As elegant as these hazelnut financiers look, they’re as easy to whip up as muffins are. Discover a new sweet treat your guests will swoon over.
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Some ingredients are closely—almost intricately—connected to the holidays, and my favorite has to be cranberries. Although I cook with cranberries all year, I feel like my holiday baking sessions wouldn’t be complete without an overuse of the small, tart, bright red fruit.
Among my favorite things to make with cranberries are muffins (of course!), fudge, blondies, cookies, and even marshmallows. I love how the zingy taste of cranberries balances out the sweetness in desserts, much like lemon does. If you don’t like over-the-top sweet desserts, the cranberry should be your friend.
This year, I decided to make fresh cranberries the star of hazelnut financiers, a delicate mini-cake. Hazelnut financiers sound and look elegant, and they’re as easy to whip up as muffins are. Simply combine dry ingredients, mix in egg whites, and then butter. Bake—and voilà! You will be rewarded with sweet bites that stand out from the usual holiday line-up, and taste impressive.
You can find specialty financier molds that make rectangular-shaped cakes, but I simply use a mini muffin pan. Not only does using mini muffin paper cups save drawer space (I’m not sure I can fit yet another baking pan in my kitchen!), but it also makes unmolding the financiers a breeze. My favorite paper cups to use are those made of parchment paper material: they may be less decorative than other options, but they’re the easiest to remove from the cakes. They practically peel themselves off! This means that every last one of those delightful crumbs will end up in your belly, rather than stuck to the paper wrapper.
Brown butter is an essential ingredient in French financiers. Browning butter is an effortless French technique that turns regular butter into an incredibly aromatic, sophisticated ingredient you can use in savory and sweet dishes. Learn how to make it by watching my short how-to video!
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