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Butter fleeing a cookie dough...

Boythefoodtalksto Nov 19, 2006 06:04 PM

My VSO is from Como in northern Italy and among the things I have learned to make that please her mightily are krumiri, lovely buttery and lemony cornmeal cookies. I have always used the recipe from "A Passion for Piedmont" by Matt Kramer. When I first tried this recipe about five years ago it worked perfect even if the batter was the devil to push out of the pastry bag through the half-inch star tip.

Anyway, out of the numerous times I have made thus dough perhaps 60% of the time the cookies have immediately flattened out in the oven and lost their shallow-v-shaped log shape. Taste is fine, but the look is all wrong. I have tried numerous things, from chilling the dough before piping it out, to using or not using a silpat or parchment paper, and for the life of me I cannot figure out what causes the problem.

Yesterday I tried making a batch again and the result was a total meltdown - literally. After I put the erstwhile cookies in the oven I started washing the bowl out and then thought to turn the oven light on so I could watch the progress and I was surprised and dismayed to see that not only had the dough completely flattened out but all of the butter had fled the dough and now I had this little flat boomerang shapes boiling in a sea of butter. Luckily I used a sheet pan that had real sides to it!

So, the question is, what is going on and how do I avoid this? The ingredients are: butter (1.5 sticks), sugar, lemon zest, 1 egg plus an egg yolk, flour and cornmeal.

Any ideas? Thanks.

  1. pikawicca Nov 19, 2006 06:10 PM

    Have you tried chilling the dough AFTER piping? I do this with cookies that have a lot of butter. Also, do you always use the same kind of butter? I find that European-style butter works best for cookies of this type (lower moisture content).

    1. c
      cuppamud Nov 19, 2006 06:31 PM

      What is the consistency of the butter when you first cut it into the flour? Somewhat firm, but pliable or is it soft? Aim for the former. I agree with pikawicca to chill the dough. About 15-30 min. in the fridge should do it. Hope this helps.

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