Today Rose's Alpha Bakers share our 4th selection as we bake our way through The Baking Bible. As a reminder, the recipes are not being shared, but I'll share my commentary about the recipe, followed by a full photo tutorial.
This week's selection - Coffee Almond Crisps, Rose describes them as "a crisp, fragile, ethereal cookie which is like eating coffee-imbued air."
How do they taste - Oh my, they are addictive! I found finishing the cookies with a sprinkling of espresso powder made them taste bitter, but they're great without. So great I could hardly stay away from them.
Side Note: My cookies baked much thinner than Rose's. She reported that the ones she baked on parchment were 3/8-inch thick, and those baked without parchment were 1/2-inch thick. I baked mine on Silpat liners and they were 1/8-inch thick. Rose's suspects the silpats have something to do with the cookies flattening, but another baker, Mendy, used silpats and his cookies didn't flatten. Many of the Alpha Bakers got flat cookies like I did and so I'm not sure what we've all done to get thin, lacy cookies, but I suspect our butter got too warm in the food processor. At any rate, they're great. An0ther baker, Peg, ended up with both thick and thin cookies and she liked the thin lacy ones better. So like I said, I really like the thin cookies - they're crisp and buttery and have a lovely caramelized flavor. One word of caution - they're extremely fragile so take care if you make them.
How do they look - Individually, they're not very attractive, but they look a little better stacked en mass. Thankfully, their flavor more than makes up for the appearance.
Level of difficulty - Easy. Toast some almonds, mix the ingredients in the food processor, roll the dough, flatten the dough, and bake.
Were the directions clear - Yes, but since so many of us in the group ended up with cookies that were considerable thinner than intended. As I was writing this review, I noticed a mistake I made when preparing the dough. The dough was supposed to be prepared in two parts: an almond/flour/espresso powder/baking powder/salt mixture that was supposed to be removed from the processor before making the butter/sugar mixture to which the almond/flour/etc mixture to then added back to the food processor. Well, I added the butter and sugar directly to the food processor containing the almond/flour/etc. I doubt that would contribute to the flattening of these cookies, but I'll be interested to find out if anyone else in the group followed the directions correctly and still ended up with flat cookies. If so, I suspect there might be a typo in the ingredient list (I weighed my ingredients).
What would I do differently next time - Nothing.
Next up - Frozen Pecan Tart, Dec 29, 2014. It apparently stays soft enough to cut easily straight from the freezer.
Okay, here's my photo tutorial.
Toast sliced almonds in the oven until they turn golden brown.
Grind the almonds with flour, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt together for 2 minutes.
Continue following the directions for combining the sugar, flour, then adding the almond/flour mixture to finish the dough.
Divide the dough into 3 portions - if you want to be technical, each should weigh 126 grams.
Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and pop in the fridge until you're ready to roll and bake.
The rolled dough is supposed to be pressed to 1/4-inch thickness, so I got out my trusty Pastry Wands.
Each of the three portions of cookie dough should be divided into twelve 1-teaspoon blogs weighing 10 grams. I found a #100 cookie scoop is the perfect size.
Each of the teaspoon sized blobs are then rolled in the palm of your hands to form a ball.
Here's where the Pastry Wands come in handy...
Cover the balls of dough with a piece of wax paper and press with something flat.
See how handy those Pastry Wands are?
Ta-da. Do you see how the cookie on the left has some cracks around the edges, the one in the middle is just starting to crack, and the one on the right has no cracks? That's because I tried to take a shortcut by flattening 3 at a time. For best results (smooth edges), roll and flatten the cookies one at a time.
Continue until all 12 cookies are formed.
Bake in a preheated 350F oven 10-15 minutes. I pulled mine at 10 and probably could have pulled them a minute or so earlier.
They apparently didn't turn out as intended, but that's not a bad thing. Think Tuile or Florentine cookies.
Well, there you go. Overall, I like these Coffee Almond Crisps much better than last week's Ischler Cookies.
Try not to handle them too much though. They're very fragile as you can see by all the crumbs.
links to more alpha bakers photo tutorials
- Nov 19, 2015 The Hazelnut Praline Cookies that Never Were
- Sep 1, 2015 TBB - Flaky Cream Cheese Scones
- Aug 23, 2015 TBB - Woody's Black and White Brownies
- Jul 1, 2015 TBB - Praline Meringue Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Jun 23, 2015 Ricotta Loaf - The Bread Bible
- Jun 4, 2015 TBB - French Orange Cream Tart
- May 19, 2015 TBB - Double Chocolate Oriolos
- May 15, 2015 Touch of Grace Biscuits - The Bread Bible
- May 7, 2015 TBB - Blu-Rhu Mini Pies
- Apr 27, 2015 TBB - Lemon Jammies
- Apr 2, 2015 Pita Pizzas - The Bread Bible
- Mar 22, 2015 TBB - Luxury Oatmeal Cookies
- Mar 15, 2015 TBB - Sour Cherry Pie (Pi Day)
- Mar 9, 2015 TBB - Caramel Buns
- Mar 4, 2015 TBB - Hamantaschen (Purim)
- Feb 23, 2015 TBB - Lemon Posset Alma
- Feb 15, 2015 TBB - Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache
- Feb 11, 2015 TBB - Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce
- Feb 9, 2015 Panettone Delay
- Feb 2, 2015 TBB - Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread
- Jan 26, 2015 TBB - Gingersnaps
- Jan 19, 2015 Biga Fail
- Jan 12, 2015 TBB - Black and Blueberry Pie
- Jan 5, 2015 TBB - Chocolate Cuddle Cake