Friday, May 22, 2009

[Cookie 016] Cassis Crisps

Chambord Crisps 3

I am not old enough to buy alcohol. Being a college student, you can probably guess why this is a pain for a variety of reasons, but one of the most aggravating would be simply because I can't cook anything in college that requires wine or liqueurs. I can't make fancy pastries that require vodka for the crust (okay, maybe I can, but it's just not worth the hassle and potential humiliation of being carded), and I wouldn't be able to make these Cassis Crisps, especially because even if I was 21, I probably wouldn't want to throw down a bunch of cash for some expensive liqueur.

Chambord, for Crisps

Enter: Mom and Dad's liquor cabinet. Yes! Problem solved! This summer, I'm making sure to make all the recipes that call for alcohols, spirits, liqueurs, what have you, and I started with these cookies that call for Creme de Cassis. We actually didn't have any of that, but we did have Chambord, which Martha says is an equally fine substitute. The raspberry flavor and smell of the liqueur makes the dough taste very, very sweet and delicious, but after you bake the cookie, it becomes much more subtle and really excellent. Plus, while in the oven, your kitchen will smell divine.

Sifted Flour for Chambord Crisps

The recipe for the dough is shockingly simple and pretty bare-bones. Actually, I was worried that these cookies wouldn't come out very tasty because of this, and I had overall low expectations for them. However, adding a whole 1/4 cup of Chambord makes a huge difference, and gives the cookies a really interesting, fruity flavor, while still producing a very mellow, perfect-for-afternoon-tea, mild biscuit-cookie. Sprinkling course sugar (I chose turbinado sugar) on top gives them a much needed bit of added texture.

Chambord Crisps

I did, however, have a couple of minor issues with these that were mostly a result of the recipe itself. The recipe asks you to roll the dough to about 1/4" thickness (check), and then cut the dough into 3" squares. Take out your ruler. That's HUGE! I truly have trouble believing that if I did that, I could ever come close to making the 2 1/2 dozen cookies that the recipe says it yields. So, I made the cookies closer to 2" squares and popped them in the oven. I ended up having to bake them much longer than the recipe called for in order to get them golden all over, and in the end the cookie was never "crisp." They came out more biscuit-like; maybe a little crunchy around the edges, but never uniformly crisp and crunchy (which is how Martha categorized these cookies).

Oh well, it doesn't matter! My family loved them, and I got to make them without busting out the fake ID that I definitely don't have.

Chambord Crisps 2

Cassis (or Chambord) Crisps
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

  • 2 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup creme de cassis
  • Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs and creme de cassis, and mix until combined. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until smooth.
  2. Divide dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic; refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. Working with 1 half at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick, and cut into 3-inch squares. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Reroll scraps; repeat with remaining dough.
  3. Bake cookies until golden brown all over, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 1/5
Ingredient Accessibility: 3/5 (You only have to worry about the alcohol)
Tastiness: 4/5
Attractiveness: 3/5
Is it worth it?: Yes


Barbara E said...

Wonder if they should have been thinner. Are you sure you got them 1/4 inch? Anwyay they were/are delicious. Think I'll go downstairs right down and get one. I love your blog!

jfklds said...

I love your blog too! and all desserts with fancy liquor as an ingredient.