Praliné topped cookies.


Do you know that feeling when you see a great idea, but so good you wish it was yours?
Here's one example. When I read the title of that post at Technicolor Kitchen, I got excited.
And the picture helps it.
Anyway, I did not use the same recipe Patricia did, because I thought these butter cookies and our regular praliné (actually, pé de moleque, as I wrote in here) would fit my taste better.
Truth be told, it's not convenient to eat these cookies, they splatter crumbs in every possible direction - but oh, are they yummy! The trick here is to bake real small cookies and drop tiny bits of pralinée on top, so that you can eat one cookie in one bite, and look like a civilized person.
I have written this recipe down so long ago (without noting the source) I can't have a clue as to where I got it from. But I guarantee these butter cookies are simple and tasty, they're the first cookies I ever made, and they went right even at that time.

Butter cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
200g butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
(Cup measure: 240ml)

I sifted the flour and salt over a bowl and set aside.
Using a whisk, I beat the butter until creamy. This could be done using a standing mixer or even a fork, if that's what you have nearby.
I added the sugar and continued beating until the mixture turned fluffy, about two minutes.
Then I added the vanilla extract and stirred well.
I gently added the flour and stirred, to incorporate it all.
So I flatten the dough to get a disc shape, wrapped it in plastic, and left in the fridge to rest for one hour (it could be in there for a bit longer than 3 hours. If you have to leave it even longer, just make sure to take the dough out and leave in room temperature for 30 minutes before starting to work it again).

So, before starting to work the dough, I lined two baking trays with parchment paper.
Now, the trick to avoid stiff cookies is to roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, instead of doing it in a floured surface. This way, using the paper, we don't add any more flour to the original recipe, thus we don't alter it.
I leaned this in Glory's blog, which I recommend to anyone interested in learning how to bake pretty cookies.
The dough should be about 0,5cm thick. In my case, I cut squares using a cutter like this one (I still don't know how to name it properly), but you could use cookie cutters to make hearts, stars, circles, etc etc.

So I placed the baking trays, already with the cookies in them, inside the fridge for about 15 minutes before taking them to the oven. This is to make sure they won't loose their shapes while baking. At the same time, I turned on the oven at 180oC, to preheat.

Each tray stayed in the oven for 8 or 10 minutes, I took them out when the cookies edges started to get light brown. I waited for them to cool in the trays, over the table, for 10 minutes,
then transfered them to platters and let them cool completely.

Fot the praliné, here's the deal: 
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cup toasted peanuts
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon glucose syrup
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(Cup measure: 240ml)

I stirred all of the ingredients in a large pan and took it to medium-high heat, stirring once in a while. When the mixture boiled, I let it cook for 3 more minutes.
I turned it off and stirred vigorously, until the caramel started to get lighter in color, and the sugar started to crystalize. It takes a while, seems like it's all going wrong, but be patient.
Suddenly, the candy changes it's look.
Immediately I dropped teaspoons of the pé de moleque on top of the completely cooled cookies. Since it dries out REALLY fast, the last ones didn't turn as good looking as the first ones - so maybe it would be nice to prepare the praliné in two batches.

I can't remember the exact number, but it yielded something between 50 or 60 cookies.

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