Living in the countryside of England I have found a new love for butter. Double-churned, grass-fed, whatever you want to call it. It's far superior to that pale and tasteless Sealtest version of so called 'butter'. It is a deep yellow colour, beautifully rich, fatty and sweet. That's why you should go out and find some cultured butter and make these butter cookies. Today.
I've used essential oils to give the taste of Earl Grey, which is essentially Bergamot flower and citrus. If you have a fear of ingesting essential oils, just remember that we use them in very small quantities and that many of your favourite flavoured teas use essential oils to give them an intoxicating aroma. So don't be afraid to get creative with them in the kitchen.
The rhubarb jam is a celebration of spring. Although my Canadian friends may not be as close to this reality as they'd like to be, not yet anyway. In England we have rhubarb popping up everywhere, as we do daffodils. This rhubarb jam recipe has a short cooking time, just long enough to soften the stalks but short enough to preserve that fresh tart flavour. The perfect acidity to cut through all that creamy butter.
Butter Cookie Ingredients:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup cultured butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup demerara sugar, plus extra for rolling
- 1 large egg yolk
- 10 drops of 100% essential oil of bergamot
- 3 drops of 100% essential oil of lemon (or orange)
Rhubarb Jam Ingredients
- 1 bunch of rhubarb (about 5-6 stalks) sliced
- rind from 1 orange (use a potato peeler to avoid the white pith)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup demarara sugar
- 1 cup water
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In an electric mixer (or blender or hand-held), beat together butter and demerara sugar until lightened in colour and fluffy; beat in egg yolk and essential oils until combined. With mixer running on low, add flour mixture until incorporated.
- Divide dough into two balls. On a clean surface, roll each ball into a 1 1/2-inch log. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over a sheet of parchment. Roll each log in the sugar until the outside of the dough is thoroughly covered. Cover logs tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour, or overnight.
- In the mean time, add the but rhubarb, sugar, vanilla, orange zest and water to a pot on med-high heat.
- Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Then reduce heat and cook until rhubarb is very soft (about 15minutes).
- Strain out the rhubarb, (reserve the liquid for making cocktails!) and place in a blender. Blend the rhubarb until smooth and place int the fridge to cool.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, heat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Use large, sharp knife to cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place cookies 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookie edges and bottoms are dark golden brown, about 18 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Top each cookie with a dollop of jam and serve.