After rummaging through several articles on brandy snaps in all their versatility and wondrous simplicity, there was one common theme:
“It’s a shame they aren’t more popular in the US”
Well yes, it’s a darn shame. They are quite the delectable treat after all but I’ve got a little secret I’d like to share with you and I’ll ask it in a rhetorical way:
What is golden syrup? Where can I buy golden syrup in the States?
Unfortunately golden syrup is not a pantry staple/commonly sold in supermarkets in the US and ordering a case on Amazon seems a bit excessive. Until then, I’ve stumbled across two alternatives using molasses and corn syrup. Both have been ridiculed by the international community as poor substitutes, but hey, this girl’s curiosity and obsession with making sweets must be satisfied. Somehow.
So the trials begin. The first recipe utilizes molasses. I personally find the smell of molasses overpowering and just plain ol’ stinky but the recipe deserved a fair try. Perhaps it produced a pretty picture but the taste of molasses was much too overpowering and that lovely brandy cream didn’t stand a chance against the molasses.
Next recipe. Corn syrup….shhh, it’s like a swear word.
The color seemed a bit more pleasant to the eye and that molasses stench was no where to be found. The flavor was much more subtle allowing the brandy cream flavor to shine bright like a diamond.
Oops, the radio is playing that song way too much…
So the verdict is to stick with corn syrup unless you have the elusive golden syrup.
Unless you have a cannoli mold, before you start the recipe, find any kitchen objects that are cylindrical in shape (think whisk handles, dough rollers, wooden spoon handles, etc…).
After you’ve shaped the brandy snap into a pretty cylinder and moved onto the next one, you’ll need to keep making sure the brandy snap stays in a cylindrical shape by pinching the edges. Otherwise face a deflated, sad looking brandy snap.
For the cookie:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon brandy or cognac
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
For the filling:
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brandy (more to taste)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.
For cookies, place butter, white sugar, and brown sugar, and corn syrup in medium saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir with a wooden spoon until butter is melted and mixture is blended. Allow to bubble and cook for one minute, then turn of heat. Stir in flour, ginger, salt, and brandy.
Drop level tablespoonfuls of batter about 3 inches apart onto cookie sheet, spacing to fit 4 cookies on sheet. Bake one cookie sheet at a time, about 10-12 minutes or until bubbling in the oven and golden brown.
When just cool enough to handle, usually within 1 minute, remove each cookie from baking sheet and quickly wrap around wooden spoon handle to form a cylinder. Press the seal of the brandy snaps gently together (If cookies become to firm to wrap, return to oven 10 to 15 seconds to soften.)
Slide cookies off the mold and set them on a cool plate. Repeat with remaining cookies. Be prepared to slightly reshape cookies as they cool. Fill (pipe) with cream filling when completely cool.
Adapted from Pioneer Woman and TLC How Stuff Works