These crumbly, buttery French shortbread cookies are similar to the large, fancy galettes found in imported food stores and bakeries, but made smaller. They are wonderful with coffee.
STORE: In an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Servings: 20 - 24 3-inch cookies
- For the cookies
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the glaze
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons water
For the cookies: Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the large bowl of a stand mixer or a hand-held electric mixer; use the whisk attachment to beat on medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the butter and vanilla extract, then add the flour and salt, in increments, blending until a dough forms that is thick and stiff. (If it is still quite soft, add a few tablespoons of flour at a time.) Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface; knead it gently and briefly, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 to 60 minutes.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Stack 2 baking sheets together and line the top sheet with parchment paper. You will need to repeat this procedure to bake each batch.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut the cookie rounds; place them about 1 inch apart on the stacked/lined baking sheets. Use the tines of a fork to make a small crisscross grid just in the center of each cookie.
For the glaze: Whisk together the egg yolks and water in a small bowl. Brush each cookie generously with the mixture.
Bake 1 sheet at a time for 50 to 55 minutes, until the cookies are golden on top and brown around the edges. Cool completely on the baking sheet (this will allow the sheets to cool before the next batch of cookies is baked).
Adapted from "A Passion for Baking," by Marcy Goldman (Oxmoor House, 2007).
Tested by Geneva Collins.
Email questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.