French

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

Posted by on Mar 4, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, French | 0 comments

Cat Tongue Cookies! NO CATS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THESE COOKIES.

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

I first heard about these cookies on the Great British Bake Off, where they were used as part of another recipe. My curiosity was piqued.

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

I am trying out a lot more French recipes. This seemed like a good, basic one to try… even though I HATE piping things. Did I say hate? I meant LOATHE.

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

That said, this recipe wasn’t too awful in that regard. The dough wasn’t a big sticky mess. I used a gallon Ziploc bag and cut the corner off, the old basic method, and that worked just fine.

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

The end result reminded me a lot of the old American stand-by, Nilla Wafers. Nothing fancy by themselves, but crisp and refreshing. They would be easy to dress up by dipping them in chocolate, Nutella, jam, whatever–if you want.

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

I thought they were just fine by themselves, with my cats lurking close by–tongues intact.

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

Consisting of just 5 ingredients, these are very straightforward and deliciously crisp vanilla cookies. Make the piping process easier by penciling guidelines onto parchment paper.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: cookies, french
Servings: 32 cookies
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • parchment paper
  • piping bag or gallon Ziploc

Ingredients

  • 9 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar plus 2 Tablespoons
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Line a large baking pan with parchment. Use pencil to draw 3-inch lines spaced several inches apart in rows upon the paper, then flip over so the pencil lines still show through as guides.
  • In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar (1/2 cup and 2 Tablespoons) until smooth. Beat in egg whites one at a time until batter is light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla followed by flour. Dough might be stiff.
  • Put about half of dough into a Ziploc bag (then cut off corner) or a piping bag with a medium star tip. Squeeze out dough onto the lines on parchment.
  • Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, until edges are starting to brown. Move to cooling rack. Pipe and bake remaining dough, reusing parchment.
  • Store in a sealed container. Good dipped into chocolate or spread with Nutella--or all by itself.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

    Posted by on Feb 5, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, French | 0 comments

    Last month I shared my recipe for Almond Sable. This time I present another French (from Brittany, to be specific) take on shortbread: Sable Breton!

    Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

    These cookies are much more straightforward than the previous recipe. The ingredients are shortbread basics: butter, sugar, flour.

    Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

    What sets this apart is, foremost, that it is not as sweet as its counterparts across the channel.

    Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

    I also recommend that you use a kitchen scale to get that European-style precision–along with actual French butter. President-brand is expensive but widely available, even where I am in Arizona.

    Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

    These cookies are downright pretty, too, with a crosshatched pattern and an egg yolk wash. They are perfect alongside a cup of coffee or tea!

    Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

    Modified from the original at Mon Petit Four.

    Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

    Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

    This French version of shortbread cookies is gorgeous to behold, and delicious to eat. Measurements are provided in grams as well as standard American measurements; a food scale is helpful here for precise measurements. Use salted French-import President butter, if possible; one stick is 198 grams, meaning a smidgen more of another butter will provide the perfect amount--plus, the end taste will be more like the French original! If making with unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon salt to compensate. Recipe makes about 22 cookies.
    Course: Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine: French
    Keyword: cookies, french
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • parchment paper
    • small cookie cutter
    • food scale

    Ingredients

    • 200 grams salted butter 1/2 cup plus 5 Tablespoons, President butter recommended
    • 120 grams white sugar 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon
    • 3 egg yolks divided
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 280 grams all-purpose flour 2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons, plus more if needed to dust work surface

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone mat.
    • Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add two egg yolks and vanilla extract. Add flour until just incorporated.
    • Lightly flour work surface and hands. Using rolling pin or hands, press dough to about 1/4-inch thickness.
    • Use a small round cookie cutter on dough. Transfer rounds to cookie sheet, spaced out a bit. Use a fork to scratch a crosshatch pattern in the top, like a hashtag with more lines.
    • Beat remaining egg yolk in a small bowl. Brush tops of cookies with yolk.
    • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until cookies are a consistent golden color. Transfer to a rack to completely cool.
    • Store in a sealed container.
    • OM NOM NOM!
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    Bready or Not: Fougasse

    Posted by on Jan 15, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, French, yeast bread | 0 comments

    Bready or Not goes full-on bready with this week’s feature: Fougasse, a French style of bread fragrant with herbs and formed into two leaf-shaped loaves.

    Bready or Not: Fougasse

    I first encountered this bread on the Great British Bake Off, where it was presented as a technical challenge with minimal instructions. (I highly recommend watching season 4 episode 6 prior to baking, if you can, as it provides great tips and visuals of the bread).

    Bready or Not: Fougasse

    I found this bread dough surprisingly easy to work with. I opted to make it in my Kitchen Aid, which is in line with the original recipe, but it could certainly be mixed in a bread machine or by hand.

    Bready or Not: Fougasse

    The end result reminded me of focaccia with the herby, salty flavor, but I found the leaf shape of the fougasse to be incredibly fun. It really makes for a great presentation.

    To use Bake Off terminology, this bread is a technical challenge that also works as a showstopper.

    Bready or Not: Fougasse

    Modified from Paul Hollywood’s recipe as published on the BBC’s site.

