After taking on a bake with a serious degree of difficulty with make-your-own-strudel-pastry last week, it was time for something at the opposite end of the scale: a simple, unpretentious cookie that takes minimal effort and skill to prepare but delivers lovely flavour and texture. In short, Azerbaijan’s butter cookies called Shaker churek (to my shame, I have no idea how to pronounce the name).
This recipe comes from a splendid Dutch blog called the cookie companion. It’s the simplest version I found: there are other recipes that use yeast.
- 14og butter
- 100g icing sugar
- 225g flour
- 1 egg
- vanilla essence to taste
- In a bowl, weigh out the icing sugar
- Melt the butter, not letting it get too hot, and add it to the icing sugar: mix until smooth
- Add the flour and mix thoroughly – you will get a dough that’s far too dry, which is fine at this stage
- Separate the egg; keep half the yolk aside and add the other half yolk and all the white to your mix.
- Add the vanilla essence, and mix thoroughly until you have a smooth, slightly damp dough
- Cover and leave in the refrigerator for around an hour
- Preheat oven to 180℃
- Line a baking tray with a silicone sheet or baking paper
- Divide the dough into eight equal parts (they should be just over 60g each). For each part into a ball, flatten slightly and place it on your baking sheet. Warning here: the cookies spread, so make sure you leave plenty of space around them.
- With the end of a finger or some other implement (like the end of a rolling pin, if you have that kind of rolling pin), make a small depression in the middle of each cookie. Fill the depression with the reserved egg yolk.
- Bake for around 15 minutes
Like most cookies, shaker churek are really, really good straight out of the oven: but leave them to cool for a few minutes so that they don’t actually burn your mouth!