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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Alpha Bakers: Hazelnut Praline Cookies

Hazelnut is my least favorite nuts, compared to walnuts, almonds, pecans, or cashews. So  when I saw this on the rotation schedule, my reaction should have been: "I'm gonna skip that." But I feel like baking this weekend and I really need to make up for lost time of being absent all summer, so here I am participating (do I get brownie points for this? :)).

This is a really interesting recipe. It's really easy to put together and the bonus is you learn a cool trick from Rose on how to easily peel hazelnuts. When I saw in the recipe that the first step is to peel the hazelnuts, I thought it's only because you don't want the bits of skin in the cookie dough. But then I realized that by peeling the hazelnuts, it allows you to roast them at a good temperature without burning them. I've made roasted mixed nuts before and the hazelnuts burn faster - I have thrown away a batch because I roast them at the same 350 degree temperature as walnuts and they burn and made my kitchen smell horrible. Now I know what to do - peel the skin!

I am also glad I made this recipe as these cookies are sooo good! They don't taste very strong like hazelnuts and more like yummy butter crunchy sweet stuff. I already ate a bunch and I'm gonna have to give the rest away to my friend so I don't eat all of them today.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Alpha Bakers: Sugar Rose Brioche

As I am trying to fit baking back into my weekend life, it occurred to me that I might be out of practice. Rose's recipes, as much as I love them and I love the author herself (she is a sweetheart), does require multiple steps. Knowing that Sugar Rose Brioche, from the name itself, is brioche, which does require extra steps and probably a course of 2 days, I read the recipe ahead of time to make sure that I would not miss anything.

I was so busy concentrating on the steps and the days (i.e. I have to start on Saturday for Sunday baking) that I completely and totally missed one of the first sentences on page 476 that clearly stated to double the recipe.


So again folks, I made 1/2 recipe, albeit unintentionally this time. It seems that 1/2 recipe is maybe my fate? I am okay with that :).

It was Sunday morning when I realized I had made 1/2 recipe, right before I start the Sugar Rose Brioche instructions on page 476. Oh well, damage is done. I went back to the storage room where I kept all my cake pans and took the 8 1/2 inch round spring form that I have.

It was quite fortunate that I have a smaller spring form pan, otherwise there might be more cussing in this blog post.