    Bready or Not: Fougasse

    This herby bread is of French origin and designed to make two large loaves that resembled big, flat leaves. Recipe is modified from Paul Hollywood, as featured on the Great British Bake Off. Amounts are provided below in cups and in weight, with a recommendation to follow the weight for more accuracy.
    Course: Bread, Side Dish
    Cuisine: French
    Keyword: french, yeast bread
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 2 large baking sheets
    • parchment paper
    • pizza cutter
    • pastry brush

    Ingredients

    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil plus more for greasing and drizzling
    • 500 grams bread flour plus more for dusting (1 lb, 2 ounces)
    • 10 grams fine sea salt (1/4 teaspoon)
    • 7 grams instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoon)
    • 350 ml warm water (12 ounces)
    • 4 teaspoons chopped rosemary plus more to finish
    • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
    • fine cornmeal for dusting, or substitute semolina flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • sea salt flakes to finish

    Instructions

    • Grease a large container with some olive oil. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
    • In a mixer with a dough hook (or with a dough whisk and arm muscle), combine the bread flour and sea salt. Add yeast, followed by the measured olive oil and most of the warm water. Mix on low speed. As the dough comes together, slowly add the rest of the water. Continue to mix on medium speed for about 7 or 8 minutes. Add the herbs and make sure they are evenly distributed. Dough should be quite elastic and easy to work with.
    • Dump the dough into the oiled container. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until at least doubled, about an hour. Dough should be bouncy and shiny.
    • Dust a work surface with extra flour and cornmeal (or semolina). Tip the dough onto the surface. It should be loose and flowing. Divide dough in half.
    • Place each piece of dough on the prepared parchment. Spread into a flat oval, then use a pizza cutter to slice twice down the middle (to make a stem) with six cuts on the side of each leaf (see photograph for example). Gently stretch out the dough to emphasize the holes.
    • Cover both loaves with plastic wrap and allow to set for 20 minutes as the oven preheats to 430-degrees.
    • Brush or spray additional olive oil atop each leaf, then sprinkle on the dried oregano.
    • Bake for about 7 minutes, then switch positions of bread on the oven racks. Continue baking another 8 minutes or so (15 to 20 minutes total) until each fougasse is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from oven. Immediately brush more olive oil on top, followed by a sprinkling of sea salt.
    • Bread is delicious fresh or at room temperature. Loaves can be well-wrapped and frozen for later enjoyment.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      Posted by on Jan 1, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, French | 0 comments

      Let’s welcome 2020 in grand style: with French shortbread called almond sables!

      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      I’ve made a lot of shortbread in my day. All varieties. This is shortbread that’s gone up in level. It tastes fancy. It’s a French recipe, so that’s only appropriate, right?

      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      I highly recommend you use President-brand unsalted butter for this recipe. My recipe is actually modified from a version they used in advertisements. However, you can use other butters, just make sure you use unsalted and only 7 ounces. That means you’ll chop off a tablespoon from the standard American butter stick.

      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      I made these cookies twice to get the recipe the way I wanted it. I used salted butter the first time, and the cookies tasted noticeably salty. Not just to me, but to other eaters as well.

      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      Because these cookies have such few ingredients, the few that are present really have a chance to shine. They are buttery, mildly nutty, with a soft, sandy texture.

      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      I liked using my fluted cookie cutters for these–that way the sugar coating has more nooks and crannies to cling to!

      Recipe modified from a President butter advertisement.

      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      These French-style shortbread cookies taste delicate and refined. Note that the dough needs at least a few hours to chill prior to baking. Modified from a recipe by President Butter.
      Course: Dessert, Snack
      Cuisine: French
      Keyword: cookies, shortbread
      Servings: 20 cookies
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • small cookie cutter
      • parchment paper

      Ingredients

      • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 7- ounces President unsalted butter softened, or substitute other unsalted butter
      • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
      • 3/4 cup white sugar divided
      • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 1 vanilla bean or substitute 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
      • 1 egg yolk

      Instructions

      • Toast the almonds prior to beginning cookies. Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Spread almonds in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for about 10 minutes, until fragrant. Set aside to cool for a few minutes; turn off oven.
      • Measure out flour in a small bowl.
      • Use a food processor to grind almonds to a fine crumb; don't process for too long or it'll turn to almond butter. Mix almond crumbs with flour.
      • In a big bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and salt, until smooth again. Add vanilla bean (or equivalent) and egg yolk. Gradually work in flour mixture. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead 3 or 4 times to form a cohesive ball.
      • Place dough between two large sheets of parchment paper and compress dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Enshroud in plastic wrap. Transfer to fridge to set, at least 2 hours but as long as 2 days.
      • Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Line large baking sheet with fresh parchment paper.
      • Roll out dough to closer to 1/4-inch thickness, then set aside top parchment sheet. Use a small round cookie cutter to cut dough, placing rounds spaced-out on sheet pan. Re-roll dough scraps to use up the rest, adding a touch of water, if necessary, to bring dough together again.
      • Bake until edges are just turning golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Measure out remaining 1/2 cup white sugar in a bowl. Use a spatula to dip warm cookies into sugar to coat top and sides. Place on rack to cool cookies completely.
      • Cookies keep well in sealed container for up to 3 days.

      OM NOM NOM!

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