Last night, coming home on the R train, I saw these guys. I was quietly reading a manuscript when I was distracted by loud yelling. My first thought wasn’t a generous one.
Then, I listened.
They were performing Lear. Which just so happens to be my favorite play. (Make of that what you will.)
I’ve been harping on as of late with predictions of how 2012 is going to be a good yearthe truth of that matter is that this has more to do with 2011 beinghow to say thiskind of lackluster. Nothing bad happened, yes. And, for that I am grateful. But, in a lot of ways it felt like nothing happened at all, which is not to make light of some fairly significant changes. More to say that, surface changes notwithstanding, there was a lot of waiting for things to realign and feeling a bit like the ever elusive brass ring was just that. That’s the problem with having too many expectations, I suppose.
There’s no big explanation coming about why I’m going to share this recipe with you today.
It’s just that I was reminded last night of how much I loved many things, generally and New York City, particularly.
Partly because it’s the kind of place where you can hear Shakespeare on the subways.
Partly because it’s where elevated train lines become parks.
Partly because it’s where writers like Frank O’Hara are made.
Partly because it’s the kind of place that has bakeries where you can get cookies that taste like fresh corn and blueberries and cream.
In other words, a place of the unexpected. Which may be just the thing.
The recipe for blueberries and cream cookies is below.
And, in other news: I’m back to quoting Shakespeare and Frank O’Hara. If you know me, this means I’ve likely gotten about fifty percent more pretentious and annoying than usual in your estimation.
I couldn’t be more pleased.
For the Cookies
16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 225 grams) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups (150 grams) sugar
2/3 cups (150 grams) light brown sugar, tightly packed
1/4 cup (100 grams) glucose or 2 tablespoon (35 grams) corn syrup
2 cups (320 grams) flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 1/2 grams) baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
1/2 recipe Milk Crumb (recipe follows)
3/4 cup (130 grams) dried blueberries
1/2 cup (40 grams) milk powder
1/4 cup (40 grams) flour
2 tablespoons (12 grams) cornstarch
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 55 grams) butter, melted
20 g milk powder 1/4 cup
3 ounces (90 grams) white chocolate, melted
To Make the Milk Crumb: Heat the oven to 250°F.
Combine the 40 grams (1/2 cup) milk powder, the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Toss with your hands to mix. Add the melted butter and toss, using a spatula, until the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters.
Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. The crumbs should be sandy at that point, and your kitchen should smell like buttery heaven. Cool the crumbs completely.
Crumble any milk crumb clusters that are larger than 1/2 inch in diameter, and put the crumbs in a medium bowl. Add the 20 g (1/4 cup) milk powder and toss together until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Pour the white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until your clusters are enrobed. Then continue tossing them every 5 minutes until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. The crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month.
For the Cookies: Combine the butter, sugars, and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Still on low speed, add the milk crumbs and mix until they’re incorporated, no more than 30 seconds. Chase the milk crumbs with the dried blueberries, mixing them in for 30 seconds.
Using a 2 3/4-ounce ice cream scoop (or a 1/3-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not bake properly.
Heat the oven to 350°F.
Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center; give them an extra minute or so if that’s not the case.
Makes 15-20 cookies