Friands are incredibly simple, easy cakelets that keep well in both baked and unbaked forms. A perfect moist foil for a cup of tea or coffee, they're closely related to financiers and madeleines and are very easy to adapt to any taste. Classically made with almond flour, you can get a richer, more unique flavor and lovely color by pre-toasting the almond flour. You can also substitute any other nut flour, add citrus zest or spices or even swap out the basic melted butter for another liquid fat like coconut oil or olive oil (or perhaps even bacon fat, if you're super adventurous).
Note: Adding fresh fruit to the friands significantly reduces their shelf life. Things like blueberries will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator, wheres strawberries will only keep for a day or two (though I think they taste better).
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- Yield:makes 12
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:40 minutes
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond flour
- 13 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 5 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 medium strawberries, rinsed, dried, hulled and halved
Set a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread almond flour on parchment or silicone lined baking sheet and toast for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Leave oven on.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat or in 30 second bursts in microwave. Set aside to cool.
In medium mixing bowl, sift or whisk together toasted almond flour, confectioner's sugar, all-purpose flour, and salt. Whisk in egg whites and vanilla, then butter. Line a muffin pan with papers and evenly distribute batter, cups will be about 2/3 full. Press a strawberry, cut side down, into top of each, then bake for 10 minutes, turn, and bake until springy to the touch and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes longer. Allow to cool completely before eating. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.