She does not know it yet but Clotilde is really the one who initiated this story. Her curiosity triggered mine.
After commenting on my last post about my lucky encounter with Jeff, she asked whether I knew what the cookies on the last picture was. Curious by nature, I immediately emailed Jeff’s producer. Janice emailed me right back, to let me know that the picture was in fact part of a cookbook that Jeff did the photography for: Chocolate and Vanilla by Chef Gale Gand. I was thrilled to have an answer for Clotilde, but even before I had time to tell her, she herself emailed me a recipe.
“I think these are called Mary’s Butterballs,” Clotilde said. “I found them after watching a video on line.”
What are the odds of this, I may ask you? Aren’t we, food bloggers, amazing researchers when it comes to expressing our passion for food? I told Clotilde that I was going to try. Not even letting one day go by, I pulled all the ingredients needed to prepare the cookie dough. It was extremely easy to work, but needed to be chilled for 3 hours.
Then, that same afternoon, we drove to Sur la Table to purchase a few cooking gadgets — I am now in serious trouble with P. — and a cake mold that needed to be replaced. I did not look for it but to my delight, I spotted the Chocolate and Vanilla cookbook Janice had told me about. Trying not to look too greedy in front of the other clients browsing around in the store, I was nevertheless quick to grab the book; I started to flip through the pages, curious again to see whether it included the recipe Clotilde had sent me. There they were both: Jeff’s lovely and fresh picture, and the exact same recipe for Mary’s Butterballs. Clotilde had found the right one indeed.
A butterball. What a funny name! I had never heard that word prior to my conversation with Clotilde. Feeling curious again, I searched its meaning. According to Answers.com, a butterball is informal, and means “a chubby or fat person”. It is also the name of a food company selling turkeys. Not related to cookies at all, I can guarantee you that part.
Mary’s butterballs cookies are surprisingly extremely simple to prepare, and buttery as suggested by their name. Flour, sugar and a lot of butter are used for the cookie dough, jam or dark chocolate ganache is used for the filling. You need an even number of balls since the cookies are then sandwiched together. I am not sure whether it was due to my oven, but I somewhat had to increase the cooking time by a few minutes, for the cookies to be properly cooked. My little balls also did not rise as much as I thought they would, but then, this was also partially my fault as I rushed the recipe, and did not work the butter as long as advised.
All in all though, the cookies were nice, fun to make — I particularly enjoyed the rolling part — and “buttery“, as our friend J. pointed out after he tried one from the bag of goodies I brought to his house on Sunday.
Seriously, this is what you get when you put the picture of scrumptious-looking sugary cookies in front of two curious female food bloggers.
I don’t think that you will mind, will you?
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup organic blond cane sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup bittersweet ganache
- Vanilla-scented blond cane sugar, for rolling
- In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter until it becomes light (3 to 5 minutes). Mix in the sugar, and when the dough is homogeneous, add the flour. Mix until it forms a ball. Wrap it in plastic and chill for at least 3 hours. This will help to prevent the cookies from flattening out too much when they are baked.
- Preheat your oven at 375 F.
- Take off pieces of dough with your hands, and roll small (3/4 inch) balls of dough between the palms of your hands. Chill them for 30 minutes in the freezer, then place them 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet, to allow for them to spread.
- Bake the balls for 13 to 15 min, or until the cookies are firm but not browned. Remove them from the oven, and let them cool on the cookie sheet.
- Spread the flat face of half of the cooled cookies with the ganache, and top with a second cookie to form a little sandwiched ball.
- Once the chocolate filling is firmer, roll them in the vanilla-flavored sugar, to coat them entirely.
- 230 g de beurre non salé, mou
- 100 g de sucre de canne blond fin
- 250 g de farine blanche
- 125 ml de ganache au chocolat noir
- Sucre de canne fin parfumé à la vanille, pour y rouler les cookies
- Dans un mixeur à pied, travaillez le beurre en pommade jusqu’à ce qu’il soit bien aéré (3 à 5 min). Ajoutez le sucre et une fois que la préparation est homogène, ajoutez la farine de manière à obtenir une boule. Enveloppez-la dans du cellophane et mettez-la au frigidaire pendant au moins 3 heures (cela permet aux cookies de ne pas s’étaler lors de la cuisson).
- Préchauffez votre four à 190 C.
- Détachez un morceau de pâte de la boule et formez des petites boules de 2 cm en roulant la pâte entre la paume de vos mains. Placez-les au congélateur pendant 30 minutes. Mettez-les ensuite sur une plaque de cuisson recouverte de papier sulfurisé, espacées de 5 cm.
- Faites cuire pendant 13 à 15 minutes, jusqu’à ce que les cookies soient fermes, mais ne brunissent pas. Retirez-les du four, et laissez-les refroidir sur la plaque.
- Préparez une ganache au chocolat et étalez-en un peu sur un cookie. Prenez un deuxième que vous posez dessus, comme pour former un petit sandwich.
- Une fois que le chocolat a un peu durci, roulez les cookies dans le sucre vanillé pour recouvrir tous les côtés.