One of the things I like about Chocolate With Francois is it challenging my baking abilities! Boy does it challenge my baking abilities! If I look back over the past months of Chocolate With Francois, I've had more failures than successes. However, those successes are fantastic. what keeps me coming back is hoping that month's recipe will be another success. Unfortunately, this month's wasn't that next success.
Payard's explains Cracaos are a traditional European cookies. There isn't a picture of these cookies in the book. Being a visual person, I searched for Cracaos. Nothing, except a reference to the recipe in this book. Interesting! I am not sure I have ever baked anything that you can't find on the internet.
The recipe goes together easily. The challenging part for me began with the shaping of the cookies. Francois instructs the baker to roll the dough to 6 x 5 1/2 x 1 1/2, chill and then cut into 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 1/4 strips. I realized you have to cut the dough in half to get to 1/4. I decided to cut mine into stars. The dough was hard to work with and tricky to cut into shapes. I halved the recipe and ended up with 12 stars. The recipe calls for a baking time of 10 - 12 minutes. I think because of the larger shape of mine, they required a little longer baking time. After about 17 minutes, I opened the door to pull them out and check on them. I touched my forearm on the oven door. Hot oven and my reflexes made me jump. All but three cookies were either in the oven or on the floor in pieces.
I picked up the pieces, salvaged the good ones and placed them on a rack to cool. Once they'd cooled, I tried a couple of the pieces. I thought they were blah! Not at all what I expected. Since these cookies have toasted pistachios and walnuts, I thought they would be packed with flavor.
I am looking forward to seeing what this month's host, Astheroshe and my fellow CWF bakers thought of these and how their Cracaos turned out.