According to Charles Duque, Managing Director, Americas for the French Dairy Board, “Butter cookies are a holiday tradition in many countries and pastry chefs the world over, rely on European butter for this classic. During the holidays it becomes a star ingredient because it makes home baked holiday cookies even more delicious.” Duque also added that ending a meal with simple but sophisticated butter cookies and a coffee cocktail makes the meal feel even more special.
No cookie plate is complete without Vanillekipferl or Mexican Wedding cookies, the nutty butter cookies dusted with powdered sugar. Eat the Love blogger and cookbook author, Irvin Lin shares his recipe on Simply Recipes and uses French butter. According to Lin, “rich French butter complements the other key ingredient, toasted nuts. Adds Lin, “I love using European butter for recipes like butter cookies because it has so few ingredients in it that every ingredient needs to be top notch. French butter is awesome because it has more butterfat and is often cultured, so it has more flavor, which gives the cookies a richness that American butter doesn’t have.”
To pair with the nutty cookie try a Mexican Coffee made by combining 3 ounces of freshly brewed coffee with 1 ½ ounces of Amaras Mezcal Espadin and sugar to taste.
In this year’s French cookbook Gateau, author Aleksanda Crapanzano shares why she uses French butter in cake-like Madeleines and financiers. Says Crapanzano, “Of the very, very many fabulous things I have to say about French butter, perhaps the most important is not what it has more of (fat) but what it has less of (water.) For example, when one browns butter to make a deliciously nutty beurre noisette for a batch of financiers, water evaporates in the process. Less water means less evaporation which means more butter. Water is in fact rarely a friend in baking, as the combination of water and flour leads to the formation of gluten, which can yield a tough crumb.” She offers classic, spice and chocolate Madeleines. Perfect for a holiday cookie plate, the recommended pairing is Cognac & Coffee made with 3 ounces of coffee, 1 1/5 ounces of cognac and a dollop of sweetened whipped cream on top.
For an even fancier cookie that relies on European butter, try the Austrian jam cookie, inspired by the Linzer torte, another classic dessert made with European butter. Rick Rodgers shares in his classic Austrian cookbook Kaffeehaus that printed recipes for the torte started to appear in the early 1700s. Today the sandwich cookie with jam is a popular holiday favorite in the US. To pair with it try the Chocolate Espresso Highball—simply shake 1 ounce of Mozart Dark Chocolate liqueur with a shot of espresso and ice in a cocktail shaker, then serve over ice with a splash of tonic water. Cookies and coffee never tasted so good.
If you are making your grocery list for entertaining or looking for recipe inspiration, look no further than our recipes, where you’ll find tips and techniques using French butter that will make your meals even more delicious. View the store locator to see if your favorite retailer has French butter in stock.
this article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of pastry arts magazine.