Friday, October 26, 2007

Finnish Wafer Cookies

After making various breads, croquettes, and vegetable salads, I thought it was time to try more of a dessert-oriented recipe. This time - Finnish Wafer Cookies. The recipe looked quite straightforward -- butter, sugar, egg whites, flour and vanilla. Mixing the batter was simple. As I spooned the batter onto the cookie sheets, it reminded me of French tuile cookie batter -- fairly thin, sticky with sugar and egg whites.

The first tray baked without problem and I removed the cookies to a wire rack to cool. The cookies on the remaining trays, however, stuck to the nonstick surface like a very strong glue! About half of each cookie was left on the cookie sheet. As for the flavor/texture, I expected them to crisp up like tuiles. But, they remained kind of spongy and moist in texture. I used salted butter, which I think was a mistake. There was a slightly salty flavor.

After my mixed results, I decided to take a look at a tuile recipe to see how it compared. In the tuile recipe, there was about twice the amount of sugar, half the amount of eggs, and about the same amount of butter, flour and flavoring. The butter, however, was melted rather than solid. Also, the other key instruction was to heavily grease the baking sheet or to line it with parchment.

I decided to retry the recipe, this time using parchment, more sugar and fewer eggs, but leaving the butter solid. The flavor was better, however, the cookies did not crisp up. These cookies are best served soon after taking them out of the oven.

The Revised Recipe: Finnish Wafer Cookies
Makes approximately 3 dozen

1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 egg whites
1/4 cup plus 1.5 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment. Cream sugar and butter together, along with the vanilla. Little by little, add the egg whites. Mix in flour. Do not mix too much. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the lined baking sheets, forming small dots. Leave three to four inches between cookies, as the batter will spread when it is baked. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes, or until delicately browned. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for two to three minutes before removing to a wire rack. These cookies are best eaten the same day they are baked. They do not keep well in a sealed container.

The Original Recipe: Finnish Wafer Cookies
source: Recipes and Finnish Specialties, St. Paul Lutheran Church - Gloucester, MA

4 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
4 1/2 Tablespoons butter
4 egg whites
5 1/2 Tablespoons flour

Cream sugar and butter together, with a dash of vanilla. Then add, little by little, the egg whites. Mix in flour. Do not mix too much. Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet in small dots. Bake in a moderate over 350 for 5 min. or until delicately browned.

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