Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Lavender Mocha & White Chocolate Pistachio Rosewater Butter Cookies


So how did this all start? I would be able to give you a more definite answer if you asked me where did this all start. Medina Cafe. My friend Victor and I were catching up over waffles and coffee at Medina Cafe when we started talking about my blog. You might remember my blog as a DIY/baking/hodge-podge blog. I have been wanting to redo my blog, get it a bit more organized, and make it a little more...me. I knew I wanted my first post on my "new" blog to be a recipe inspired by something meaningful. As Victor and I were nibbling away at our Belgian waffles, I dipped my waffle into more of the milk chocolate lavender sauce and thought to myself that milk chocolate lavender would be a great cookie flavour. Better yet, a milk chocolate lavender mocha flavour...just like one of their most popular drinks. I am also completely smitten by the white chocolate rosewater pistachio mocha Medina serves so why the heck not, I'll turn that into a cookie as well. So there you have it. My catching-up lunch date with Victor about my blog in cookie form.






I love simple shortbread and butter cookies and I have a go-to recipe for shortbread. Surprisingly, I did not use my go-to for these cookies. My go-to uses more butter and does not call for any eggs. This one does. A hard-boiled egg yolk actually. Cook's Illustrated and Smitten Kitchen both use a hard-boiled egg yolk in their French sable cookie recipe and I knew I wanted to give this technique a try. The hard-boiled egg yolk gives the cookies a more delicate crumb, and a texture is a bit more sandy than your usual shortbread. Shortbread and butter cookies are great to work with. They are like mini blank canvases, lending itself to any flavours you want to incorporate in them.

If you are an avid Bon Appetit hoarder reader like me, you might find these cookie wreaths to be a bit familiar-looking. The wreath idea comes from a San Francisco bakery that Bon Appetit featured in their last holiday issue and I have been wanting to create these delicate cookies since then. Theirs were adorned with entire flowers but I decided to top mine with the flavours emulating a lavender mocha and a rosewater white chocolate pistachio mocha. So I have here a mocha cookie with a coffee glaze with lavender and a simple butter cookie topped with a rosewater glaze, crushed pistachios, rose petals, and white chocolate bits.






Victor and I had a wonderful time shooting these cookies. We headed out early on a Monday morning to get fresh flowers and coffee, came back to my house, and started arranging all the flowers for the shoot. We shot the rosewater batch, proceeded to shoot the lavender batch, and wrapped up by creating the largest cookie photo spread. We had fresh florals, dried florals, and it was pretty much my cookie dream come true.


White chocolate rosewater pistachio butter cookies 

1 large egg, hard-boiled and cooled
10 tablespoons (140 grams or 1/2 cup and 1 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cup (175 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour

Rosewater Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon rosewater*

Decoration

Crushed pistachios
Dried rose petals
White chocolate shavings
Coarse sanding sugar

*Rosewater concentration may vary depending on the brand. I would highly recommend to taste as you go, to make sure you have the perfect balance of rosewater in your glaze. You don't want your cookies to taste like soap!

Lavender mocha butter cookies

1 large egg, hard-boiled and cooled
10 tablespoons (140 grams or 1/2 cup and 1 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cup minus 2 tablespoon (160 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender, grounded

Coffee Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

Decoration

Dried lavender
Coarse sanding sugar

Place butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Crack egg and peel shell. Separate yolk from white and set aside the egg white (you don't need it anymore). Press yolk through fine-mesh strainer and into mixer bowl with other ingredients. Beat mixture on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl and beater with spatula as needed. If you are making the rosewater variation, add the rosewater at this stage and mix until combined.

Add flour and mix at low speed until just combined. If you are making the mocha variation, whisk the cocoa powder and instant espresso powder with the flour before adding it to the butter mixture. If dough is slightly crumbly, use a rubber spatula or your hands to knead a few times and to combine the dough.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface, place dough on parchment, and place another piece of parchment on top. Using a rolling pin, roll our the dough into 1/4 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out the shapes and place cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill unbaked cookies for roughly 30 minutes before baking.

While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake cookies until they have golden brown edges, about 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven but let firm up on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring cookies to cooling racks.

Make glaze, dip cookies, and decorate away. Dip the cookies in the glaze as you go along. Don't dip them all at once before decorating them because the glaze might set before you get to some of the cookies. Let glaze on cookies harden for about an hour before stacking/storing the cookies.


Makes 18 - 20 cookies.




Photography & Editing || Victor Yuen