Francois Payard's Cookie Secrets

Francois Payard shows his recipe for financiers and talks about his new cookie book

Almond-Vanilla Financiers
From Payard Cookies by Chef François Payard

14 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons almond flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
7 large egg whites
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Let it bubble and cook until it turns light golden brown. Whisk a couple times during the process to ensure that all the butter melts and browns evenly. Once it reaches the desired light brown color, immediately remove from the heat.

Into a medium bowl, sift together the granulated sugar, almond flour, all-purpose flour, and baking powder, then whish until they are evenly combined. Pour in the hot butter and whisk until everything is fully combined. If you wish, transfer the batter to a large measuring cup (which makes it easier to pour into the mold), or leave in the bowl; cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the flour to relax.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Spray a silicone financier mold with nonstick cooking spray or line a mini muffin pan with paper baking cups. If using a silicone mold, place it on a baking sheet.

Stir the batter, then pour just enough of it to fill the individual molds or muffin cups three-quarters full. If you prefer to pipe the batter, which is a more precise way to fill the small molds, transfer it to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch round pastry tip. You can also just cut a ¼-inch opening into the top of the pastry bag, and then pipe the batter into the molds. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the financiers are light golden brown, spring back when you lightly press on them, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let them cool completely in the mold, then store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days. Dust them with confectioners' sugar before serving.