Tuesday, December 15, 2009

{TWD} Cafe Volcano Cookies


If I didn't already love MacDuff of the blog Lonely Sidecar - and I did already love her fabulously written, wry, and observant blog posts - I would love her solely for the cookies she chose this week for Tuesdays with Dorie. The recipe is dead easy (if extremely unusual); with one pot and a couple of ingredients, these cookies were in the oven in a matter of minutes.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- This may be the oddest cookie I've ever made. It seemed improbable from the ingredients and the method that they would work out. Chopped toasted nuts are heated in a pot with sugar, egg whites and espresso powder, then dropped in blobs onto a cookie sheet and baked. I double and triple checked the recipe, expecting that it would require beating the egg whites, but it didn't. How wonderful to have a recipe with no special equipment or techniques!

- I had a bunch of egg whites hanging around the fridge - perfect for this recipe. The rule of thumb I use is 30 g per egg white.

- These are a good choice for anyone avoiding dairy products or grains.

- Because my cookie sheets are dark, I baked the cookies at 340 degrees for 15 minutes and they were perfect. They really did puff in the oven!

- I got around 33 cookies, which was just right. I'd say not to make them too small because the soft centers are the best part of these cookies.


the verdict

The first thing I noticed when sampling one of these cookies was strong taste of toasted nuts. But then I noticed the texture: a lovely chewy inside with light crunchy outside. The coffee flavor was a great balance for the nuttiness of the cookie.

I've become a real fan of nuts so I really enjoyed these. They are a great break from rich and gooey cookies and are a wonderful choice for anyone avoiding dairy and/or grains. I gave the cookies to my good friend who has celiac disease; she - and her family - really enjoyed the cookies. These are not a crowd pleasing recipe, but are lovely in their own right.

I quickly baked up another variation: maple/pecan/walnut, using maple sugar rather than white sugar, and pecans instead of almonds. I would have used only pecans, but when I was trying to replenish my pecan supply at Trader Joe's, there were none to be had, and I heard rumors of a pecan shortage. The maple flavor was subtle but good; these were winners also!


Thanks, MacDuff, for the fabulous pick this week! You made me, my friend, and her family, very happy. The recipe is on MacDuff's blog or on page 153 of Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

23 comments:

Mary Ann said...

These were a surprise! I also checked the recipe multiple times because I just knew it couldn't be as easy as it seemed.
I love your flavor combinations. I will have to try them with maple syrup since some of the people I sent them to said they were a fave!

Kayte said...

Look very very beautiful, I love how you styled them like that. You saw that whole plate of cookies on my site? Well, the reason there is no "taste tester" photo this week is that he ate them all before I could get a photo. I kid you not. Mark had two. I had one. Matt ate the rest. He loved them, maybe I should have just shot a picture of the empty plate with a few crumbs instead of the one with him each week for his Godmother to see. LOL.

MacDuff said...

Love it! I read your PandQ about maple sugar, and that's something I think I'd like to try out. And I loved these cookies too. They reminded me of those bags of roasted nuts with all the cinnamon and stuff, and then a really gooey caramel. Thank you so much for all the kind things you said about my blog - you know I check yours first thing every week!

Sweet and Savory said...

I have a feeling that there were a lot of us looking for the place where it says, beat those egg whites until stiff. How nice, not to have to.

This was a delicious cookie. Note, everyone's looks different.

My husband has celiac so like you, I found these are great for gluten free guys and gals.

Karen said...

What a fun variation on these! :) Glad they turned out so well for you. Mine were quite hard..

Debbie said...

I think I'll try the maple version...sounds great.

Clivia said...

That must be the maple in your photos. I colour is so lovely and rich. A great variation!

Katrina said...

Reading your write up makes me want to sneak into the kitchen and have another.
I did bake one sheet for 20 minutes and one sheet for only 17 and can tell which are which and I Like the 17 minute ones better. Note--don't bake too much. (And I've learned my oven bakes hot, so I should have just done that in the first place.

Erin said...

What a genius variation! Nice job.

Tracy @ Sugarcrafter said...

These sure look delicious!

Jessica said...

You know, I was looking for pecans at Trader Joe's the other day to no avail, too. I just paid through the nose for them at Whole Foods so I can make the next TWD.
I love all of your different flavor combinations. I just made a half batch this time (thanks for the advice!) but when I make them again I'll have to revisit your post.

Susan said...

Love the sound of your variations! I may have to try them. I am baking round two today. Round one was just like the recipe. This round, cocoa powder and hazelnuts and pecans. They look almost as good as yours!

pinkstripes said...

Your cookies look great!! The maple pecan version sounds delicious. Did you use espresso powder in that one too?

Leslie said...

These were hard cookies to make look beautiful but your photos look great! How kind of you (no surprise!) to think of your friend with celiac disease. I loved your maple sugar idea and have egg whites in the fridge... Love the versatility of these!

Gabe's Girl said...

What a neat sounding cooking. I wonder how they would be used as a crumb topping? I have got to try these. The maple addition sounds great. I asked my sister to give me pecans for Christmas. I really hope she delivers. They are so expensive but so good to bake with!

vibi said...

I was like you... even if everyone says they were magical, whimsical, almost out of this world, I thought they were great tasting but oh! so odd to make!

Yours look pretty darn perfect! and am sure were just as tasty!

Di said...

I'm going to have to try these once I have a bit more time. I like the idea of making them with pecans.

margot said...

Your cookies look wonderful and your variations sound delicious! You're making me happy I stocked up on pecans at TJ's few weeks ago; I hadn't heard about the shortage.

Natashya Kitchen Puppies said...

I love the sound of these, such an interesting technique!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

oh, i love that second version...pecans always make cookies tastier!!

Engineer Baker said...

My favorite part was biting into them and tasting that very strong toasted nut flavor - so wonderful! I used pecans too, and they made the cookie. Definitely try the cocoa version sometime too!

Tracey said...

Your photos are really, really nice - love the styling! I am starting to feel like I'm one of the only people who didn't enjoy these this week. Your maple variation sounds good - I just wish I liked nuts more so I could try these again.

natalia said...

Ciao ! Beautiful cookies and beautiful photos !!