I stand before the mirror and see the reflection. It looks like me. I belt out a few notes of a song and the quiet is polluted by off-key singing. It certainly sounds like me. Pardon the mild disbelief–this self-proclaimed non-cookie baker is sharing a second cookie post in as many weeks. But I was on a mission to tackle just one more recipe.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- Additional flour for work surface and hands
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter. Beat with a hand mixer set on low speed until crumbly and the mixture has formed pea-sized balls. My mixture seemed dry and loose but it came together anyway.
- In another bowl, lightly beat together the whole egg, egg yolk, vanilla and lemon extracts. Add this to the flour mixture and beat again on low speed until a rough, shaggy mass forms.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, dust your hands with flour and knead the dough until it’s smooth and all the ingredients have been thoroughly incorporated, about one minute. My dough still seemed floury and dry after the second beating but as soon as I started kneading it, it all came together nicely.
- Wrap and chill the dough for at least one hour before using (may be stored up to 4 days).
- 1 recipe Pasta Frolla
- Unbleached all-purpose flour for work surface
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 1/4 cups raisins
- Sweetened cocoa powder for dusting
- Line a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet with 5/8 inch sides with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan and set it aside.
- Cut the chilled dough in half, refrigerate the remaining half while you roll out the other in a 9 x 13 inch rectangle. Loosely roll your pastry around the rolling pin and transfer the dough to the pan. If you have a bit of trouble with this like I did, trimming the longer sides and patching areas where I came up short to fill in the pan worked just fine. Press the dough gently onto the pan.
- Brush the dough slightly with some of the egg. Sprinkle the raisins over the dough and press them slightly into the dough. You can use the rolling pin for this but I found it easier to use the bottom of a glass because of the rim of the baking sheet.
- Brush the tops of the raisins with the beaten egg until you have only 1/4 cup remaining.
- Roll out the other half of the dough to the same dimensions and set on top of the raisins. Press the dough slightly against the bottom layer. Brush the egg mixture on the top layer of dough. I found that I didn’t need to use the entire 1/4 cup. It would have made the top too wet. Let this dry at room temperature for about thirty minutes.
- After thirty minutes, sift the top generously with sweetened cocoa powder and using the tines of a fork, create zig zag patterns all across the dough.
- Cover the baking sheet and slip the dough in the freezer for about two hours.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- When the dough is hard, lift it out of the baking sheet and place it on a lightly floured work surface. I found that this step was unnecessary since the bottom layer of parchment paper kept the dough from sticking to my counter anyway.
- With a sharp knife, cut the dough lengthwise into 6 strips and crosswise into 7 equal bars. This recipe was supposed to make 42 pieces but I could only get 36 out of it. Mine were a bit wider.
- Line one large baking sheet or two smaller ones with parchment paper and arrange the bars about one inch apart. Bake the bars for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops are deep brown and the bottoms light brown. This is where adding too much of the beaten egg to the top layer would make it difficult to bake the top without overcooking the bottom so I recommend not using the entire 1/4 cup remaining beaten egg.
- Let cool completely before serving. These will keep in an airtight container for up to a week (but they won’t last that long).
Tutti Dolci (@Tutti_Dolci) says
A few months ago I spotted a recipe in USA Weekend that looked worth a try. One of the steps was to caramelize sugar, which seemed simple enough. I followed the technique suggested 3 times (from a professional pastry chef), then resorted to looking online and through “The Joy of Cooking” for advice. Finally, 8 tries later, and with the help of a YouTube video, the sugar caramelized. Not surprisingly, this little experiment took up the better part of the afternoon! One day I’ll try again…
WOW!!! These are some of the prettiest cookies I’ve seen!! They look great! I wish I could have a HUGE bite!
I love that you didn’t give up and made your own version of those! The cookies look fabulous and I bet they are delicious!
I used to love these cookies growing up – brought back memories.
My hubby loves that place and always gets a cookie from there lol. These look fantastic! Good for you for trying a million times and then coming up with a better solution lol you have much more resolve than I.
Kiri W. says
I’ve never had these, but they look beautiful and elegant 🙂 Shortbread is always perfect for tea or coffee, so these look like I’d love them!
Those cookies look fantastic! I bet the raisin taste great with the shortbread!
What a beautiful cookie. I love anything that’s as good to look at as it is to eat it and these must have been a real hit at the party. I’ll give it a try but I too might forego that caramelized sugar.
Just A Smidgen says
Now I’ve finally met a new cookie for the first time! What a beautiful work of art these are! I’ve never made anything like these!
My dear! I’ve never seen or heard anything like these either! I hope you are doing well. I’m enjoying an unseasonably warm day here in Austin and about to start baking a chocolate cake. Thank you for sharing another delicious post!
These look gorgeous, and I’d love all those raisins. Good for you for sticking with the recipe!
Chef Seh says
Great looking cookies! For the caramel I see you mention high heat but for small quantities it would never work use medium to low heat and if you need time you can even brush the sides of the pan with cold water. Also it may seem to be taking forever to change color but once it starts it will go very quickly from a light to a dark caramel and once you have the correct color stand back and add some water, be careful as sugar is at a very high temperature and lots of steam will come off but that’ll hold the caramel to that color. Let me know if you try this and if it works for you 🙂
Lemons & Anchovies says
Chef Seh, thanks so much for your helpful tips. I will definitely employ your suggestions the next time I make these cookies–much appreciated! 🙂
skip to malou says
for a non-cookie baker this looks absolutely divine. cookies appeal to me becaue of how it looks. yes i won’t be surprised if i see a third and a few more cookie posts in your blog.
enjoy the rest of the week jean,
Good job on the cookies Jean, they look professionally done!
Il Fornaio baked goods are wonderful, The closest one for us is in Corte Madera and we’ve enjoyed a few meals and a lot of coffee there, it’s next door to our gym! I love raisins in cookies so I know this cookie would be a favorite with me. I’m glad you persevered with this baking project and shared it with us.
Those look beautiful. I have a hit or miss relationship with caramel, but I love it so I’m always making it.
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
I had never had this before (I think). You don’t bake cookies? Really? But your cookies come out so perfect I don’t believe you! I’m pretty sure my kids will go crazy as I see abundant raisins in these. =) You write so well and I enjoy reading your posts.
Lemons & Anchovies says
Nami, I just don’t feel as comfortable with cookies as I do with cakes or tarts. Isn’t that odd? I am happy with how these turned out, though.
You’re so sweet! I’m glad you enjoy coming here to visit as much as I enjoy reading our blog. 🙂
Ana Rita says
Hi, i’m a follower but never left a comment, it’s today!!!
I loved this cookies. Never heard of them but they seem delicious and easy to bake.
Lemons & Anchovies says
Rita, I love to hear from my readers–thank you so much for leaving me a note! I’m so glad you liked these cookies. They are now a favorite of mine. Have a great weekend! 🙂
Kim Bee says
I have never had anything quite like this. It’s stunning and looks so tasty. Your photos are impeccable!
Priscilla - She's Cookin' says
I used to frequent Il Fornaio and be among the tired suits tying one on 🙂 I pinned these beautiful cookies, but had no idea how you toiled for perfection!
I have never seen these cookies before but they look like they are definitely worth the extra effort involved in making them.