Ever wonder why a salad is just not the same without croutons? Any food enthusiast will tell you that having a harmonious balance of textures is a make or break situation for any dish. That’s why when our Caesar salads are missing the crunchy little bits of cut up bread, we can immediately taste that something is off!
I love textures in my sweets, everything from crunchy to chewy to fleshy. I always love playing around with dried and fresh fruit, nuts, chips, cereal and candy, adding them to my cookies every chance I get to make them more interesting.
While reviewing some of the cookie recipes for my upcoming cookbook, I began thinking about unique ingredients that could add a nice, crunchy texture to a cookie. I mentally rummaged through my pantry, when suddenly, I found it: panko! Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb that’s commonly used as a coating for deep fried foods. I knew that panko, when fried, becomes a deliciously crunchy yet light coating to savory foods, but I wanted to see if this same texture would translate just as well by means of my oven.
To answer the question: YES, panko does indeed remain delightfully crunchy after baked! For this recipe, I created a simple butter cookie that really highlights the panko crunch. I’ve read about people adding panko to chocolate chip cookies too. While I’m sure that tastes just fine, I feel like my cookie recipe keeps it simple and straightforward, which gives the panko an opportunity to showcase its light, airy crispiness without getting drowned out by other ingredients.
Panko Butter Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie tray with aluminum foil and set aside.
- In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, the powdered sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and panko, and beat on low speed until blended.
- Scoop the dough onto the prepared tray (I use a 1-ounce ice cream scoop). Press down slightly on the dough to flatten it to about 1/2-inches tall. Bake for 7 minutes, rotate and then bake 7 to 8 minutes more or until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned.
- Cool 10 minutes on baking sheet. Roll warm cookies in the powdered sugar until evenly coated. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature.