The Tartine Cookbook, Bite By Bite

Baking our way through the Tartine cookbook!

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Walnut Cinnamon Slices

Posted by bakingtartine on August 10, 2009

Saturday was an exciting day. We added another motorcycle to the family. Alex bought a 2001 Ducati Monster 750 with only 600 miles on it. That is crazy. That bike should not even exist with so few miles on it. But it does, and practically fell right into his lap. It was serendipity. He’s always liked Monsters but did not decide to start riding until about a month ago. It just so happened that his friends were trying to sell this bike that had been sitting around for years, and was Alex interested? Indeed he was. I rode it home and it was wonderful. I hope he loves riding it too!

Guess what else happened on Saturday? I made cookies. I know, I said it would be something with peaches but we missed the farmer’s market this week, so peaches will come later. Now you’re wondering, how can cookies even be worth mentioning when there’s a new Ducati in the house? You see, the cookies are significant. They contain nuts. Alex is not really a fan of nuts in sweets. Whenever we go to Santa Barbara I get this almond pastry from the bakery and I swear it’s one of the best tasting things I have eaten in my many years of eating. The first time I tasted it, my eyes popped out and I shoved it at Alex. “You HAVE to taste this!” Then I berated him for not chewing it slowly enough. “You have to SAVOR it!” Turns out Alex was just being polite, that he really doesn’t like nuts in pastries, and he was trying to gulp it down as fast as possible. Oh. The point is that I made these cookies and he ate them and liked them. And it wasn’t just to be polite, because this morning he asked for some to eat at work. He asked for cookies containing nuts.

Page, nuts

They are really simple to make. You beat butter and sugar together, add cinnamon and flour, stir in chopped walnuts, roll the dough into a log and stick it in the refrigerator for a few hours until it’s firm. Coat the dough in egg yolk and cream (I skipped the yolk and just used cream, just like I did with the galette) and roll in sugar.

Sugared, chilled dough

Slice the dough thinly and bake, and here’s where I think the book is wacky. Or my oven is wacky. The book tells you to bake for  7 minutes. At 7 minutes the cookies still looked doughy and shiny. 7 minutes later and they were finally dry looking so I removed them. The taste was good but I thought they’d be better toastier. The second batch stayed in for a full 20 minutes and they were my favorites. They had so much more flavor than the pale 14 minute cookies.Sliced and baked

We took some to Alex’s mom’s house to share with his family. The little kids loved them and asked for more. Kids! When I was a kid and a cookie had nuts, it was a sad thing because that cookie was ruined. Brownies, too. The only acceptable nut was the peanut, and the only acceptable form was peanut butter. These are simple little cookies, but if they can get a bunch of kids and a nut-phobic man to ask for more, they must be something special.mmmm, toasty!

Up next: Chocolate Pots de Crème!

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