Cooking my way through Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets, plus other treats I come up with
Friday, February 19, 2010
These are cute, brown butter almond cookies traditionally baked in rectangular molds so they resemble little ingots of gold. I didn't have a financier mold, so I used a mini-muffin pan. They're a little smaller than the traditional ones, but just as cute.
What distinguishes financiers from other cookies is the browned butter. You're supposed to cook butter until it's browned and smell like toasted hazelnuts.
The butter will start bubbling once it's been melted. I found that as I browned the butter, the water evaporated and I was left with brown milk particles suspended in clarified butter. It made my kitchen smell like a French bakery : )
The batter is built by cooking egg whites with ground almonds and sugar on the stove, until the mixture is slightly white and hot to the touch.
Flour and browned butter is then added to the batter, and the batter is chilled for at least an hour. It will thicken considerably once it's chilled.
The cookies are baked for around 10 minutes at 400 F, until they are golden and springy. They need to be turned out of their mold to cool. This is what happened to my batch when I turned the muffin pan upside down. Aren't they cute?
The nuttiness from the brown butter really came through in this cookie. It was a little on the dry side (maybe I should have added more butter, I've always imagined financiers to be super rich and moist), but it'd go well with tea or coffee.