Monday, May 2, 2011

CASHEW! (Gesundheit!) - Cashew Lace Cookies

Have you ever had a hankerin' for a cookie… and while prepping your “mise en place” (getting everything measured and ready for assembly) you are shocked to find that you do not have enough flour for even a half batch? Or worse yet, you are completely out of flour because someone forgot to write it on the shopping list? Hmmmm

Fear not my friends, for as long as you have an egg, some sugar and some butter, you can make on of the most sinful cookies on the planet. And you don’t have to share with the person who forgot to write flour on the shopping list. LOL (Oh, unless it was YOU that forgot to write it on the list…) ;)

The key to this recipe is the browned butter, of which I have sang the praises many, many times. The flavor is indescribable when included in baked goods. It turns "Oh My" into OMG! You know what I’m sayin?

I am going to cover it again, though in a more cursory fashion, since I have gone through this process a couple times already. Please make no mistake, the flavor of these cookies is dependent on the browned butter, so don’t just melt some butter in the microwave and toss it in. You will be disappointed in the flavor and they will more than likely burn in the oven due to the milk proteins being left in the butter.

OK, so now that I have freaked everyone out about having to make browned butter, lemme go over it again and show ya how easy it really is.

Cashew Lace Cookies

4 oz (117g) Unsalted Butter (if you have Cultured Butter; that's even better)
4 1/2 oz (128g) (about 1 cup) finely chopped, lightly salted Cashews (though Pecans are good as well)
7 oz (200g) (1 cup) Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 scraped Vanilla Bean (or 3/4 tsp Vanilla Extract)
1 large Egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) degrees and line several baking sheets with Parchment paper or Silpats. (you will need more than one baking sheet)

Place Butter in a small saucepan and place over medium-low flame.

Allow the butter to melt and then begin to brown as the milk proteins settle to the bottom and begin to darken. (Don't forget to skim off the foam so you can slather it on your green beans at a later time)

Strain the mixture through a couple layers of cheese cloth to ensure that no crispy protein bits are left in the browned butterfat.

There you go, just a little over 3 oz of Browned Butter, or Beurre Noisette as the French call it; now set this aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combing Cashews, Sugar, Salt and Vanilla caviar, tossing everything well.

Add the beaten egg.

Stir the batter together until you have a sort of nutty sugar paste.

By now your butter should be cooled enough to not cook the egg when you slowly drizzle it into the batter while mixing.

When the butter is thoroughly combined you will have a very soft batter.

Now you can either Spoon onto your baking sheet by rounded teaspoons -or-

Use a small cookie scoop.

Be sure to leave at least 3 inches between each mound of batter, because they are going to spread significantly far and wide while cooking.

Place the sheet in the oven for 10 minutes.....

You will notice that the cookies will not only spread, but begin to puff as well.

Then all of the sudden they will collapse in on themselves and begin to brown...

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes ON the baking sheet, before carefully moving them to a cooling rack with a spatula (this is why you need more than 1 baking sheet for rotating purposes)

mmmmmm  Buttery, Nutty, Sweet and Salty....   YUM!!!!

Oh, and this is why they are called Lace Cookies.



Patti T. said...

I have made a similar cookie and it was buttery goodness! I am very hungry, and now I really want one of those cookies!

Anonymous said...

We got to know Lace Cookies when we went to Luxembourg in october to attend a wedding. I saw them in a shop and since my husband is a huge fan of cashews I bought one box for a quite enormous amount of money. Ever since I thought about baking them my own and I really have to say that your recipe is extraordinary goodgoodgood. Presents for christmas are easy this year, thank you so much!