an electric mixer until it’s all fluffy. After that you mix in the flour, and fold in chopped walnuts and vanilla. That’s your cookie dough—pause to lick spatula clean. After that you MUST chill the dough. Two hours-ish. This cookie dough is pretty much sugared butter and we need that fat to solidify so that when the cookie balls hit the oven, they don’t spread and lose their snowball shape.

Basically Brown Butter Wedding Cookies 01

Powdered sugar bath.

Roll the cold dough into balls, or shape them gently with your fingers (what I did because my were pretty crumbly and not so easy to roll, Play-Doh style). They bake for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven sitch, but what’s tricky is knowing when they’re done, because we don’t want them browned and golden like choc chips. Notice how doughy, soft, and sticky the raw dough looks, and then keep an eye out to see them firm up and almost look dried out. When they’re still warm, roll them in a powdered sugar bath, let them fully cool, and roll one more time before serving—or stashing, because they’re even better the next day.

My cookies came out looking less like perfect snowballs and more like prehistoric rocks, but that’s really the story of my life. The final texture was spot-on, though, with that soft sugar blanket giving way to smooth, shortbread butterballs with crunchy walnut specks. I’d take a bite of cookie, sip of coffee, bite of cookie—and then next thing you know, seven years have gone by and people have finally stopped asking me if I’m just going to marry the cookies already. Nah, we’re good. We’re very happy like this.

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Santé Et Nutrition

A Good Rugelach Recipe Is Hard To Find, So We Made One




When I think about rugelach, I think about something my grandmother said about me at my grandfather’s memorial service. We were standing over his grave, and she was giving him reports on all of his grandchildren. When she got to me (age 12), she said, “When Julia is good, she is very, very good. And when she is bad, she is very, very bad.” The same goes for most Jewish baked goods, but it’s particularly true of rugelach. (And if you want more explanation on what my grandmother was talking about with that one-liner, I’ll just be over here working on my memoir.)

Good rugelach are made from tender, flaky pastry. They have textural contrast: soft dough playing against the crunch of finely chopped nuts rolled inside. They’re evenly cooked—toasty and golden all the way through. The absolute best rugelach have a filling that spills out just enough to form a lacy edge surrounding the cookie, like the finest, thinnest smash burger.

Bad rugelach is dry and pasty. And yet it’s also simultaneously burnt and greasy. It tastes like it was made sometime during the last world war. And worst of all, it looks basically identical to a good rugelach. You won’t know the truth until you’ve taken a bite, and it’s far too late.

So, I was curious how my colleague, definitely-not-a-member-of-the-Tribe-senior-food-editor Chris Morocco, would unleash his unerring exactitude on this iconic Jewish deli cookie. Turns out, he made a few key modifications to ensure that his rugelach, which are not just any rugelach but the cover stars of the Bon Appétit December issue, would land in the “good” camp—and then some.

One: He adds a hit of orange zest and (this is key) a full teaspoon of salt to the raspberry jam-and-walnut filling, giving it the seasoning it rarely receives.

Two: Rather than rolling each rugelach into its own mini croissant shape, Chris makes one big log, then slices off triangular rectangles (a mathematical impossibility, I know). This makes for a speedier process and a more evenly rolled cookie, which ensures that the center will bake through.

Now, all of this was going fine until I got to the third and final modification in Chris’s recipe, which was to top the rugelach with blitzed freeze-dried strawberries, which give the cookies the sparkly red luster that makes them look and feel so, you know, holiday-ish.

I question what the rabbis would say about this. I also question where one buys freeze-dried strawberries. I also, to be completely honest, tried my hardest not to F up this recipe but also to complete it during actual Hannukah. So please, no one tell Chris, but I made these without the freeze-dried strawberries. And they were very, very good.

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Santé Et Nutrition

These Shortbread Christmas Cookies Will Redeem All the Not-That-Careful Bakers




It was very brave of senior editor Sasha Levine to assign me this article. Sure, I’ve made decent cookies and brownies many times before. But any dessert item that involves making two doughs, measuring the size of the dough based on 6×2” rectangles, and creating layers of said dough is a world beyond my pastry comprehension.

Sasha, for unknown reasons, had blind faith that I could handle it. And ya know what, friends? I did okay! Better than okay even! A sugar-happy four-year-old and several colleagues confirmed that my cookies tasted great—like shortbread meets a not-too-sweet chocolate Oreo, minus the cream filling. Plus, they looked mostly like the professionally styled photo, minus some uneven blue sprinkles and a chocolate layer that didn’t make it all the way to the edges. I found myself eating “several” at a time.

If I, a person who has stains on her shirt more often than not, can make these cookies, then I feel very confident that you can too. So bust out that pastry ruler and keep these things in mind:

1. Don’t be intimidated by the swirl.It’s right there in the recipe headnote: “Here’s a fancy-looking swirl that novices can succeed at too.” This is a forgiving swirl. Let’s say, hypothetically, that you make your two doughs and discover that somehow you have a bit more vanilla dough than chocolate dough…and the vanilla dough is a little more pliable. Soldier on, comrade! As long as you can still stack the doughs per the recipe instructions (see more below), it’s all going to be fine. If you’re a perfectionist, I’m sure your cookies will look amazing. If you’re the kind of person who consistently discovers food in your hair many hours since you last ate (hi! Let’s be friends!), these cookies can still be part of your repertoire.

2. You can make the dough three days ahead of time.Cookie projects are fun, but then life gets in the way—grocery shopping took longer than you thought, you have been meaning to go to the gym, that cheesy Netflix Christmas movie is beckoning you… It’s all good. Make the dough, put it in the fridge, and bake the cookies another day. These are cookies for sort of lazy—but not entirely lazy—people.

3. These cookies can help you get out some rage.The step I was dreading the most was when you have to stack the vanilla and chocolate layers on top of each other to join them into one black-and-white log. My doughs were, um, not exactly the same texture (as previously confessed) and I was worried about that final swirl. In the end, though, this ended up being my favorite part. The instructions say to “pat into rectangles” but I interpreted “pat” as “aggressively mold the layers while working through some “feelings.” It was cathartic. May the layering offer you the same respite it did for me.

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You know what would make a pretty great holiday gift? Our magazine! And a cool tote bag, plus some great baking tools for holiday cookies. More details here.

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Santé Et Nutrition

Crispy Smashed Potatoes and Chickpeas with Greek Salad Recipe




In a medium pot, cover potatoes by about an inch and a half of water. Season generously with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until just cooked through, about 15 minutes, do not overcook. Drizzle a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Drain the potatoes and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Let sit until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.

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