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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Salted Butter Break Ups

I've got my break-up boots on, and I'm not going Outside until the end of May. If you live in Alaska you probably know that means it is a sloppy mess outside and I'm not going on vacation until May. Those of you not living in Alaska probably think I'm having relationship problems and am staying in the house until the end of May. Every part of the country has its own phrases that confuse people who don't live there. So if someone in Alaska ever tells you they are going through break-up, it pretty much means it is spring. The ice and snow is breaking up and leaving behind a big muddy mess, and yes we have special boots for that here. Of course a lot of Alaskans wear those boots year round. Going outside? Well, that doesn't just mean walking out the front door, it means you are leaving the state. Anywhere that is not Alaska is considered "Outside".
Since it is Break-up here in Fairbanks I thought I would celebrate the season with an appropriately named cookie. These come together quickly, are made with a few basic ingredients, and are fun to share with friends if you are going through break-up together. Unlike the break-up here in Fairbanks, they disappear quickly leaving only a few tell-tale crumbs behind.

Salted Butter Break-Ups
adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
3/4-1 teaspoon coarse grained 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. With the machine running, start adding the cold water one teaspoon at a time. Add just enough water so the dough comes together. Scrape the dough onto a work surface, flatten it a bit. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill it for about 1 hour, or up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with 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. I had to let mine sit for a few minutes, as I left mine overnight.  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. It is nice to leave the edges a little ragged as they brown up nicely. Transfer the entire sheet of dough to the lined baking sheet.Beat the egg yolk with a teaspoon 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. I also used a pizza cutter to pre-cut my break up lines, I only cut about 3/4 way through.
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. Slide the parchment paper with the cookie onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before breaking.


  1. These sound to delicious -- the only kind of breakup we have around here is more of a burnoff. It's getting close to "May Grey" and "June Gloom" and we rarely get to enjoy the sun for more than an hour or two a day. Perfect treat for that weather -- and a cuppa.

  2. Thanks for the lovely cookie recipe and the cute "Alaska Lingo 101" lesson for your readers who live Outside.

    After living here over 20 years I sometimes forget that other people may not understand what we mean by "break-up," "Outside," "the bush," and other Alaskan terms.

    May I have your permission to list your site on my blogs, "Alaska Food & Wine" and "An Alaskan Cooks?"

  3. I love how these shine with all that buttery goodness.

  4. kellypea- Unless living in some sort of tropical paradise I think we all have a need for some break up cookies now and again. I don't miss the gloom of living in the Pacific Northwest one bit. I can't say I ever imagined it in Southern California however.

    AF&W- I have had that post in my head for a while. Finally figured out a good way to use it. Yes, I would be thrilled to have me include you on your blogs. Thanks so much.

    Lisa- Thanks, they were way more photogenic than I thought they might be.

  5. Wow, I have never seen a recipe like this before. They look great!

  6. you had me at "salted butter" ;) these just sound lovely! can't wait to try them out:)
    ps-and thanks for an "Alaska" lesson, from a Jersey gal;)

  7. I love my Xtratufs! So glad I got a pair on my second trip up North. So useful - even in the lower 48!

  8. Yum! What a creative idea for a sweet treat.

    I hope you'll stop by and share this recipe on my weekly link-up, Sweet Tooth Friday.

  9. so, is this the cookie you make when you break up with some one? ha ha, that's totally what i thought of when i saw the title... looks seriously yummy though.

  10. These look delicious, I want to try them!

  11. Your buttery goodness made last week's Sweets for a Saturday hit list. Congrats!!!

  12. You should get new beak-up boots to use to put the pattern on the top... :^)

  13. These look quite tasty :)

    I lived in Fairbanks for a summer season... doing field work. Didn't arrive until late May... the break-up was done by then!

  14. Hello! I have a linky party going on at my blog called A Themed Baker's Sunday and this weeks theme is Chocolate! I'd love for you to join!

  15. LOL. Oh yes, break-up and freeze-up. And going Outside and people who have been your neighbours for twenty years and are still Outsiders. Because not born there... .

    I desperately miss those thunderous CRAAAAACKKKKS and booms at break-up. We knew who we were then, didn't we.



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