If you go into a Patisserie in Denmark, you can find French Waffles for sale, they are generally the size of your palm and are extremely filling, but, oh so very good. I did indulge in a few when I lived in Denmark. But I think my mom made better ones.
Fast forward a few years, and I'm not saying how many, and I now make these cookies once a year, at Christmas and bring them as my offering to New Years parties. They're just different enough, and people love them. And they've started to look forward to those cookies, so I guess I'm stuck with making them. Which is not a problem, at all.
1 lb. Butter
1 lb. Flour (approximately 4 cups less 2 tablespoons)
12 Soupspoons Half and Half ( 7 Tablespoons, I just measured it out)
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles peas,
then add the Half and Half or light cream, mix together. Press it lightly together on the counter. In many respects this resembles a good pie dough, but is a lot more tender. This will feel like a really soft sticky dough, but it should.
I divide the dough into thirds or quarters and flatten them out into a disc shape or a log, then wrap that in a piece of plastic wrap and put in the fridge for about 4 hours or longer. I take out just a little of the dough at a time, about 20 minutes before I'm ready to roll it out. I don't want it really stiff, but do want it a little malleable.
While the dough is resting, prepare the sugar topping.
This is with a new twist, but it's a good one.
Last year when I made the cookies, I could not find regular granulated sugar and ended up using the extra fine granulated sugar for the tops. And while they were good, they just weren't right. At least in my book. You see, I used to be able to find a coarse sugar that was in the baking aisle for use in baking. Well, for topping baked goods. We call it Pearl Sukker, in Danish. I searched every single grocery store I was in this past year to see if any of them carried it. Not one. I could find colored sugar crystals, but not white.
Then one day I was stirring some raw sugar aka Turbinado sugar into my cup of tea and had a brainstorm. The crystals of the turbinado sugar were large and irregular in shape. Just the ticket I thought, so I made a note to try that the next time I made Fransk Vafler.
And I did.
I then baked them off and found out that the slight, very slight, molasses taste that the raw sugar has, actually accentuated the flavour of the cookies.
Now for the next step, I used the piping bag to place a small amount of frosting (AKA Best Ever Frosting) on each cookie, then sandwiched them together. You do have to be careful at this point, those cookies are delicate and if you crush any, you have to eat them. Don't ask me how I know this, I just do.
Good thing I did take a lot of pictures, cause there were no cookies left to take home. But we got our share before I took them with us.
I do know how to plan ahead, sometimes.
Fransk Vafler (French Waffles)
- 1 lb. Butter
- 1 lb. AP Flour (approximately 4 cups less 2 tablespoons
- 12 Soupspoons Half and Half (7 tablespoons)
- 1-2 cups Raw Turbinado Sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 5 tablespoons Flour
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup granualated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles small peas. Then add the half and half and mix together gently. Press it lightly together on the counter. In many respects this resembles a good pie dough, but is a lot more tender. This will feel like a really soft sticky dough, but it should.
- Divide the dough into thirds or quarters and flatten them out into a disc shape or a log, then wrap that in a piece of plastic wrap and put in the fridge for about 4 hours or longer. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take out just a little of the dough at a time, about 20 minutes before you're ready to roll it out. You don't want it really stiff, but do want it a little malleable. While the dough is resting, prepare the sugar topping.
- Using Raw Turbinado Sugar, sprinkle it in an even layer on a cutting board which has a runnel cut into it. (I find that this contains errant grains of sugar best) Roll the dough out very thin, almost 1/4 inch thick. Cut into rounds using a small cookie cutter (I use a small liqueur glass as I find it's the perfect size) Place the cut out rounds on top of the sugar, and using a rolling pin, press lightly down on the cut out rounds, pressing the sugar into the cookie. Place the sugar side up on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes, checking after 10 minutes. Remove from oven when they are golden and just turning brown. Take them off the pan and place onto a wire rack to cool. Once all the cookies are baked and cooled, you can fill them with either a buttercream filling or my favorite, an old fashioned frosting. Which you need to prepare a couple of hours earlier.
- Filling: Whisk the flour into the milk and cook over medium heat, whisking or stirring constantly until the mixture reaches a boil and simmers for a couple of minutes. It will be really thick. Remove from heat and let it cool for an hour or so. You can also place the pot in an ice bath, stirring it while it cools off. When the milk mixture has cooled, force it through a sieve to remove any lumps(I usually end with a few) Cream the sugar and butter together for a couple of minutes using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, and then add the cooked and cooled milk mixture, one third at a time. Whisk it together and whisk for at least 10 minutes or more, until the sugar has totally combined with the butter and milk mixture. This will become light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and continue to whisk for another minute. Use this mixture as a filling for the Fransk Vafler (French Waffles)
- Place the filling into a frosting bag and use to pipe the filling into the cookies. The filling goes on the bottom of the cookie, and you then sandwich them together with the sugared side out. These are very delicate, and may take a little practice to do. But you can always eat the evidence. After you fill the cookies place them back in the fridge for an hour or so, and let them firm up again.