Croquets 36.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Book Report Nov 12, 2014

The dough for these croquets is patted out into two logs, like biscotti. And, as with biscotti, after the dough is baked you wait a few minutes and then cut the logs. But unlike biscotti, croquets are not twice-baked, and they're not as well behaved. They're bound to crack some when you cut them, and their imperfection is part of their charm.

In testing, we found that the dough was more workable than the original recipe's warnings indicated.

Make Ahead: You can make croquets up to 2 weeks before serving if they are stored at room temperature in a dry place. Only humidity will spoil them.


Servings:
36

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 36 servings; makes 36 cookies

Ingredients
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 4 ounces whole almonds, preferably unblanched, very coarsely chopped (may substitute macadamia nuts, cashews or hazelnuts)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

Directions

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. The mixture will turn pure white and will look like a thick, heavy meringue frosting. (If you’re using a hand mixer, you might want to switch to a sturdy wooden spoon for the next step.) Reduce the speed to low and mix in the nuts. Still on low speed, add the flour, mixing until it is fully incorporated. The dough will be heavy and sticky and might ball up around the paddle; it will be more like nougat candy than cookie dough.

Use a flexible spatula (or your wooden spoon) to transfer half of the dough to one long side of the lined baking sheet, spreading it into a log that’s 12 inches long. Repeat with the other half, placing it on the other side of the baking sheet. Use your fingertips to flatten the logs to a thickness of about 1/2 inch; they will be about 3 inches wide. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light brown, puffed and cracked. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire cooling rack; let the logs cool for 10 minutes.

If it looks as though the logs are stuck, slide a thin spatula under them to loosen them, then carefully transfer them to a cutting board. Use a long serrated knife to saw each log into cookies 1/2- to 2/3-inch thick. Some of the slices might break, and you're bound to have lots of crumbs and shards. Allow the cookies to cool fully and crisp for about 1 hour before serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Baking Chez Moi," by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014).

Tested by T. Susan Chang and Susan Liebenow.

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