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I recently got a copy of the "Be-ro book of Home Recipes". Near the beginning is a recipe for 'brandy snaps'. This is a kind of cracker that is rolled after cooking to make tubes that are then filled with cream. However, my attempt to cook them failed and I want to know where I'm going wrong.

The first set was on parchment paper but not properly greased so they stuck to the paper.

The second set was greased but still tore when trying to lift off the paper. Also they have to be rolled when hot but they are far to hot to touch until they cool but then they are too stiff to roll.

The third set again just tore and couldn't be rolled.

On the plus side, the did taste nice but how can I stop them looking like something the dog should be eating.

  • When I first read the title, I thought "snaps" was referring to this and half expected the question to be about some alcohol-induced mayhem! – ESultanik Oct 10 '11 at 13:56
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You will have to put on your asbestos chef's fingers and roll them while hot I'm afraid. You should leave them for about 15 seconds once they're out of the oven. If you leave them for too long to cool you can always pop them back in the oven for a few seconds to re-soften.

One thing that might help you is silicon baking sheets. Not only are these very 'non-stick', they also flexible, so you can use them as pseudo-oven gloves to roll the brandy snaps up.

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I'd buy a wooden dowel from the hardware store that has the same diameter you want the finished tubes to be. Lay the dowel lightly on top of the freshly baked cookie and use a small, offset spatula to lift one side of the cookie up over the dowel. Roll the dowel to seal the tube and then slide the tube off the dowel.

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    Use a second dowel to help start the cookie rolling over the first = no burnt fingers! Sand smooth, and butter the dowels well, so cooling cookies do not stick to it – TFD Oct 13 '11 at 21:53
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Check out Mary Berry's recipe. The only thing needed to get it right is to use 160c fan or 180c non and to simply watch them until they are just ready to come out.

http://maryberry.co.uk/recipes/great-british-bake-off-recipes/brandy-snaps

I wait until they are bubbling and light gold (yellow), take them out and wait until they stop bubbling. About a minute. Then, they should be cool enough to pickup. I've found that, even after 10 minutes, they can - if you're very slow and careful - be rolled into a tube shape. You just need to press with your thumb up to, but not beyond, the point of breaking.

Point of note: You'll notice that if placed on a tray, once rolled, they will actually flatten after an hour or so. This demonstrates that they can indeed be shaped well after cooling to be handled. Just be real careful.

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