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At Last...a Cookie That's Meant to Be Crumbled
Luckily, dessert master Lisa Yockelson has found a way to celebrate the less-than-ideal, if not the beauty of the jumbled and broken. Her Break Apart Cookies are all sharp edges and un-uniformly sized triangles, trapezoids and parallelograms—the cookie version of peanut brittle. They're also delicious: tender, sandy and crunchy, thanks to a cookie dough that's akin to shortbread, only softer. The combination of that smooth dough, which practically radiates butter, and those unexpectedly jagged edges creates a textural mash up that's wholly original. Yockelson—whose new book, Baking Style, features desserts so pristine-looking that even a "rustic" fig tart doesn't have a fruit out of line—has to admit the delightful relief of her purposefully flaw-filled cookies, "I find them irresistible, really."
Yockelson likes to make these cookies with the dough she uses for her Golden Salted Butter Crisps, though it's certainly possible to break apart shortbread, like this pecan version or this cardamom one. She spreads the dough into a heavy rimmed sheet pan, sprinkles it with a little salt, then sugar, and bakes it until it's golden. She dusts it with a little more sugar, lets it cool, and then, when it's completely firm, breaks it into odd-shaped pieces....that somehow look, well, perfectly imperfect.
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