Dorie’s Salted Butter Break-Ups

If you’ve spent much time around here over the last two years,  you know how much I admire Dorie Greenspan. I’ll spare you my usual gushing and simple say that she is a hero of mine. Her gorgeous new book of recipes, Around My French Table is available now.  The book chronicles Dorie’s experiences in France and the influences they have had on her cooking. I received the book on Friday and had read almost the entire thing by Saturday night. Dorie is not just a great cook and baker, she is a really talented writer. The book is a joy and I would encourage everyone to pick up a copy- you will love it.

It is crazy and wonderful how the internet allows connections that might not have happened. Dorie has been so kind and generous over these past two years (remember her contribution to the 12 Days of Cookies?) and the generosity continues with this recipe for Salted Butter Break-Ups from her new book. This was the very first recipe I tried, salt and butter being two of my favorite words. It is simple to make and even easier to eat. It is a rich buttery cookie with a kick of salt that you break apart with friends. Perfect with a cup of tea. I will be making this often.

Thanks to Dorie, for continuing to inspire me in the kitchen and for providing us with yet another exceptional book of recipes!

Yesterday I shared some pretty excellent tote bags to commemorate two years of Lottie + Doof. If you’d like one for your very own, there are still a few days left to leave a comment (see original post). More fun stuff soon…

Salted Butter Break-Ups (recipe courtesy of Dorie Greenspan, Around My French Table)

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon sel gris or kosher salt
  • 9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 18 pieces
  • 3-5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 egg yolk, for the glaze

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Drop in the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal—you’ll have both big pea-size pieces and small flakes. With the machine running, start adding the cold water gradually: add just enough water to produce a dough that almost forms a ball. When you reach into the bowl to feel the dough, it should be very malleable.

Scrape the dough onto a work surface, form it into a square, and pat it down to flatten it a bit. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill it for about 1 hour. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months.)

When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and, if it’s very hard, bash it a few times with your rolling pin to soften it. Put the dough between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper and roll it into a rectangle that’s about 1/4 inch thick and about 5 x 11 inches; accuracy and neatness doesn’t count for a lot here. Transfer the dough to the lined baking sheet.

Beat the egg yolk with a few drops of cold water and, using a pastry brush, paint the top surface of the dough with an egg glaze. Using the back of a table fork, decorate the cookie in a crosshatch pattern.

Bake the cookie for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is golden. It will be firm to the touch but have a little spring when pressed in the center — the perfect break-up is crisp on the outside and still tender within. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and allow the cookie to cool to room temperature.

29 comments to “Dorie’s Salted Butter Break-Ups”

  1. That looks great, and perfect for sharing. The book comes out here on Friday, so I hope to have it by Saturday.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your very kind words and merci too. The Break-ups look great and I’m so glad you like them.

  3. I love the crosshatch pattern and the idea of breaking the cookies off and sharing is beautiful. And whoa, Dorie just commented on your blog! :) Can’t wait to get my own copy of the cookbook.

  4. you are most gracious & we are so fortunate…my cookbook is en route…i am very excited to bake these salted beauties….thanks tim!

  5. yum!!! i too, love butter and salt, so i’d certainly love these :)

  6. These look fabulous. I cannot wait to make them this weekend.

  7. Can’t wait to make these. The apple cake from the book is killer, too.

    You should totally jump on the FFwD ride!

  8. The break-ups look and sound delicious. Can’t wait to try them. Thanks!

  9. These were fantastic. We made them and enjoyed them right away. Wow.

  10. Salt and butter, yes, so perfect! (And the internet has allowed me to bake this wonderful treat from the new book! Also, perfect!) Looking forward to my own copy – did not realize it was out! Can’t wait to get baking – perfect antidote to back-to-school blues…

  11. such a simple idea but it’s ingenius! broken cookies never looked this good!

  12. i found out about your site today from a fellow foodie and i was immediately taken by the title of this post because i love anything buttery! i immediately set about making this and just now pulled it out of the oven. it looks great and smells divine! we’re all anxiously waiting for it to cool!

    looking forward to delving more into your site!

  13. okay….they’re AWESOME!!! We all love them except for my 9-year-old who said they were too sweet. Don’t put too much store in that though; he licks syrup off his plate whenever we eat pancakes. go figure!

  14. This is such a fun recipe find. And there are so few ingredients, which is quite appealing. We should try these.

  15. Yay! Really glad you liked this, Annalea. I just finished the last of mine, and am considering making it again soon.

  16. This looks great! I love the criss-cross pattern!

  17. Oh, yum. Yum, yum, yum. Sugar, salt, butter?!? Oh, yum.

  18. Made these last night and forgot the eggwash. Didn’t have the golden finish, but the flavor was awesome nonetheless. We ate half the batch warm from the oven and over the kitchen sink. Smelled just like Grandma’s house!

  19. Oh, I am a HUGE Dorie fan as well. I love her baking book and was just telling my other half, how I love that all her recipes are RIGHT ON. I have yet to make these delicious looking cookies and am sure I will devour them before even sharing with the other half – I mean, sugar? Butter? Salt? How could one go wrong??

  20. Thanks, Tim (and of course thanks, Dorie!). I love your eye for salty and sweet recipes. also, I forgot to enter on the bag giveaway but your friends’ designs are awesome. I think I will make these cookies right away + a lottie and doof bag for a christmas gift.

  21. Ooh, lovely! I’m guilty of reading away in my RSS reader but these looks so good I just had to come and comment – they look great for when you don’t want to go the shops too becuase all the stuff’s probably in your pantry ^_^

  22. I love Dorie’s recipes too, and this one is intriguing! YUM!

  23. Oh my goodness this looks amazing!! I just had the pleasure of meeting her last night. And just like you I am a huge fan. She was even sweeter in person.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. Salt and butter are my favorites too!

  24. Hi Ashley, Isn’t she great!?! You’ll love this recipe. So satisfying. All best, Tim

  25. The cookie is cooling on my counter as we speak. I have snuck a corner, and it was fantastic. My 3 sons and husband are hovering….

  26. LauraMaurer says:

    December 16th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Hello, Tim – love your site and can’t wait to try this recipe! However, I have a question; it seems like a dumb question, because I think I ought to know the answer, but I don’t. Anyway, here’s the reason for the question (brace yourself): I do not own a food processor. I do not own a Kitchen Aid. I have a small hand mixer and a vintage Sunbeam stand mixer. The hand mixer has a small, plastic paddle-like attachment, but the large mixer has no such accessories. Can I mix this recipe by hand? I’ve done that before, but am worried about not getting the water right. I mean, 150 years ago, they used hands, knives and forks, right? Suggestions will be most welcome! Thanks Tim!

  27. Laura- What is wrong with you?!? Just kidding! Yeah, you’ll be find. What I would do is use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour, etc.. Get it to the same point where there are flakes and whatever else it says above. Then, add water and proceed with a wooden spoon. You can totally do it! Let me know how it goes…

  28. This is so good and so easy. I was determined to make it last at least a week, but I think it was gone in two days!

  29. Tim, this recipe…I suddenly want to throw a casual dinner party where I serve a giant version of this cookie for dessert: I’m picturing dishes of ganache, whipped creams and cheeses, cooked jammy fruits, puddings, caramelized nuts, caramel sauce; people have their own bowls where they can amass their favorite toppings and dips, and then go at it with the cookies, mostly likely with dessert wine for dipping. Since I’ve never actually made these cookies…do you have thoughts on this?

What do you think?