Brandy Snaps

Crispy and lacy, these cookies will brighten your day from the first crunch. # 171: Brandy Snaps

If you’re looking for a boozy cookie, you’ll have to keep searching. Truly defining the phrase ‘false advertising’, these old-fashioned English cookies have absolutely no brandy in them. What?! Apparently the name comes from the term “branded” which refers to the “burned” or caramelization aspect of their baking process. Their crunchy sweetness will help you get over your indignation.

They’re essentially lightly-spiced ginger lemon caramel crisps, twisted into fun shapes before they cool. The most common shape I’ve seen is a basic cylinder, reminiscent of a cannoli (yum). My cannoli molds made another appearance – of course. The recipe said to use a thick-handled spoon but all of my spoons are wimpy and skinny. I had no choice but to level up!

Another shape I had to try was a basket – how cute is that?? Instead of shaping the molten cookie around a cannoli mold, you drape it over a skinny jar or the bottom of a water glass, and voila! Delicate lacy basket ready to be filed with cream and berries.

When they were featured on the Great British Bake Off as a technical challenge, the recipe called for a whipped cream filling. I decided to copy them exactly and ignore my need to add chocolate to everything I bake. But for next time, wouldn’t a dark chocolate coating on the inside be so so good? It would be a hybrid between a classic brandy snap and my favorite lacy almond cookies.

Honey and brown sugar sweeten these fancy guys instead of refined white sugar. In no way, shape or form are they healthier but they kinda have that feel, don’t they? Look at me being all natural with my local honey.

Buckle up folks – it’s time to make some caramel! Unlike some caramel recipes where you’re not supposed to stir them for fear of crystallization, this one includes a liquid-y form of sugar (honey) and loves stirring. I’ve found that when a caramel calls for corn syrup or honey, you can stir without fear of seizing or unwanted sugar crystals.

Adding lemon, ginger and flour to the caramel to give it some structure for baking.

It. Smells. So. Good. I’m not a huge ginger cookie fan, but one sniff and these got me.

Wait for it to cool a little bit so it thickens enough to hold a shape when dolloped on the pan. Then get ready for a little cookie/oven dance! You want to be able to shape the cookies right out the oven, so you bake them in small batches and try your best to not burn your fingers.

Oo la la!

Roll each one around a cannoli mold and press the overlapping parts to seal. It’s amazing how quickly they cool and solidify!

I thought it was gonna be really difficult to get them off the molds, but they literally slid right off. Must be thanks to the incredible amount of butter involved – butter saves the day yet again!

Whipped up some chantilly cream to finish off the elegant lil shells.

The only thing that could make this picture better would be a sprinkling of fresh blueberries. Alas, shelter-in-place is messing with my style. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for when I can go to the grocery store every other day to just get one or two things on a whim. What a freaking luxury I took for granted before quarantine. Luckily, these are good without fresh fruit!

Happy munching!

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