Monday, August 31, 2009

CHOCOLATE COVERED HAZELNUT COOKIES/CANDY



This recipe is adapted from Pierre Herme's Chocolate Covered Crunchy Hazelnut Cookies from his book "Chocolate Desserts". They are really a cross between a cookie and a candy. My husband definitely thinks they are candy and he loves them. When you bake these cookies they spread a little. So I cut off the excess gave it a whirl in my food processor and sprinkled this on top of the cookies/candy after dipping them in tempered chocolate. They are really yummy and worth making.

HAZELNUT COOKIES/CANDIES

INGREDIENTS
1 Tablespoon Instant Espresso
1 Tablespoon Boiling Water
3 Large Egg Whites (room temperature)
400g Powdered Sugar (sifted)
400g Blanched Hazelnuts (toasted and coarsely chopped)

METHOD
1. Dissolve the instant espresso into the water and set aside to cool.
2. Put all of the ingredients into a stainless steel bowl and set this over a pan of simmering water. Heat the batter, stirring until it reaches 138 degrees.
3. Pour into spacer bars 8" X 12". Batter should be about 1" thick. Cool to room temperature.
4. Cut the block of cooled batter into 3/4" squares and place them on parchment lined baking sheets about 2" apart.
5. Bake at 275 degrees in a convection oven for 18 - 22 minutes turning, half way through the baking time. When done the cookies should be golden, dry and uniformly dull. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
6. Dip the cookies in tempered chocolate and sprinkle a little of the *hazelnut dust on top of the chocolate. Put the cookies in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to set the chocolate then store them at room temperature in an airtight container.

4 comments:

Li said...

i am curious about the texture...

Jay said...

Hello - I just last night tried this recipe from Pierre Herme's book, and had some trouble with it, and I'm wondering if you can offer me any advice.

First, the batter was only about 1/2" thick even though I poured it into a space smaller than 8"x12".

Then, when it cooled to room temperature, it did not solidify beyond a very thin layer on the top. It was still mostly liquid.

When I tried to parcel out and bake the cookies, the egg/sugar liquid spread out a lot from the hazelnuts, and they pretty much just made a big bubbly, crackly mess with a layer of caramelized sugar along the bottom.

When you heated the batter, did it gain in volume or undergo any other visible changes? And how long did you have to let it cool for it to become a 'block'?

Thanks so much for any help you can offer--these look so good and I really want to figure out how to make them successfully.

Sugar Chef said...

Hi Jay, Are you sure you brought the temperature of the mix to 138 degrees? This should fix the problem of the batter still being liquid. As in all baking everything must be measured exactly. Make sure your hazelnuts are chopped fine, not powdery, this will help the structure. I let the batter set in the spacer bars overnight but I don't think you have to wait that long. It is normal for some of the sugar to spread, I just cut that part off and used it to sprinkle on top of the cookies. After taking the cookies out of the oven let them cool completely before handling them. Hope this helps. I don't know where you are from but sometimes differences in ingredients can make a difference in the outcome of a recipe. Let me know how your next batch comes out. Good luck.

Jay said...

Thanks for your response! My candy thermometer read 136 when I turned off the heat, but the thermometer might not be perfectly accurate. I may have actually not chopped the hazelnuts enough, I only chopped each one into 3 or 4 pieces.

Next time I will try letting the batter get a little hotter, then cooling it for longer, and chopping the hazelnuts a bit smaller. Thanks for the tips, it is much appreciated.

I'm in NYC. Not sure where my hazelnuts came from but the other ingredients are pretty everyday items and there's not a crazy amount of humidity or anything.

I will definitely let you know how my next attempt goes and thanks again.