Thursday, January 8, 2009

TWD catch-up #1: Linzer Sablés

Thank you, Laurie of Quirky Cupcake and founder of "Tuesdays with Dorie," for allowing us a lot of leeway with baking and posting our recipes during this month! I work in retail and this time of year is always busy. So, here come three posts about the recipes for December 2, 9, and 16. All cookies! Great idea -- I get to try new recipes from Dorie's book and have cookies to send to my family, too!

Let's start with the recipe for December 2nd, Linzer Sablés, as chosen by Dennis aka noskos of Living the Life. I love Linzer cookies and Linzer tarts. But I decided not to make the "jam sandwich" style of cookie. I thought I would be sending these off to my family, and I was afraid they'd get soggy. So, I went for chocolate-coated sablés in the style of Dorie's recipe on Serious Eats. I liked them so much I didn't send any away! But I'm sorry, I got busy and disorganized and did not take any pictures of the finished project. Here's what they looked like as I was cutting them out.

Since I had some skinned, toasted hazelnuts stashed in the freezer from a past project, I used 1/2 cup of those and 1 cup of raw, unblanched almonds to make the dough. After pulsing in the food processor I ended up with rather more than 1 1/2 cups of ground nuts. Apparently nuts fluff up when ground. Note to self -- 1 1/2 cups of ground almonds/hazelnuts weighs about 180 grams -- weigh them next time. I tossed in just a little ground allspice and ground nutmeg because what could be bad about a touch more spice? And I substituted 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar for part of the white sugar. After mixing up a couple of other cookie doughs too, they all got wrapped up and put into the fridge to roll out later.

Here's where I got a little crazy. I rolled the dough out roughly into two rectangles, then cut and pieced them back together to make two huge, thin diamonds. After some chilling, I cut them out with my wavy pastry cutter into pretty diamond shapes. Jim came into the kitchen while I was carefully marking, measuring and cutting, shook his head, and said, "Don't you think you're getting a bit compulsive there, dear?" Well, yes...but I was enjoying it! Into the freezer they went for a few days, until I had time to bake them up.

I baked some of them too long, until they were brown all over. They don't taste nearly as good that way. You want them to just barely be turning brown at the edges. When properly baked, they were nicely crisp, but I didn't think there was enough spice flavor. And they were a little too firm and crisp for my taste, and not quite "crumbly" enough. I was looking for more of a balance between the two textures. Picky, picky, though...they were still very good!

I had been planning to dip them in plain chocolate, but the kitchen Fates intervened in the form of a bad batch of toffee. Actually it wasn't that the toffee itself was bad -- but the coating of chocolate and chopped nuts detached from the toffee and fell off, leaving me with naked toffee and lots of small pieces of chocolate with nuts. Plainly the Fates intended that this chocolate/nut mix should go on the Linzer cookies instead. So, I melted it in the microwave with just a touch of vegetable shortening and hazelnut oil, and mixed in a generous amount of cinnamon. (It's amazing how much cinnamon you have to add to chocolate before you can even begin to taste it. Chocolate is a very dominant flavor!)

The chocolate/nut-sandwiched Linzers were much better! (But then, what wouldn't be better with chocolate?)

I'm not sure I'd make this recipe again -- it was good, but not superb. Still, I had fun making them -- and eating them!

For the recipe, visit this link, or this one.

1 comment:

Di said...

I love that you used the ruler. =) I used chocolate ganache to sandwich my linzers, and they were pretty good that way. But I agree, not my favorite of the cookies from December.