Sunday, July 19, 2009

class & cookies

These 1961 photos just ooze class. They seem to have been taken during a Martini & Rossi-sponsored cocktail party. I want to go to there.

Also, a friend asked for the recipe to make these banana shortbread cookies from an earlier post.
So, here it is!
Banana Shortbread

2 1/2 cups whole grain pastry flour (I always just use all-purpose flour.)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large very ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I always skip these.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer, until creamy. Add the banana and vanilla extract, beating until just incorporated. Add the flour mixture and beat just until well blended. Stir in the nuts (if using).

The right way to do it:
Divide the dough into quarters. Press one-quarter of the dough into an 8-inch circle on a large baking sheet. Using the dull side of a knife blade, score the dough, creating an outline of 12 pie-shaped wedges. Repeat with a second quarter of the dough on the same baking sheet. Shape the remaining quarters of dough on another large baking sheet.

The way I do it:
Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet. Use a fork, dipped in flour or sugar, to squash the dough, first in one direction, then in the other direction, making a criss-cross.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the shortbread is lightly browned and has risen. Place on racks to cool and cut into wedges (if applicable).

I love them with strawberry slices and vanilla ice cream, but they'd also be great with chocolate ice cream. I've also played around with putting bits of chocolate in the batter. Try chocolate chips!

recipe from Simply Organic by Jesse Ziff Cool
all photos from Ana Lee, except the last one by me


  1. Thanks Maegan! I can't wait try this recipe out! May be this weekend! In exchange is a recipe for stick buns that I found while watching Barefoot Contessa on Food Network.

    12 tablespoons (1 & 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
    1/2 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
    1 package (17.3 ounces/ 2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted

    2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
    3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 cup raisins

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 12 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

    Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with half of the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1½ teaspoons of the cinnamon, and ½ cup of the raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down. Trim the ends of the roll about ½ inch and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1½ inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns.

    Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon) and cool completely.

    Very addictive! Enjoy!

  2. I am going to try out these cookies today! Hopefully they will become successful ice cream sandwich material, I recently bought (and love) Purely Decadent's PB Zig Zag ice cream!