Monday, October 08, 2007
Mondays with Maida - Basler Brunsli
Page 258 in the old book / page 276 in the new book
At times like this, I find myself wishing there were a few photos in the book. These cookies are supposed to be bars, but between my messy cutting and a dough that probably could have (and should have) been stiffer, they were more like squarish blobs. But I'm not going to complain much, because aside from appearance they turned out as advertised. They were indeed "light colored and crisp on the outside -- dark, moist, and chewy on the inside".
And sweet. Oh my gosh are they sweet. They have a lovely complex flavor, that tempers the sweetness slightly, but these cookies are still achingly sweet. Several ingredients contribute to their unique taste - chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, and kirschwasser. No one dominates, instead they meld together into something that is dark and delicious.
The dough, which is basically a meringue with ground almonds and the above mentioned chocolate, cinnamon, cloves and kirsch, is formed into a rectangle and left for an hour to firm up before being cut into bars. My dough was still pretty soft and gooey, so even though I managed to cut the bars using a wet knife as Maida suggested, I found they had generally healed up by the time I got around to transferring them to the cookie sheets. Next time I would cut a row at a time and move them before cutting more. Once on the cookie sheets the bars must sit for another four hours before baking, so this is a recipe you plan your day around :)
Here's the panel...
Suzanne: "The spices really threw me off. They taste like they should be in a pumpkin pie, but here they are in a meringue cookie with almonds and chocolate. This is a very interesting and different taste. Meringue cookies are not my favorite since they tend to be so sweet, but because they were so different I’ll rate them as a 4. Rating - 4.0"
Denny: "OK, minus one for not tasting like chocolate with all the spices. Unusual taste - not bad, just unusual. Couldn't taste the almonds either. Rating - 2.0"
Laura: "Crunchy exterior with melt-in-your-mouth chew gooey nutty insides. Yum! Rating - 4.5"
Terri: "These are outstanding! These meringue type cookies are very tasty with a wonderful assortment of spices. Just the right amount of chocolate and almonds too. As with meringue cookies, these are on the sweeter side. Rating - 5.0"
Overall rating by the panel - 3.9
Next week - Hazelnut Rusks