Not all was amazing during our impromptu trip to New York for my cousin Mike’s surprise party in January (here is the good stuff though, from my The Big Apple post). After visiting Ground Zero, we headed to Payard’s, a well known French bakery with an outpost on Houston Street. All I can say maybe it was an off day, but the pastries were disappointing at best. We ordered a lemon tart, a cookie and a Napoleon. The Napoleon and cookie weren’t memorable at all, which is a good thing because the lemon tart was memorable because it was NOT very good. The crust (I love crust) was so tough we had to use our knife and fork to chisel through it. Ugh, so disappointing. I went up to the counter (ok, never said I wasn’t obnoxious) and asked “what one item in here would prove to me that Payard is worth his reputation. To her credit she laughed and gave me a complimentary slice of the Payard Tart. It was ok, better than the lemon tart.
When we first arrived I spied his book Payard Cookies on display and my reaction was oh nooo, not another cookbook and its about cookies! My cookbook addiction was about to rear it’s ugly head since I seldom pass up the opportunity to add to my collection.
After trying the desserts I walked out without a copy.
You might be asking where is this story going? Well, having put Payard Cookies out of my mind I was perusing a favorite blog, Ipso-Fatto recently and to my surprise she had posted glowing reviews of a couple of cookies from Payard. Well, maybe we did catch Payard on a bad day. I tried the Raspberry Diamants and you know, they’re pretty darn good and a breeze to make.
It is a slice and bake cookie which I love, so flippin’ easy. You can make the dough in advance and leave it in the fridge. You can bake as many or as few as you want and freeze the remaining dough for a rainy day. These cookies are a riff on sables’, the French version of shortbread cookies. Diamont, French for diamonds, refers to the sparkly edge on the cookies created by rolling the dough in coarse sugar before baking. Description done, let’s go make some delicious cookies!
The addition of raspberry jam makes this cookie a little softer than a classic sable’ and gives it a sweet tart flavor. Payard adds red food coloring to the dough to make the cookies pink but I didn’t bother, maybe i will for Valentine’s day. Use jam with seeds, it adds a bit of crunch. You can kick these cookies up a notch by making a sandwich cookie using raspberry jam for the filling or a raspberry buttercream. Oh snap.
Uh-oh looks like I may be adding yet another cookbook to my collection.
- 14 tablespoons (200gms) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (80 gms) powdered sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, reserve egg white
- 1/4 cup (60gms) raspberry jam with seeds (I used TJ's)
- 1-3 drops of liquid red food coloring, optional
- 1 3/4 cups (225gms) all purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup (200gms) granulated sugar or sanding sugar
- In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat softened butter with powdered sugar until fully combined. Add egg yolk, raspberry jam, and food coloring. Mix until well combined.
- Add flour and salt and mix only until dough comes together. Careful to not overmix.
- Place dough on piece of parchment paper and roll into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Freeze dough for approximately 2 hours, or until log is chilled all the way through. You can freeze dough for up until one month.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment.
- Remove dough from fridge. Put granulated sugar in a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Brush the reserved egg white on the outside of the cookie dough.
- Roll in granulated sugar until completely coated. Return to fridge for 5 minutes to chill.
- Remove from fridge and slice roll into 1/4 inch slices. Place on parchment lined sheet approximately 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies just begin to turn color and the edges are golden brown.
- Remove cookies from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to one week.