Toasted Hazelnut & Browned Butter Friands

Toasted Hazelnut & Browned Butter Friands

I first tasted the classic version of these small almond cakes many moons ago at Le Panier Very French Bakery in Seattleā€™s Pike Place Market. I liked them so much that I would make the trek to the market (about a 30-mile drive from our house in the Cascade foothills) mainly to buy a few friands and enjoy them with an espresso. Of course, strolling the market is its own reward, but the thought of those excellent little morsels still provides extra incentive to get me to Seattle.

When I began looking for recipes for this little French delicacy, I could find no reference to it in any of my French cookbooks. The web was in its infancy at that time and culinary sites and chats had not yet surfaced. Finally, I did locate a single recipe for friands in Gaston Lenotre’s Lenotre’s Desserts and Pastries.

Luscious Candied Lemon Sage Tea Cake

Luscious Candied Lemon Sage Tea Cake

Sometimes I get lucky. I have been working on the quintessential lemon cake for years, and although I have encountered a couple of formulas that are quite lovely in their own right, they are not exactly what I have in mind.