Saturday, June 25, 2005

IMBB #16: Hard Cooked Egg Cookies

Hosted by Viv, this month's Is My Blog Burning theme is Eggs. It was hard for me to decide on a recipe for this IMBB. Clearly we all know by now that I am partial to sweet things. Most baked goods already involve eggs, so I really could have chosen anything I might ordinarily make and post it for this event. But that didn’t really seem to be in the spirit of things. I wanted to do something that was (a) at least a little unusual and (b) featured eggs heavily.
I was flipping an old Joy of Cooking (1946 edition - and note that they don't appear in more current additions) when I spotted Hard Cooked Egg Cookies. My first thought was that they were cookies that would have a dollop of curd or something in the center to resemble hard boiled eggs. They actually involve putting hard boiled eggs through a ricer and into the batter.
I cheated and made the whole dough in the food processor, so I didn't have to rice the eggs in advance. The recipe's baking instructions were limited to "Cook in a slow oven." Not that that is vague, or anything. Despite the fact that the recipes called for dipping the unbaked cookies in egg whites and rolling them in sugar, because there was no leavening in the cookies, I decided that perhaps they should be rolled and cut out like shortbread. I dipped a few teaspoon sized balls in the egg white, rolled them in sugar and baked them before rolling out the rest of the dough to compromise. They were ugly, but I think they had a slightly better crunch to the outside than the rolled cookies. The cutout cookies, which are pictureed above, by the way, were brushed with egg white and sprinkled with coarse sugar. I underbaked the cookies slightly, so they didn't keep well; they were rather mushy the next day. But I got a request for another batch (baked longer this time!), so it definately wasn't all bad.
There was no way that you could guess that there were hard boiled eggs in these cookies. The cookies had a nice, light lemon flavor - which I would slightly increase next time - and a moist, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Here is the recipe, complete with how I would do it again: increase the lemon, increase the baking time, keep the rolling, but dip the but cookies into the egg white before dredging in sugar.

Hard Cooked Egg Cookies
Zest of 1 lemon + 1/2 tsp lemon extract
10 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter
4 hard cooked/boiled eggs, peeled
1 egg
3 cups ap flour
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cream together lemon zest, lemon extract, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor. Add in hard boiled eggs and process until fully incorporated. Mix in egg. Add flour and pulse until dough just comes together.
At this point you can chill the dough for a bit if your kitchen is very hot, otherwise roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/4 inch thick and cut into rounds with a 2 inch cookie or biscuit cutter. Dip the cut cookies into the egg white then dredge in the sugar. Arrange on baking sheet - cookies will not spread - and bake until just beginning to brown at the edges, about 12 minutes.
Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 4 dozen.