America’s Cookie Goddess creates the perfect nibbles for Cocktail Hour
Dorie Greenspan must be considered the Goddess of Cookies. The baking guru claims to have woken, more than once, in the middle of the night to bake a cookie she dreamed about. At least that’s what she wrote in the most comprehensive Cookie Cookbook you can imagine. “Dorie’s Cookies” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2016) says that, over the course of her 25-year career, she has created more than 300 cookie recipes. And then proves it in the most comprehensive of cookie books. There’s every conceivable ingredient from the usual to the unusual –Pink Peppercorns anyone? And who else can claim the popularity of Dorie’s “World Peace Cookie” which has garnered 59 million Internet followers? That confection is the Cover Girl on “Dorie’s Cookies”.
There are 27 Cocktail Cookies to choose from. We picked one that was savory and one for sweet tooths.
Goat cheese is great to work with because its soft and malleable and it works wonderfully with herbs and spices, in this case, chives. We choose to use Honey Goat cheese because we think the touch of sweetness cuts out any sourness attached to Chèvre, France’s goat cheese which Andrew used in this recipe. There’s a lot of lovely butter in these biscuit-like bites. Andrew altered Dorie’s original recipe very slightly to add a sprinkle of coarse sea salt to the top of each cookie before they’re cooked.
“Anytime” Tarragon-Apricot Cookies started life as Cocktail Cookies and took it from there. Dorie Greenspan first served these with wine—a crisp white or the Hampton’s absolute favorite summer wine, Rosé. She found, however, that they were a great accompaniment to afternoon teas, fruit desserts, ice cream, and custard. The cookie is a shortbread made with butter and olive oil. There’s a soupçon of sugar and more than that of salt. Tarragon, with its licorice taste and apricots with their sweet and tart flavor. The secret here is to use Turkish apricots which are “softer, moister, plumper and sweeter” than their California cousins according to Greenspan. Here are the recipes one after the other. And after them, some other Dorie Greenspan treats to enjoy.
Goat Cheese & Chive Cocktail Cookies
A perfect nibble at the Cocktail Hour, these quickly become your Cookie of choice.
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons
- 4 ounces (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, and at room temperature
- 4 ounces (86 grams) soft fresh goat cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked or coarsely ground pepper (black or white)
- 2 tablespoons finely cut fresh chives or minced scallion greens
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 1/4 cups (170 grams) all-purpose flour
- Step 1 Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, cheese, salt, pepper and chives together on medium-low speed until light and well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and honey and beat for 2 minutes. The liquid will pool on the bottom of the bowl — it’s not pretty, but it’s okay. Turn off the mixer, add the flour all at once and pulse to start incorporating it. Then mix on low speed only until the flour disappears and the dough comes together. If you have some dry ingredients on the bottom of the bowl, stir them in with a flexible spatula.
- Step 2 Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and press it into a disk. Place the disk between pieces of parchment paper and roll 1/4 inch thick. Keeping the dough between paper, slide it onto a baking sheet, and freeze for at least 1 hour.
- Step 3 When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Have a 1 1/4-inch-diameter cookie cutter at hand.
- Step 4 Peel away the parchment paper from both sides of the dough and return it to one sheet. Cut out as many cookies as you can and place them on the baking sheet, leaving at least an inch between them. (If the dough gets soft as you’re cutting, stop and put it and the already cut cookies in the freezer to firm briefly.) Gather the scraps together, flatten them into a disk, re-roll 1/4 inch thick and freeze.
- Step 5 Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the cookies are browned on the bottom, lightly golden and firm to the touch on top. As the cookies bake, you’ll see butter bubbling around the tops and edges — it will settle into the cookies as they cool. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and allow the cookies to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving, or let them cool completely.
- Step 6 Cut and bake the scraps, making sure the baking sheet is cool.
' Anytime' Tarragon-Apricot Cookies
Originally created for Cocktail hour, this cookie is delicious with a cup of afternoon tea or as an accompaniment to ice cream and custard.
- 1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon leaves
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Step 1 In a small bowl, cover the apricots with hot water and let stand for 10 minutes until they are plump. Transfer the apricots to paper towels to drain.
- Step 2 In another small bowl, rub the tarragon leaves into the sugar until they are moist and aromatic. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the tarragon sugar at low speed until creamy. Beat in the egg yolk until just combined, about 1 minute. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and beat until smooth. Add the salt and flour and beat until just incorporated. Using a large spatula, fold in the apricots.
- Step 3 Turn the cookie dough out onto a work surface and knead until it just comes together. Divide the dough in half and press each half into a disk. Roll out each disk between 2 sheets of wax paper to about 1/4 inch thick. Slide the wax paper-covered disks onto a baking sheet and freeze for at least 1 hour, until very firm.
- Step 4 Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with one piece of cookie dough at a time, peel off the top sheet of wax paper. Using a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out the cookies as close together as possible. Arrange the cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Step 5 Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until they are lightly golden. Shift the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Step 6 NOTE: The rolled-out frozen cookie dough can be wrapped in plastic and kept frozen for 2 weeks. The baked cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days.