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Archive for the ‘Croq-Teles’ Category

Fresh out of the oven

Fresh out of the oven

I first made these Croq-Tele cookies a couple of months ago after stumbling upon the recipe in a book called Paris Sweets by Patricia Wells, which I took out from the library at The French Culinary Institute (I was a student there). The description had me at “salted cookie”—I love anything that tries to balance sugar with salt, as long as it’s not, you know, orbs of pretention some schmancy restos try to sell.

I tried to Google it then, and it was only October, mind you—but it yielded no searches. But since The New York Times included it in a story before last Christmas on butter, I’ve found a lot more searches on it in the Interweb. I’ve yet to come across a bakery selling/making them, though, and I don’t know why—it’s everything you want in a snack: buttery, nutty, salty, sweet, crunchy. (“Croq-Tele” means TV-snack, but I wouldn’t want to mindlessly chomp on these, the way I tend to do with, say, popcorn.) I’ve broken down its parts there, but the sum is surely greater than those five adjectives.

I whipped up a batch today to wait out the rain (and wait to hear back from pitches I’ve sent out, sigh), and for a friend who’s moving to Austin. Maybe they’ll sustain her while she packs up.

First, combine the first three ingredients in a bowl: a 3/4 cup blend of nut flours (hazelnut and almond flours*, I used 50-50), 1/2 cup sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt (I used some flaky Fleur de Sel a friend brought from France–merci, ami!).

Nut flours, sugar, salt

Both recipes I’ve looked at are essentially the same, and they say to use a food processor. I can barely fit a Brita on my countertop and thus don’t own one, so I just go to town and mix well with my (clean) hand.

Then mix 1 cup flour and 7 tablespoons cold butter together til it looks sandy. I used the Chef-favorite Plugra today, but have had really yummy results with Beurremont (ha ha, get it??) butter.

sandy mixture

Then combine the two mixtures together until some clumps form. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least half hour.

dough

After the beauty rest, form them into small rounds. Mine have gotten a little Super-sized over time—about an inch diameter, an, er, un version Americain. Patricia Wells advises “the size of cherries.”  Also, they’re supposed to be a little irregular in shape (but anal me, I like my cookies very uniform).  Place them an inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it’s just golden around the edges.

Croq, croq, crunch

Croq, croq, crunch

Here’s the link to the Times recipe.

*You can buy almond flour (not really “flour” per se, but blanched, ground almonds) at the supermarket, but hazelnuts you will have to toast and grind yourself. You can use all almond flour, or 75 almond-25 hazelnut. It’s ALL good.

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