My Recipe Box

Crème Brûlée Cookies

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Yields 3-1/2 dozen cookies

  • To learn more, read:
    Dessert in a Cookie
  • by Abigail Johnson Dodge from Fine Cooking
    Issue 108

Bursting with vanilla flavor, these butter cookies sport the burnt-sugar topping of their namesake.

  • 3 cups (13-1/2 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Seeds scraped from 2 large vanilla beans or 4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add 1-1/2 cups of the sugar and the vanilla seeds or extract and beat on medium speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, mixing until blended after each addition. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended, about 1 minute.

Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Using the plastic as an aid, gently knead into a smooth dough (the dough will be soft). Shape into a 12-inch round log about 3 inches in diameter and wrap in the plastic. Cut an empty paper towel roll open. Gently rest the dough in the roll and refrigerate until chilled and very firm, about 4 hours. (The dough may be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 or more cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick baking liners. Put the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl.

Cut the dough into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Gently press one side of each cookie into the sugar to coat completely. Arrange the cookies sugar side up about 1 inch apart on the lined cookie sheets. Save the rest of the sugar for decorating the cookies. Bake, one sheet at a time, until golden-brown, 11 to 14 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. (The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up 3 days before proceeding.)

Dip the sugared side of the cookies into the remaining sugar. Arrange the cookies sugar side up on a flameproof work surface. Pass the flame of a small kitchen torch over the cookie tops until evenly caramelized. Let cool completely, about 3 minutes, before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 110; Fat (g): 5; Fat Calories (kcal): 45; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 1; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Carbohydrates (g): 16; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 80; Cholesterol (mg): 30; Fiber (g): 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

These cookies are amazing. I made them for mailing to friends so I only got to try one but I feel they are truly worth the effort. I am a big fan of the strong vanilla flavor. I think they would be delicious even without the burnt sugar topping.

I have just made the cookies and they are cooling as I write. Good flavour but I would certainly make them much smaller next time. They have spread to be a large cookie. I think a two inch roll would be adequate. I like the idea of the paper towel roll for keeping the rounded form of the cookie while it is chilling. I also found it necessary to flour my knife to keep the dough from sticking while I was cutting them Looking forward to caramelizing the sugar later. These will go into the freezer for a few weeks.

These didn't wow me. I don't think the burnt sugar topping added much. To be fair, I'm lukewarm about sugar cookies to start with. They are easy to make.

Awesome cookie! Very easy to make and the creme brulee touch is fun! We actually torch the cookies just before we eat. Not sure where they get a paper towel roll center that is 3 inches in diameter but I just wrapped in plastic instead. We want to keep this recipe around so we are going to make a PVC tube and cut it in 1/2. I'm going to knock the cookie down to probably 2 inches in diameter though and freeze.

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