When I think of butter cookies, I think of the fancy shaped “Danish” kind which come in a blue tin and which you find at drugstores and such. So when I saw the recipe on the side of the potato starch box for Swedish Butter Cookies, I was expecting something similar – something along the lines of shortbread cookies. Surprise. The resulting cookies were almost identical to Nabisco’s old Brown Edge Wafers which were discontinued over 10 years ago.
If anything, these were better. The potato starch is key, of course. The recipe is on the back of the box, but here’s my adaptation below for you to consider. Of course you might as well follow the recipe on the box, because you’ll have to buy the potato starch flour anyway. Don’t worry about finding other uses for it, because there are many.
Update: I’ve found another brand of potato starch called Streit’s which works well. In addition, some people have mentioned the originals had kind of a citrus flavor. While I don’t remember the exact citrus flavor of the originals, the cookies are delicious with a little Boyajian lemon oil or orange oil. Lemon zest or orange zest can also be used. Here’s a photo from my latest batch. This one was made with vanilla paste and about 1/2 teaspoon orange zest.
If you want to make these but don’t want to commit to a full batch, the recipe halves well. To halve the egg, crack it into a cup, beat it with a fork, then weigh out 24 grams or measure about 2 tablespoons.
- 1 cup butter (regular, not unsalted), softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup potato starch flour (140 grams)**
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.
- Mix together flour and potato starch flour; add to butter mixture and stir until combined. Chill dough for about an hour.
- Roll into small balls and place on ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheets. Press gently with palm of hand to flatten slightly. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes or until edges are brown.
This recipe is one where you can let your premium vanilla extract (Penzey's, Nielsen Massey) shine. My new favorite combo is 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste and 1 teaspoon orange zest.
Recipe calls for salted butter, but I usually use unsalted butter and 3/4 salt. Whatever you do, don't leave out the salt if you use unsalted butter or else the cookies will taste flat.
The kind of baking sheet and whether or not you line it seems to make a difference in how large the brown area is and how the cookies spread. Parchment gives you less of a brown edge, while a grey ungreased cookie sheet gives you a wider brown area. A greased cookie sheet will cause the cookies to spread.