blackberry butter cookies

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I’m off for a month-long research trip to Buffalo, NY, starting tomorrow.  While I’m there, I’ll be doing research for a new project and making the last great push on my dissertation.  But I don’t think you’ll miss me much — I’ve been so busy I have a backlog of blog posts just ready for the postin’.  And I might find some excellent eats in Buffalo, too.  And anyway, I expect you’ll be too busy with the opening of the farmer’s market downtown on April 4, and all the stirrings of spring, to be reading inside!dscf4093

There are many, many things I’ll miss this month, but not really the Great Purpling my yard undergoes each April.  Someone (not me) was a big fan of the color purple, and planted all purple and lavender flowers around my house.  I have a big swath of purple double irises, lavender and pink rhododendrons, vinca vine under the incense cedar, and tons of grape hyacinth just waiting to burst.  Over the years, I’ve tried to counteract the purpling with some red and yellow, but it still takes over.

So in honor of what I’ll be missing, I baked up some very purple cookies, using the rest of a jar of blackberry varenye.  They’re variations on Poilâne’s punitions again, but with salted butter and some of the sugar replaced by homemade blackberry Russian-style, pectin-free preserves.  The blackberry and salt give the cookies a little tang, a little sadness…perfect for leaving home.

Blackberry Butter Cookies

  • 5 oz. (1/2 c. + 1/8 c. or 1.25 sticks)  salted Noris Dairy butter, or other very high quality butter
  • 1/4 c. blackberry varenye or frozen, sweetened blackberries with a bit of sugar added
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 egg
  • turbinado or other non-melting sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)

Allow egg and butter to come to room temperature.

Process butter until smooth in a food processor with the metal blade. Scrape down, add the sugar and blackberry varenye, and process until thoroughly blended into the butter, scraping down the sides once or twice.

Add the egg and continue to process, scraping down the bowl as needed, until the mixture is smooth and satiny.

Add the flour all at once, then pulse 10-15 times, until the dough forms clumps and curds and looks like streusel.

Roll dough into log on saran wrap and wrap tightly, chilling in the refrigerator for at least four hours. If you opt to roll out the dough later instead of slice it, form the dough into two equal-sized flattened disks instead.

When you are ready to bake, position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F.  I find parchment paper isn’t necessary, but it makes cleanup easier, especially if you’re using the sprinkling sugar on top of the cookies.

You’ll want cookies that are between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Either (A) cut log in slices that are no more than 1/4 inch thick with a sharp, thin knife, or (B) roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick, and cut with a cookie cutter no more than 2 inches in diameter.

Place on cookie sheets, leaving about 1 inch space between them.  Carefully turbinado sprinkle sugar on top, if using.  It gives a nice sparkle to these cookies, and a touch more sweetness.

Bake the cookies for 6-7 minutes, or until they are set but pale.  They will lose their sheen when ready.  Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Dorie Greenspan says the dough can be wrapped airtight and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month. The finished cookies can be kept in a tin at room temperature for about 5 days or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 1 month.  They won’t last that long.

Makes about 4 dozen small cookies.

10 thoughts on “blackberry butter cookies

  1. Lelo 31 March 2009 / 10:03 am

    I’m thinking of trying to make these with my strawberry freezer jam. I have several containers I need to use up and this could be perfect. Maybe cut the sugar. Hmmm. I’ll let you know. Safe travels!

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  2. Eugenia 31 March 2009 / 10:12 am

    Hi Lelo, great idea. It would be lovely to serve a plate of these cookies made from different fruits, wouldn’t it? I think I still have sour cherries from last year, too, that would make a good cookie. Or brandied cherries, yum.

    Your guess is as good as mine about the sugar, since strawberry freezer jam is a great deal sweeter than my blackberry varenye, but I can tell you that the blackberry cookies aren’t very sweet, so maybe the additional sugar would be welcome. I’d love to hear about the results.

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  3. Amy 31 March 2009 / 10:38 pm

    Eugenia – have a wonderful trip. Safe travels and will be in touch. These cookies look fantastic!

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  4. Madsilence 1 April 2009 / 10:59 pm

    If you have time, head down to Ithaca for a weekend trip. Spring is beautiful there with the lake, waterfalls and plenty of awesome restaurants!

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  5. sharon 2 April 2009 / 9:03 am

    Eat real pizza for me please.

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  6. Lelo 6 April 2009 / 5:49 am

    I’m going to need to try these again, but I have to tell you my experiment tasted horrible. Probably because I omitted the sugar and used almost an entire small container of strawberry freezer jam. In the end, the strawberry flavor was nonexistent, and the flavor that was there? Hmm. Not that great. That’s what I get for messing with your recipe. I think the wonderfulness of strawberry freezer jam is the uncooked strawberries.

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  7. alina 25 August 2010 / 7:54 pm

    Maybe I did something wrong, but these tasted just like flour. Yuck.

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  8. Eugenia 27 August 2010 / 1:43 pm

    I should emphasize again that the key to this recipe is absolutely top quality ingredients. If you don’t use the best butter and a sweetened jam, plus the sugar, the flavors won’t be strong enough. This is a very delicate cookie.

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  9. Pingback: Culinaria Eugenius
  10. ziabaki 15 September 2012 / 2:27 pm

    Hey! I’m a food blogger at the Oregon Coast. Love your blog. These look great. Looking for a recipe to take to a BBQ tonight and have lots of blackberries on hand. Thanks!

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