Monday, 22 June 2009

Dorie Greenspan's Croq-Tele (TV Snacks)

The quest to work my way through the whole of "Paris Sweets" continues with Patisserie Arnaud Larher's Croq-Teles. The name translates as "TV crunches", as they are an ideal substitute for popcorn or crisps. I made the hazelnut version, with ready ground nuts as I don't have a food processor.


These little biscuits were deliciously moreish, and the recipe introduction promised "up-front saltiness". However, I found them only a tad salty, and should have added much more salt to get that sweet-savoury taste. I don't know if this is because I have a mild salt addiction, or just the European habit of putting salt in everything! I find "Paris Sweets" an interesting book because Dorie Greenspan often comments on recipes from an American viewpoint. Sometimes I agree with her, and sometimes her comments seem so strange to me! I guess that is as close as I will get to proof that I am more at home in Europe than in the special relationship.

The dough is incredibly dry and crumbly, and reminded me a lot of making shortbread. The mixture barely holds together, so you have to squish it quite hard to get the balls to form.

A Stack of TV Snacks

Croq-Tele (adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets)

75g ground almonds
25g ground hazelnuts
100g sugar
1tsp vanilla sea salt
140g plain flour
100g unsalted butter, cubed

1) Preheat the oven to 180c, and line a large baking sheet.
2) Mix the ground nuts, sugar and salt together in a bowl, making sure there are no lumps.
3) In another bowl, crumble the flour and butter together, either using your fingertips or a pastry blender. The mixture should look like breadcrumbs.
4) Add the nut-sugar mixture, and combine. The dough should come together but be quite fragile. Tip it on to the worktop and squidge it together to form one lump.
5) Pinch of small pieces of dough and form in to rough balls. You should be able to get about 50 cookies from the mixture, so each ball should be about the size of a cherry.
6) If you have a large baking tray, you might be able to fit all of the cookies on, otherwise you'll need to do two batches. They don't spread much in the oven, so they'll only need 1.5-2cm gaps between them.
7) Bake the cookies for between 10-15 minutes. They should be set but not browned.
8) Cool them on the baking tray for 3 minutes, if you pick them up too early they'll crumble.
9) Once hardened, transfer them to a cooling rack. Try not to eat them all immediately!

EDIT: Just found the original recipe and commentary online.