Monday, May 07, 2007
Mondays with Maida - French Filbert Macaroons
Page 219 in the old book / page 246 in the new book
Funny that this cookie comes so soon after my revisit with its Italian cousin, Brutti ma Buoni, or as Maria Grammatico calls them, Belli et Brutti. Last time I tried that recipe which is made with almonds, I was thinking it might be interesting to try it with hazelnuts rather than almonds. Little did I know that I was just a couple of weeks away from trying Maida's take on that very thing. According to Maida, these cookies are traditional for Christmas in France.
Her version has not only the expected nuts, sugar and egg whites, but also a small amount of seedless black raspberry jam and finely minced candied cherries. There's not enough of either to provide more than a hint of flavor, but that's OK - hazelnuts are the star here and their flavor comes through loud and clear. What the jam and cherries do is help make the cookies moist and chewy. Hazelnut... moist and chewy... I think we have a winner!
These cookies are very easy to make. I used the food processor to grind the nuts and it worked well. I worried that I should add some sugar to prevent the ground nuts from turning to butter, but that was not a problem at all. I didn't get them ground quite as evenly as I'd hoped, but the few larger bits of nut here and there provided a nice texture.
Here's the panel...
Suzanne: "I enjoyed the taste of the cookie, but didn’t care for the texture. The texture was extremely chewy and I felt like I was chewing gummy bears. I think that it probably was the candied cherries that make the cookie so chewy. The cookie took too much work to enjoy. Rating - 3.0"
Laura: "Very moist and chewy. Lovely flavor of hazelnuts. Rating - 3.5"
Denny: "Excellent. Very tasty and not as crunchy as they look. Couldn't pick out the raspberry taste, but the cherries added to the overall excellence of the cookie. Minus one for no chocolate makes them a 3.5 for me. Surprisingly good since I'm not much for regular macaroons. Rating - 3.5"
Terri: "These are absolutely fantastic! If I closed my eyes while eating one of them, I'd think I was in a French pastry shop! These macaroons are chewy and have just the right amount of hazelnuts, jam, and candied cherries. They are all blended so well, one can see a slight reddish tint in the cookies. Rating - 5.0"
Overall rating by the panel - 3.8
Next week - Danish Butter Sandwiches