I’m not exactly sure what to say about Valentines Day. Its coming up as you probably know. The stores are lined with pink, red, and white. Every type of candy is shaped in hearts. There are way too many balloons and all of the sudden grown people want and give stuffed animals. Its kind of strange.
I’m not a stuffed animal kind of girl. Never have been. When I was in 8th grade my friend Kandace had a boyfriend that gave her like six stuffed animals for Valentines Day. I laughed. I was probably secretly jealous too. Mostly because a boy gave her something. And I wanted a boy to give me something, dang it!
My dad is very sweet to me when it comes to V-day. He’s never been one to share his feelings or be overly emotional, but he’ll always give me a little something on the 14th of February. Usually a rose or some other type of flowers. Sometimes a little chocolate too. Something to make me feel special. Loved. Noticed.
My most favorite of these small tokens was a simple card. My dad had written me a letter about love, longing, and the desires of a little girl’s heart. He gave me something that I needed far more than chocolate or flowers. He gave me words that affirmed my heart and encouraged me to love well. Thats just what my 16 year-old self needed.
We all need different things. Some people need stuffed animals. Some chocolate. Some words. And some nothing but the company of another that loves them.
And I like to give gifts. Of the baked variety. Something special and out of the ordinary. Unless you really just want chocolate chip cookies… then I’ll give you those.
But! If you want to make someone something special this V-day might I suggest a tuile filled with deliciousness? I think its a good way to go. They’re like fun little cigars that you get to eat instead of smoke. Its way better. Trust me.
These are filled with a hazelnut cream which is smooth and nutty. However, if I were to make them again I would probably throw some chocolate in the mix. Like a whipped chocolate hazelnut ganache. Uh, yum!
Then package them up all pretty like and share them with some one you love.
Maybe even write them a little note filled with sweet words.
Hazelnut Cream Tuiles
Recipes from Martha Stewart
Makes about 2 dozen
For the tuiles
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved (I didn’t have a bean so I added another 1/4 tsp extract)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
For the hazelnut cream
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins rubbed off with a kitchen towel while still warm
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the egg whites, extract, and vanilla seeds. Mix in flour and salt until just combined.
- On a lined baking sheet, spoon 1/2 Tbsp of batter and spread out with an offset spatula to about a 4 inch round. Repeat forming 3 more rounds and space them about 2 inches apart.
- Bake until golden about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and place sheet on a wire cooling rack. Quickly remove one tuile at a time, rolling around the end of a wooden spoon with a 1/4 in thick handle. Hold around spoon until tuile hardens, about 10 seconds. Repeat with remaining cookies. If cookies become too cool to shape put them back in the oven for about 30 seconds and try again.
- For the cream, place nuts in a food processor and process until they are a course meal. Set aside 3 Tbsp and transfer the rest to a medium bowl. Add butter, cream, sugar, and salt and stir until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag with a plain round tip. Pipe filling into one end of a tuile until the cookie is half way filled then pipe into opposite end until tuile is filled. Dip ends in reserved hazelnut meal. Repeat with remaining cookies.
- Store filled tuiles in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store unfilled tuiles in airtight container for up to 1 week.
Tips: I tried to speed up the process by heating both my ovens and baking two trays filled with 6 dollops of dough. Bad idea! Too many tuiles waiting to be rolled equaled a mini disaster. So just take it slow and steady. Bake 4 at a time. Drink some tea. Take a deep breath. You could sheet up an extra try to put in the oven while the first batch is being rolled. Thats just efficiency! But don’t try to spread dough on a warm pan. It makes a mess… trust me.