sand cookies

i love these silly cookies, mostly because dylan gets such enjoyment out of eating them.  though a simple recipe, they are a small labor of love.  the dough rarely wants to come together (and stay together), they require shaping and patience and they often take longer than i think they will.  that said, they are still pretty fun to make and the taste/texture combination is really worth the effort.  the added bonus for all your work is that they freeze great!  i usually bake off i cookie sheet worth (8-11 cookies) and then freeze the rest.  remove the frozen cookies when you turn on the oven to preheat, slide them in when the temp is right and you will be duly rewarded in 10 minutes with VERY little effort on your part.  thank you to kim boyce & amy scattergood who developed the original recipe which i found in their fabulous cook book, good to the grain.

sand cookies

1 3/4 cups fresh ground kamut flour (from roughly 1/1/2 heaping cups kamut grains)

3/4 heaping cup powdered sugar

12 Tbl high quality cultured butter (1 1/2 sticks or 6 oz), room temperature -not melted-

3/4 tsp real salt

preheat oven to 350 degrees.  line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly butter.

sift flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl.  throw grain chunks left in the sifter back into the blender and pulse a few times to powder before putting in the bowl as well.  lightly whisk your mixture to incorporate.

cut your room temperature butter into chunks and place in the bowl, covering them with flour mixture as you go.  as i don’t have a mixer, at this point i use my hands to rub and squish together the ingredients.  patience helps, as your dough will not want to come together at first, keep squishing, pressing and mixing.  go slow and be convincing.  once it finally comes together, knead against the side of your bowl a few times at the end to bring it all into a nice large ball. 

step one:  grab out a little tablespoon of dough and mush into a small ball (about an inch).  i’d say “roll” into a ball, but i’ve never had luck rolling the little dough pieces between my hands, they just crumble apart.  thus, mush together many little cookie dough balls.  step two:  lightly smash the dough balls with the heel of your palm into flat crinkly edged rounds, roughly a 1/4” thick and 2” wide.  i actually measured these at one point as i couldn’t figure out why my cookies always turned out really flat and spread out (not at all like the picture in the book).  i discovered i often made the balls too big and then pressed them out too flat.  i also discovered the best way to mash these is on the greasy wrapper of the butter i just used up.  you can flatten them then pick up the wrapper, cookie and all and flip it over onto the cookie sheet, peel off the wrapper and start again.  space your cookies at least an inch apart on the cookie sheet as they will surely expand while cooking. 

into the oven your cookies go, they will want to bake about 10 minutes, at 5 minutes, rotate the pan 180 degrees to keep the cooking even.  check them at 8 minutes.  i like the edges browned and the tops golden, 10-12 minutes.  let  cool a bit before serving these fragile buttery wonders.  cold goat kiefer or a frothy cappuccino are great accompaniments.