Last night I debated what to make for this review. Delicious cranberry/chocolate cookies... or these unique and slightly odd looking French Christmas cookies. In the end, out of a desire to look maybe a bit more 'international,' I decided to go with the French.
I'm once again using the Canadian Living cookbook. On page 57 it says...
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, separated
3/4 tsp vanilla.
In bowl, whisk together flour, 3 tbsp of the sugar, and salt. With fork, cut in butter; stir in egg yolks and vanilla.
On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and holds together. Press into disc; wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll by 2 tsp into 2-inch long logs. In small bowl, whisk egg whites. With fork, dip each log into egg whites, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Roll in small bowl of remaining sugar.
Bake for 20-22 minutes at 325*F.
I should have known from the moment I opened my egg carton that things would not go well. Cracked eggs. Yes, there sitting in my carton was two cracked eggs. My baking time immediately became pushed back as I decided to clean the carton, clean the eggs, and then try to separate the eggs.
Now, I know how to separate eggs just as well as any other cookie baker... Well, maybe not Martha. Anyways, I really know how to do it. But last night it just would not work. I'd crack the egg open and the shell would splinter into a million pieces. I crack another egg and the yolk would automatically break. It took me four eggs to get the job done.
And then kneading the dough... the ingredients are so very dry that it takes a lot of kneading to get it all to stick together. Make sure you're not tired when you attempt this recipe. By the end of my kneading, the dry ingredients were well combined. But the end product looked a lot like a brain sitting on my kitchen table.
Also, these cookies really stick to your baking sheet after a dip in the egg white mixture and a quick roll in sugar. Be ready to scrape your pans... hard.
And, of course, the most important part... how do they taste?
Navettes Sucrees are sugary on the outside with a hard brittle like shell, and cakey and moist in the inside. The different consistencies almost make me want to call it French Twinkies... but I think I would offend French bakers everywhere with that analogy.
My final verdict? These cookies are a lot of work. They don't make me go 'mmmmmmm' with an explosion of intoxicating flavours after the first bite... nor after the last.
Maybe, if you really feel like being 'international,' give them a try... But, as of right now I am just a little bit regretting my decline to the cranberry/chocolate cookie that I oh so craved.