i want crumblier cookies and flakier empanadas!

crumblier = short (like shortbread)
not the same as shortcrust: this is the kind of pastry i am used to making for quiches and tarts, pâte brisée, pâte sucrée, etc.
puff pastry is super flaky. this is made like croissant, by rolling layers of dough with butter.


1. butter is used for flavor, not texture. butter makes things HARD.

2. shortbread/crumbly cookies: 2parts fat/3parts flour (and 1 part sugar) (and fat is always butter)

3. short crust: 1 part fat/2 parts flour (sugar, for sweet crusts a couple of tbsp) better to use only part butter or no butter. lard desirable. keep fats cold (could grate frozen fat) while mixing with flour. then add water to bind. (our empanada recipe called for alcohol to bind!)

4. puff pastry: buy it from the freezer section of the grocery store

for precise info on crumbling and flaking see this report

2 recipes here. both can be done by hand. no need for a food processor.

but watch out these cookies are thin and cook fast. take them out way before you think they are done or they will be very hard.

1. Adapted from Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes


1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup bacon fat (from about 1 pound bacon)
2 tablespoons molasses
1 egg


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lin 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, the salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the bacon fat, molasses, and egg and pulse until the mixture forms a soft dough.

3. Take level tablespoons of the dough and roll them into balls. Place the balls on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Using a fork, flatten the balls slightly, and sprinkle them with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.

4. Bake the cookies until they are beginning to brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheets and then transfer to a wire rack.

5. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

2.  New York Times

Bacon Fat Ginger Cookies

A few years ago, the New York Times ran an article with this recipe for traditional Swedish ginger cookies that utilize bacon fat in place of butter or shortening.

Could there be anything more heavenly? No.

Swedish Ginger Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine all ingredients. Spin until dough forms.

3. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours. Drop the dough in 1-tablespoon lumps on a cookie sheet, form into balls, roll in sugar, space 2 inches apart and press flat with fingers.

Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until dark brown. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to finish cooling.


Erwan Frotin for The New York Times


Mint Orange Dressing from Viand East Four

* 1 cup olive oil, plus
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
* 3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

* 1 tablespoon orange zest (packed)

* 1 tablespoon honey

* handful of fresh mint chopped

Blend first 5 ingredients in blender
Whisk in orange peel and honey
Season with salt and pepper

Whisk in fresh mint

From Viand East Four

1 lb potatoes, Yukon gold
5 tablespoons butter
1 med celery root (about ¾ lb)
milk and/or heavy cream (we used about half cream half milk)
thyme (optional)
1. Peel and Cook potatoes until soft in boiling water, then rice the potatoes and return to pot
2. stir in 2 tablespoons butter
3. Peel, cut in half and slice thin the celery root
4. melt in a heavy bottom sauce pan 3 tablespoons butter add celery root and salt, cover tightly and cook until soft 12-15 minutes occasionally stirring
5. puree celery root in blender, stir in potatos, and add milk to desired thickness

* We heated up the milk/cream with fresh thyme sprigs in it to infuse it w/ the herb flavor


<img src="http://viand.net/images/pull/DSC02980.jpg" width="400">