I stopped into Barnes & Noble recently to pick up a cake cookbook. One of the feature tables was all French-themed, so I stopped to browse. I’ve been to the airport in France, seen the Eiffel Tower from the air, but haven’t had a chance to visit. I want to so so so bad. Maybe someday. Anyway, a book caught my eye called Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Baird. “A love story, with recipes”, the front cover read, and about 2 seconds later I was standing in line to pay. Elizabeth is an American living in London when she meets her future husband, who lives in France. She moves there to live with him, and writes about her experiences, both in love and cooking. I’m loving it so far, and was eager to try one of the recipes.
I’ve never heard of chouquettes, and there were no pictures to guide me on what they were supposed to look like; just a delicious-sounding description. The recipe seemed simple enough, so I thought I would give them a try.
These are so light and airy, they’re just dying to go with a cup of coffee or tea. I knew they reminded me of something, and I could put my finger on it, when I remembered exactly what they’re like– the Polish angel wing cookies my grandma used to make. An eggy dough with lots of powdered sugar for dusting. I love them and they came together in a snap. I can see me making these very often to have around the house for breakfast. (I can also see me drizzling them with chocolate, but no one has to know.)
To start, gather your ingredients. I think the only thing I had to go out and buy was whole milk. We just don’t use a lot of milk, and I don’t typically buy whole milk. The recipe only calls for 1/2 cup, so I bought one of the snack sized bottles.
Remove from heat and add the flour gradually, stirring constantly.
Add the eggs, 2 at a time. Stir lots in between, you’ll get a great arm workout. The batter winds up being very sticky. It doesn’t seem like it’s possibly ready to go on a cookie sheet, but it is.
Start them in the oven at 425 for 10 minutes, then turn to heat down to 400 and stick a wooden spoon in your oven door to help it vent. They’ll turn a nice golden brown after 10-12 minutes. When you take them out of the oven, load them up with some more powdered sugar.
Et voila! They’re ready for you to
eat in one sitting serve to your friends. And then you can brag about how you’ve mastered the art of French cooking. Have any of you ever had a choquette, or am I the only one that had no idea?
Chouquettes from Lunch in Paris
Credit: Elizabeth Bard
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1 3/4 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt (or 1 scant teaspoon fine sea salt)
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for decoration
Preheat oven to 425.
In a saucepan over low heat, combine milk, butter, water, sugar, and salt. Bring just to a boil, turn off the heat, and add the flour while stirring constantly. Stir until the dough comes away from the pan.
Quickly add 2 eggs, and stir to incorporate. Add the remaining 2 eggs and stir until smooth. The batter will be thick and sticky. (You can choose to bake it now or refrigerate the dough for up to 1 day.) Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using teaspoons, drop heaping spoonfulls of dough onto the cookie sheets.
Bake 1 sheet at a time. Just before putting in the oven, sprinkle with generous amounts of powdered sugar. If baking immediately: Bake 10-12 minutes at 425, then turn oven heat down to 400. Put a wooden spoon in the door of the oven to keep it vented.
If baking straight from the fridge: 15 minutes at 425, then 12 minutes at 400 with the door ajar.
Eat right out of the oven or cool on a wired rack. Dust with additional powdered sugar prior to serving, if desired.
In other news, I found out a few days ago that my
zombie parts cartilage graft is on it’s way, which means I’ll be having surgery tomorrow! Eeek! I’m a whole ball of emotions, and sort of dreading what’s to come. It’s going to be a long, hard, painful recovery. I’ll be completely non weight-bearing on my right leg for 6 weeks. That means no baking, no cooking, no carrying anything I need from one room to the other. No swimming, no shopping, no going to the dog park. I am going to have a serious case of the stir-crazies by the end of this whole thing, but I am ready to put this all behind me. (I might even get to go back to work by the end of 2015!)
So, I’ve been busy getting the house ready and such. I’ll be celebrating my birthday from the couch, and healing, healing, healing! I’ll be posting my updates and any other things I find exciting. (I think my exciting threshold is about to change…) Send me your good vibes & prayers!