Mini Gâteaux Bretons

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Preparation info

  • Makes

    Thirty-eight

    1⅝ inch cookies
    • Difficulty

      Medium

    • Ready in

      15 min

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About

This classic French cake from Brittany makes the most buttery cookies I know. They will keep for as long as a week at room temperature, making them perfect for holiday gift giving.

Ingredients

Cookie Dough

Makes 13.4 ounces/380 grams

VOLUME WEIGHT
blanched sliced almonds ¼ cup 0.9 ounce 25 grams
superfine sugar (see Notes) ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons, divided 2.6 ounces 75 grams
fine sea salt (see Notes) teaspoon . 0.7 gram
unsalted butter, preferably high fat (or high-quality unsalted butter), 65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C (see Notes) 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) (or sticks) 4.5 ounces (or 5 ounces) 128 grams (or 142 grams)
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (35 ml) 1.3 ounces 37 grams
kirsch, dark rum, or water ½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) . .
pure vanilla extract ¾ teaspoon (3.7 ml) . .
bleached all-purpose flour 1 cup (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) plus ½ tablespoon 4.4 ounces 125 grams

    Method

    Preheat the Oven

    Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C.

    Toast the Almonds

    Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until pale gold. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting and avoid overbrowning. Cool completely.

    In a food processor, process the almonds with 2 tablespoons/0.9 ounce/25 grams of the sugar and the salt until fairly fine but not powder fine. Alternatively, use a nut grater to grate the almonds finely, and then combine with the 2 tablespoons sugar and the salt.

    Mix the dough

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix together the remaining sugar and the butter on low speed for about 1 minute, or until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

    On low speed, beat in the egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating for about 20 seconds between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the almond mixture, liquor or water, and vanilla and mix on low speed until the almond mixture is moistened. Beat for about 20 seconds until evenly incorporated.

    Add the flour in four parts, turning off the mixer between additions, and beating on the lowest speed for about 15 seconds between each addition. Detach the beater and, with a silicone spatula, finish mixing any flour that may remain, reaching to the bottom of the bowl.

    Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes, or until firm.

    Fill the Brioche Pans

    Scoop out rounded teaspoons of the dough (0.3 ounce/10 grams). Roll each piece of dough between the floured palms of your hands into a 1 inch ball and set it into a brioche pan. (Be sure to flour your hands or the gâteaux will stick to the molds when baked.) Press the dough balls into the pans. They will come almost to the top of each pan. If the dough is sticky, refrigerate the dough until firmer. Use your pinky finger to press the dough into the fluted edges. Set the dough-lined brioche pans at least ½ inch apart on the baking sheet.

    Bake the Gâteaux

    Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until deep golden brown. (An instant-read thermometer should read about 205°F/96°C.)

    Cool and Unmold the Gâteaux

    Set the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Use the needle to slip between one of the edges of the pan and the gâteaux to loosen it and invert it onto another wire rack. Cool completely.