Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mary's Butterballs

We’re into the second and last week of the school holidays, and the girls and I have been making the most of the time we’ve got left to do all the things that we want to do. I have hardly had any blogging time whatsoever this week and the last, but that’s ok, as there’s always next week to catch up. Chloe and I made ‘Mary’s Butterballs’ on Tuesday (Paige is more interested in the eating bit) and we were so happy with the way they turned out that I had to put up a post on it this week, the other posts lined up will just have to wait.

We were at Borders two Sundays ago when I flicked through a copy of Gale Gand’s Chocolate Vanilla. The pictures were oh so yummy, but I was especially mesmerized by ‘Mary’s Butterballs’. I was oogling over them when the girls and Ming declared that it was time to go. A couple of days later, I was on Ivonne's Gorgeous Blog when I thought the picture looked familiar the moment her post appeared on my screen. It was ‘Mary’s Butterballs’! Ivonne had posted a review on Gale Gand’s Chocolate and Vanilla. This was a definitive sign that I should get the book.

I must confess that I did not follow ALL the instructions on the recipe, I of course used Salted Butter for starters and being the impatient baker that I am, I did not chill the dough for “3 hours”, instead, I thought that they were firm enough to handle after an hour and 15 minutes. After rolling the dough into balls, I popped them into the freezer for no longer than 10 minutes instead of the 30 minutes specified.

I encountered one problem though; I couldn’t get the floured mixture to form a dough even after approximately ½ an hour of mixing on medium speed with my Kitchen Aid. I don’t know what went wrong there but the problem was fixed the moment I added 50g of melted butter to the mixture – It transformed the crumb like texture of the mix into a ball of dough!

See how you go with the recipe, and if the flour mixture doesn’t form a dough, you know what to do. These lovely little cookies were very popular, and like Ivonne, I used nutella to sandwich them together. I had a lot of comments from the family about what the cookies looked like though, my loving husband Ming, not the most refined man I know, thought that the cookies looked like little ‘buttocks’ and decided to call them “Carol’s Love Lumps”. Poor Gale, I’m sure she would be absolutely mortified!

Adapted from Gale Gand’s Chocolate and Vanilla
Makes about 40 to 50 cookies

1 cup salted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup raspberry jam or chocolate ganache
2 cups vanilla sugar, for rolling

Chocolate Ganache
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate melted with 1/3 cup heavy cream. (refrigerate until consistency becomes spreadable)

Vanilla Sugar
1 vanilla bean (can be one that was previously used)
2 cups sugar (In an airtight container, bury the vanilla bean in the sugar and let it sit overnight. I did not have any vanilla sugar on hand, I just rolled the cookies in caster sugar)

In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it’s light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Mix in the granulated sugar and when the mixture is well blended add the flour and mix until it forms a dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 3 hours to make it easier to handle. This also helps prevent the balls from flattening out too much when they’re baked.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Taking off pieces of dough with your hands, roll small (3/4 –inch) balls of dough. Chill them for 30 minutes in the freezer, then place them 2 inches apart on cookie sheets to allow for some spreading. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or just until the cookies are firm but not browned. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pans.

Spread the flat face of half of the cooled cookies with the jam or ganache and top with a second cookie to form a little sandwiched ball. The filling will not show very much. Once you’ve sandwiched them all together, bury them in vanilla sugar to coat the entire outside.


Big Boys Oven said...

Oh I love the way you present your butterball, such a classic.

Sylvia said...

Carol,what a beautiful presentacion.

Belinda said...

They look lovely...who would think that something titled "Mary's Butterballs" could look so elegant?! I bet they taste as good as they look as well. :-)

Nora B. said...

Carol, I love the way your presented the balls. Do you sell your baked goods?

Kelly Mahoney said...

Great presentation -- Not only is it a centerpiece, but each guest could take a little package home with them with the same ribbon. Adorable!

Anh said...

Pretty oh pretty! Both the butterball and the presentation. :)

SteamyKitchen said...


btw, the music on your site kinda creeps up on you...and it starts oh so softly with trickling water -

I thought I PEE'D MY PANTS!!! lol!

WokandSpoon said...

I love your little "buttocks" ! They're gorgeous!

Ming_the_Merciless said...

You outdo yourself each time with your fabulous photography. I swear, you should be a professional photographer for food magazines.

You must have very impressive chinawares and table linens to be able to do this at home.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Carol, is there any chance of you shipping that lovely package to Brazil??? ;-)

These look so good, and the ribbon details are adorable!

jenjen said...

Wow those look incredible. Whether or not they they look like buttocks or butterballs, I am definitely bookamrking these. I just hope mine look as good as yours.

Ivonne said...


Those butterballs are absolutely gorgeous! They turned out very well, indeed. I'm guessing that it might have been very dry the day you made the cookies. Yes? That might have contributed to the dough not coming together.

Well done!

Belinda said...

Carol's Love Lumps - hahahahaha :o)
They look like lovely little hamburgers to me!

And I agree with Ming - your photos ARE always so fabulous. Have you done a photography course, or is it just natural talent like your amazing baking abilities?

I see you have a label on one of the butterball bags too. Do you sell your goodies around town?? Tell me!! Tell me!!! :oP

Cutie said...

*drooling*.... Oh gosh, the butterballs is yummy. Hmm, now u made me wanna make this cute little things during the weekend. Haha... Btw, I like the way you present your food. So beautiful and it looks so professional.

Tartelette said...

Irresistible..of course, there's Nutella in them!!!

Nanners said...

OH man those look good. Especially once you said they were sandwiched with Nutella. I think their shape is totally endearing!

tigerfish said...

I will be more interested in eating it too :D ...oh, they are so dainty.

Rasa Malaysia said...

They are so pretty, with ribbon and all. :)

Amrita said...

These would make fantastic gifts!! Such eye candy, and I'm sure, very sure, they're just as tasty as they are to look at!

Oh for the love of food! said...

BB Oven,
Thanks so much guys!

you are so kind!

Thanks for visiting my blog! Yes, they were really delicious!

Thanks, No, I do not sell my baked goods, I give them as gifts to friends and family. I just love presenting them nicely with ribbons, tags , stickers,cake boxes, cards, just anything that would make them look pretty!

Thank you!


Woman, you crack me up!

Wok and Spoon,
Thank you! ( I think)

Oh for the love of food! said...

Thanks, you are such a sweetie!

thank you, hmmm.. that's not impossible, but the mob here has gobbled up the whole batch!

I'm sure yours will be gorgeous!

Thanks for coming by, I appreciate your feedback!

Thanks, no I don't sell anything, or I'll be knocking on your door!

Yes, give them a go, Doink will love them!

Oh for the love of food! said...

I love nutella too!

Thanks for visiting, I love the shape of the butterballs too!

You are not one for baking are you?

Thanks, I enjoyed making them!

Thanks, I love to give homebakes as gifts!

Anonymous said...

.. yummmmieeeeeeee.. look soooo good. very well presented.

The Cooking Ninja said...

They are truly gorgeous!

an said...

..i made these yesterday. they turned out really good. thank you. must try and get my hand on this book..

Oh for the love of food! said...

Thank you, hope you will drop by again!

Thanks, I really enjoyed the whole process of making, styling and photographing them!

Thanks, I'm glad you are happy with them!

Rachelle said...

Hi, I was eyeing these in the book also, and came to search for ideas on the vnilla sugar. Your photos are wonderful, and the cookies are soo cute!

Anonymous said...








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