Breton Butter Cake

I came across this recipe in Martha Stewart’s Cakes book and as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to make it. It sounded simple and more importantly with a few key baking ingredients (butter, eggs, sugar & flour) I knew it would be delicious. If you like shortbread, you’ll love this cake! Just as an FYI, this cake is also known as a Brittany Butter Cake (as in Brittany, France a region located in the northwest part of the country) or a Gateau Breton.

To begin I combined a cup each of sugar and butter in my stand mixer and mixed it together until it was light and fluffy.

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Following that, I added in vanilla extract and six egg yolks one at a time.

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And finally I added in flour and salt and mixed all the ingredients together until they were just combined.

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Now it was time to transfer the batter to my tart pan – most tart pans have a removable bottom (as this one does) which makes removing the tart a cinch. You just push the tart up from the bottom when it’s done cooling and the decorative rim slides right off. I also prepped the pan with baking spray.

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After I had transferred the batter I smoothed the top with an offset spatula and then refrigerated it for fifteen minutes.

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Following refrigeration it was time to prep the top of the tart for baking by brushing it with an egg wash and making a criss-cross pattern.

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I then baked it in a 350 degrees oven for about forty minutes and voila…

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After it fully cooled I easily removed the decorative ring. It was simple to make and turned out delicious. And the golden color due to the egg wash and the simple criss-cross pattern made it visually appealing which is always a plus when it comes to baked items.

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Breton Butter Cake

Makes one 9-inch cake

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

6 large egg yolks

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large whole egg, lightly beaten

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and salt; beat just until combined. Do not overmix.

Transfer batter to 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom; with small offset spatula, spread batter and smooth top. (If necessary, chill batter 10 minutes before smoothing.) Place pan in refrigerator 15 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator. Brush top with beaten egg, and mark a criss-cross pattern with a fork. Brush again with egg. Bake until cake is deep golden brown and edges pull away from sides of pan, about 50 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Remove cake from pan, and slice while still warm.

Snickerdoodles

I always thought that Snickerdoodles were a cookie with toffee or something of the sort. I remember having a cookie like that back when I was in college and for some reason I thought that was it. But, not too long ago I had the real thing and was instantly hooked. For those of who are in the dark like I was, Snickerdoodles are essentially sugar cookies that are rolled in cinnamon sugar prior to baking. Recently I picked up Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook and one of the first recipes I came across was for Snickerdoodles so of course I had to try it out.

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To begin I sifted the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) into one bowl and mixed together my wet ingredients (sugar, butter and eggs) in another bowl.

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I then gradually mixed the flour mixture into the sugar mixture and as simple as that the dough came together.

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Using a small cookie scoop I shaped the dough into balls and then rolled them in cinnamon sugar and placed them on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

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After baking for 13 minutes (I rotated the sheet at 6 minutes) in a 350 degrees preheated oven my Snickerdoodles were done.

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I let them cool on the cookie sheets on wire racks and once they were cool enough I tried one and they were great! A favorite to be baked over and over again!

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Snickerdoodles

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar

2 large eggs

3 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Put butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in the flour mixture.

2. Stir together cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into twenty 1 3/4- inch balls; roll in cinnamon sugar. Space 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

3. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment paper in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.