Here’s a throwback to past holiday seasons. Brandy Snaps.
These used to be on offer a lot in my family home back in the 80s. I think my Dad was a bit if a fan. Turns out my good friend Andrew is too, because just before Christmas he was lamenting over not having had any in a while… which got me to thinking.
Its been a good 20 years since I made these, so about time! I filled them with cinnamon whipped cream with a healthy slug of bourbon. They are so great.
Remember that home made brandy snaps are far more delicate than commercial ones, so they soften very rapidly – after about 45 minutes. I forgot this the first time I served these and wound up with a (kind of wonderful) bourbon cream brandy snap trifle. Good both ways, I guess!
Brandy Snaps have a very simple mixture and bake up in about 5 minutes per tray.
The trickiest part of the whole exercise is rolling them around a mould while they are still hot, so that they can set in the traditional canoli cylinder shape.
You need a little patience to figure out how hot is too hot to handle, and how cool the Brandy Snaps can get before they won’t roll, but they really are very easy to do – and the best part is, if you break one or two in the process, there is all this caramelly goodness to snack on!
I find the best way to handle the brandy snaps is to let them cool for about 45 seconds on the tray, then attempt to lift the brownest cookie by the edge with a broad bladed knife. If it lifts easily, without stretching, you are ready to roll. Have a wooden spoon handle ready (about 1.5cm to 2.5 cm in diameter), flip the cookie over and roll it, bottom side out, over the spoon handle (it doesn’t actually matter which side faces out, but I find that the Brandy Snaps look lacier if the bottom side faces out. The photo above shows the top side facing out). For the first two cookies, I use my hand (which is much cooler than the cookie) to encourage it to set. The first two cookies off the sheet always take a little longer to set than the last two. You can set up the baking process so that you have two trays going at the same time: while you are rolling tray 1, you are baking tray 2.
The best thing about these little treats is that they keep for a month in an airtight container, so if you have a big batch, you can whip up some cream and fill some on demand. Perfect for a quick dessert when friends drop by.
Bourbon Cinnamon Brandy Snaps
1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed