There are still many recipes in Tish Boyle’s The Good Cookie that I want to try and I’ve had my eye on this one for a while. I’ll tell you at the outset that it tastes fantastic, but it’s no good at all. Have a go at it after I’ve gone through a few iterations. It’s a texture thing.
I’m going to give you the recipe anyway. Grind together half a cup of slivered almonds, half a cup of hazelnuts and half a cup of caster sugar. If you have a terrific almost brand new blender, this will take seconds. If your almost brand new blender is taking a holiday in Western Australia you’ll need to do this in four batches in your twenty year old coffee grinder. I’m not bitter. Much.
In your far more reliable KitchenAid, mix 270 grams of butter with a third of a cup of brown sugar. I think this may be my problem. The recipe specifies 9 tablespoons of butter, and I’m using a conversion of thirty grams to the tablespoon. What kind of measurement is a tablespoon? Crazy Americans. Anyway, it’s clearly too much. Next time I make this, and I will, I’ll be using significantly less butter. Maybe just 200 grams. We’ll see. Beat in an egg. Beat in the ground nuts and sugar mixture, also half a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a quarter of a teaspoon of almond essence. Don’t mess with the flavours, they’re just right. Add one and a half cups of plain flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, one quarter of a teaspoon of ground cloves (you want them very finely ground, they’re very strong), and a quarter of a teaspoon of salt. Mix it up until it just comes together.
The second problem is that this is a very large amount of dough. The recipe suggests pressing two thirds of it into a lined square cake tin, spreading it with raspberry jam, then messing about with cutting the rest into strips and doing a fancy lattice arrangement on top with them. Because the dough was so soft with all the butter, the strips just blobbed in to each other. That’s another reason I think the butter measurement was wrong. I think next time I’d spread the dough out into a larger slice pan and possibly still do the lattice thing with the firmer dough. You’d need more than half a cup of raspberry jam, so buy more than one jar. Bake it at 160 degrees for about thirty five minutes.
You can see that it’s very soft, but the taste is sensational. It’s definitely going in my morning tea repertoire. Once I get it right.
Edited to note that a friend has very kindly pointed out, restraining herself from all forms of mockery, that a tablespoon is only fifteen grams. Doesn’t that explain a lot? In my very poor defence, I was clearly thinking of an oz. What better illustration could there be for the adoption of SI units?