Hey! Have you missed me? I’ve been hard at work at the revised and drastically expanded version of my cookbook, Comfortably Yum. It should be ready for you in just a few weeks. In the meantime, I’ll send out a recipe once in a while before the regular newsletter gets going again.
As you know, I’m a huge Ted Lasso fan, and bakers all over have attempted approximations of the cookies Ted bakes to win over his frosty boss. I’m pretty sure that “biscuits with the boss” must be something like this recipe. (Props to Stella Parks for the malted milk powder idea and the toasted sugar technique.)
Do you have a baking scale yet? This recipe takes a bit of forethought, but the results are worth it.
140 grams (scant 3/4 cup) white sugar
140 grams (about 10 tablespoons) unsalted butter (plus an extra tablespoon for buttering the pan)
15 grams (about 1 tablespoon) malted milk powder (plain, not chocolate-flavored)
1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1 egg (optional, see below*)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
140 grams (about 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
A little powdered sugar for dusting
Butter the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Cut two pieces of parchment paper about 8 inches by 16 inches. Place the parchment pieces in the baking dish so that they overlap in a cross. Press paper down and butter the part that covers the bottom of the pan.
Put the sugar in a heavy skillet. Place in a cold oven and set oven to 350 degrees F. By the time you finish browning the butter (about 8-10 minutes; see next step, and set a timer so you don’t forget), the sugar should be lightly toasted and smelling slightly of caramel. Pour the warm sugar into a glass pie plate to stop the cooking. Let it cool to about 75 degrees F.
Put the butter in a heavy saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring and shaking the pan as the butter begins to spit and hiss. Keep cooking, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until golden yellow and silent. Pour into a bowl, along with all the browned bits. Whisk in the malted milk powder and let cool until no warmer than 75 degrees F. It should be creamy, opaque, and solid. (You need the solidity for the next step.)
Add the cooled sugar and vanilla and mix until combined. Increase speed and beat until fluffy and light, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula a couple of times.
Add the optional egg and beat for another minute. Stir the baking soda and baking powder into the flour in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture and mix only until well combined and the dough is starting to come together. (Longer mixing will toughen the dough.)
Scrape dough into prepared baking dish and spread with spatula or press down lightly with floured fingers until even. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the dough and chill for at least four hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and let dough stand at room temperature while the oven is preheating. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove pan from oven, then lift cookie square out of pan by the edges of the parchment and set on a cutting board. (The dough might crack a little; fret not.) Cut the cookie into rectangles while still somewhat warm. Once the cookies are cool, sift a bit of powdered sugar over the top. Makes about two dozen.
*If you want a crunchy, sandy, shortbread texture, leave the egg out. If you’d prefer a softer, more cake-like biscuit, add it—though the flavor won’t be quite as intense.