As a firm believer in eating for health, sometimes cookies squeeze themselves into the equation. I suppose health stands for many things, "keeping it real" being one of them. I realize we live in a modern world with daily pressures virtually piggybacking on top of one another, creating a reality beyond our great-grandparent's wildest dreams. Though, if nutrient dense food can become the foundation for eating, little detours into cookie land can be made without putting our well-being on the line.
I believe an occasional time-out from any dogma is necessary for a different aspect of health. On some topics there is no debate. Corn syrup, coloring, and factory raised meat are never considered a treat for me. But organic butter blended with raw sugar, my hen's lovingly laid eggs, vanilla, and local flour are an exception. As I always say, proper food is often a matter of quality over anything else.
My teacher in nutrition school followed a principal according to a 90-10 rule. Super nutritious meals 90% of the time, special indulgences the remaining 10%. These butter cookies fit into the latter arena. Thank goodness for a little slack. It makes the world a much friendlier place!
*1 2/3 cup organic AP flour
*1/4 cup fine raw cane sugar
*pinch sea salt
*10 Tbsp high quality unsalted butter, cold
*2 free range egg yolks
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*2 tsp cold water
Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the butter and blend to create a coarse meal. Whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla and water in separate bowl. Blend into flour mixture.
Form the dough into a ball. Working in batches, smear a small amount of the dough on a floured work surface in a forward motion with the palm of your hand. Repeat with remaining dough. Form into a disk. Wrap in parchment and chill until firm.
Preheat oven to 375.
Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment to about 1/4" thickness. Cut out with a cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet.
Bake on center rack of oven until golden, about 7 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
*Originally, I used this recipe (adapted from the Silver Palate cookbook) for pastry dough. I often had dough leftover after making a crust, and began using it for fast and easy cookies. So far, no complaints.