I was recently gifted the “Tartine” cookbook; a gorgeous hardcover book with an introduction by Alice Waters and pictures that make you want to lick the page. Those who remember my trip to San Francsico will remember my trip to Tartine (click here) and the delightful frangipane tart I enjoyed.
From that same post, you may recall this picture:
Those towering wizard hats are almond rochers–a simple meringue flavored with chopped almond that’s piped into a tower and baked until crisp. It’s precisely the cookie I wanted to attempt for my first Tartine cookbook recipe. And the result is precisely the cookie you see at the top of this post.
“Try this cookie,” I said to Craig when he came home and I offered him the tray.
“It looks like dog poo,” he responded.
It was true: my meringue towers never rose as grandly as those frosty traffic cones in the case at Tartine. Worse, they didn’t really taste that great. Granted, they were slightly burned on the bottom from a crusty old cookie sheet:
Craig took one bite and put it back on the tray and asked for ice cream. This was not a happy conclusion.
I’d end the story there, in a fit of despair, but happily the next day I bought Meyer lemons at Union Market and made my Hessa Meets Contessa lemon bars:
Zesty and bright and looking nothing like dog poo, my lemon bars flushed all bad memories of my failed almond rochers away.