A Christmas cooky masterpiece.
Looking like roughhewn jewels, Western-grown nuts are framed by these grandscale caramel cookies. Thin, crisp, and shiny, they make striking desserts or impressive gifts. Fragile to bite, the cookies are much easier to make and sturdier to handle than they look. The process is simple-but it requires some careful attention.
As the caramel around the nuts bakes, it spreads into a very thin layer 5 to 6 inches in diameter. You can bake only a few cookies at a time.
While hot, the caramel is soft. As it cools, the cookies become rigid. Tbe trick is to get them off the pan after they harden enough not to stretch and tear, but before they get so brittle they break.
Stored airtight, these cookies stay crisp. If you want to make them more than a week ahead, they should be frozen for best flavor. If you're giving them away, handcarry them-very carefully.
To create a striking visual effect and an easier-than-pie dessert, tuck a cooky vertically into a bowl of your favorite flavor of ice cream.
Nut Lace Cookies
1/4 cup (1/8 Ib.) butter or margarine
1/4 cup each light corn syrup and firmly
packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup mixed whole or half almonds,
hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans,
pine nuts, pistachios, and
walnuts, plain or salted (or any
combination of these nuts)
In a 1- to 2-quart pan, melt butter over low heat. Add corn syrup and brown sugar. Stir over high heat until boiling. Remove pan from heat and blend in flour and nuts.
Grease and flour 12- by 15-inch or 14- by 17-inch baking sheets (they must be flat, not warped). For each cooky, place 2 tablespoons of the nut mixture about 8 inches apart on the sheet-put only 2 cookies on a pan at a time.
With your fingers, push nuts apart into a 3- to 4-inch circle or oval. Bake in a 350' oven until cookies are a rich golden brown, about 10 minutes (if you have 2 pans in the oven, alternate positions at midpoint to ensure even browning).
Remove cookies from oven and let them cool on the pan until they firm up slightly, about 2 minutes; to test, slide a spatula under a corner. If the cooky is stretchy, wait just a few seconds longer. If it is hard, slide spatula under carefully and lift onto a rack. If cookies get too hard and stick to pan, return to oven to soften slightly.
When cool, serve, or immediately package airtight in rigid container. Cookies absorb moisture and lose their !Crispness quickly. If you stack the cookies in the containers, separate each layer with a sheet of waxed paper to protect them from breaking and sticking together. Hold at room temperature up to I week, or freeze up to 1 month. Makes 10.
Per cooky (made with 1/2 salted nuts): 178 cat; 1.9 g protein; 16 g carbo. ; 12 g fat; 12 mg chol.; 118 mg sodium.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Date:||Dec 1, 1988|
|Previous Article:||Christmas 1888 in 1988.|
|Next Article:||Workshop whimsy.|