Sunday, November 1, 2015

Hazelnut Cookies (gluten free)

The thing about baking is if I only need to use an egg yolk, I'm stuck with the egg white. That is exactly what's been happening to me lately. Need one large egg yolk. Then I'd scramble around trying to find something to bake with just one large egg white. I usually end up baking meringues, which are always welcome in my home.

In the 500 Cookies, I was a bit confused with a recipe called macaroons because I thought macaroons are more like nuggets. The picture in the book gave me the impression that they were just normal cookies. I went ahead and tested this macaroons recipe because it was in fact the first recipe I came across that day that only used egg whites.

After baking them, I came to realize that these cookies shouldn't be called macaroons at all. They were more like macarons. So what's the difference? From my understanding, macaroons are like nuggets, usually made using coconut flakes. Macarons, however, are puff up cookies, crunchy on the top and chewy at the bottoms. For the perfect macarons, the cookies should have ruffles at the edge of the flat bottoms. Trust me when I said that macarons are super difficult to bake. I'm still perfecting my recipe, and that's going on six months already.

The first time I baked these hazelnut cookies, I noticed that the tops were thin and crunchy. Think of it this way, if I press down on the top of the cookie, the top would crumble. This is the very characteristic of macarons. The bottoms of my hazelnut cookies were quite chewy, almost like an wet, unbaked dough. I didn't like that at all. The cookies were also super sweet.

For my second attempt, I lowered the sugar content, baked small dough, and baked a little longer than before. Hollow and crunchy top. Perfectly chewy at the bottom. AND the cookies turned out to be a round perfect two bites size. Skip the real macarons and bake these hazelnut cookies. They are super easy to prepare and bake. But the best part? I now know what to do with the leftover egg white.

Hazelnut Cookies (gluten free)
adapted from 500 Cookies' macaroons
makes 12

1/2 cup (2.5 oz.) raw hazelnuts, finely chopped
1 large egg white
1/3 cup (2.5 oz.) granulated sugar
1/2 Tbs. rice flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degree. Line a baking pan with nonstick matt or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Finely chopped nuts. TIP: I use mortar and pestle to finely pound a few nuts at a time. Another successful method is pounding the nuts inside a sandwich bag with a wooden rolling pin.
  3. Add sugar to the egg white.
  4. Whisk until it is creamy.
  5. Add rice flour to the egg mixture.
  6. Whisk again until creamy.
  7. Using a spatula, fold in the nuts.
  8. Using an extra small scoop, place the batter in a prepared pan, about an inch apart.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven for exactly 8 minutes.
  10. Turn off the heat but leave the cookies to finish baking, about 20 minutes more.
  11. Carefully, remove the cookies from the nonstick matt and place them on a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!!! TIP: Feeling adventurous??? Dip the baked and cooled hazelnut cookies in a melted chocolate. Yes, everything does taste better with chocolate.
STORING: Keep these hazelnut cookies in an air tight container at a room temperature for up to 5 days.

Allergy Info: These hazelnut cookies are free from or can be made without dairy, corn, legumes (soy), wheat, and fish.

No comments:

Post a Comment