Butter fleeing a cookie dough...
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.