I had never heard of schmaltz before coming across this recipe. Yes, it is rendered chicken fat. How could I resist the temptation to try this unusual ingredient?
I first tried to buy schmaltz on the Internet. This is the first cooking ingredient that left me frustrated as I tried to purchase it online. No luck. Then I found we had a kosher grocery not too far from the hospital. I was so excited when I walked out with it and was still excited when I finally got to make them.
Making them cooled my excitement. The schmaltz is very strong smelling and, for me, not at all appetizing for cookies. Still, they turned out well and people liked them, at least before they knew what was in them.
The Book of Schmaltz: A Love Song to a Forgotten Fat via Epicurius
3/4 cup schmaltz, well chilled or frozen
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups oats
2/3 cups dried cherries or other garnish*
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Cut schmaltz into chunks and put it, along with the sugars, into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix on high until the fat is fluffy, 2 minutes or so.
3. Add egg, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix on low, to incorporate.
4. Combine salt, flour, and baking powder. Add to the mixing bowl. Paddle on medium to combine, 30 seconds or so.
5. Add oats and paddle to combine.
6. Add cherries and paddle to combine.
7. Shape into golf-ball-sized orbs and put on a cookie sheet. Flatten to your desired thickness.** They won’t spread much but they will puff.
8. Bake about 15 minutes.
* raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, pecans or a mixture of any or all of the above
** Remember my recommended method of flattening. Butter the bottom of a glass. Dip in sugar. Flatten the ball of dough. Redip in sugar before flattening the next one.
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