My cookie output has been woefully low this holiday season. There was a batch of rugelach for Hanukkah, a celebratory round of pumpkin seed brittle on my first full day in Portland and these salted rye cookies.
Both the rugelach and the brittle are old favorites, the rye cookies were a recipe that had jumped out from the pages of Liana Krisoff’s new book Whole Grains for a New Generation. I spent a few days cooking from it a couple weeks back for a Table Matters piece (publishing soon!) and found everything in it incredibly appealing and inspiring.
These cookies did not let me down. They are buttery, sweet (but not obnoxiously so) and pleasantly sandy from the rye flour. A classic slice and bake style cookie, the only garnish they need is a quick roll in chunky sugar and flakey salt.
I left half at home for Scott and brought the balance out to Portland with me in my luggage. They were forced to compete for attention with the brittle and have still managed to disappear first.
If you’re looking for one final cookie to make this year, or simply need something to eat with a mug of tea, this is such a good one.
- 1 cup (2 sticks / 225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 1/2 cups (230 g) whole (dark) rye flour
- 3 tablespoons coarse sparkling sugar or turbinado sugar
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, a pinch of salt, and the orange zest. Gradually mix in the flour.
- Divide the dough into two portions and place each on a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape into logs about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and wrap tightly.
- To shape the soft dough log into a more perfect cylinder, use a paper-towel tube: Cut the tube open vertically along one side and nest the wrapped log inside, then tape or rubber-band the tube closed.
- Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a sheet of waxed paper, combine 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the sparkling sugar. Unwrap the dough logs and roll them in the mixture to coat well. Place each log on a cutting board
- and cut into 1/8-inch-thick (3-mm-thick) rounds, arranging the rounds 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake until lightly browned at the edges, about 16 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through so the cookies bake evenly.
- Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.