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Lace cookie science?

Amypeanut | Apr 17, 201506:52 PM

I was making lace cookie for the first time and was wondering what is it that makes these cookies spread and not rise. The method is a little similar to choux pastry, where you also melt the butter in a sauce pan first. But choux pastry puffs up and lace cookies spread and create holes. Of course the ingredients are different and all. I'm so curious and it's kinda killing me not knowing how lace cookies work the way they do. If you know the answer please help :D

Here's a lace cookie recipe as seen on for reference (the photo included is also by

2 oz. blanched almonds
2 1/2 oz. unsalted butter
1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz.) granulated sugar
2 tbsps (1 1/4 oz.) light corn syrup
1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz.) flour
pinch salt
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped
chopped nuts, sprinkles, or whatever else you want for decoration

Place oven racks in middle and upper third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind the almonds in a food processor to yield 1/2 cup. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, granulated sugar, and light corn syrup together over low heat. Stir until the butter and sugar dissolve. Increase the heat to medium high and stir constantly until the contents just begin to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour and salt until incorporated. Stir in the ground almonds and vanilla.

Line baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Drop batter by the teaspoon onto the baking sheets, 3 inches apart (they will spread). I was able to fit about 9 per 11×17 baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating by 180° and swapping the baking sheets after 5 minutes. If making cigars, carefully (they are quite hot!) roll the cookies one at a time on the handle of a wooden spoon. I used a knife to lift the edge up and over the handle. You will need to work quickly because the cookies will cool and become brittle after a few minutes. Or leave them flat. When firm, transfer to wire rack to cool.

Gently melt the chocolate in a bowl over a simmering water bath (don’t let the bowl touch the water) or microwave for 30 seconds at a time on half power, stirring between each session, until mostly melted. Dip the cookies or drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies. If decorating, sprinkle the decoration or dip the chocolate-covered part of the cookie in the decoration while the chocolate is still wet. Set to dry on the cooled silpat or parchment. Makes 36 cookies.

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