Cracked Lemon Cookies-i

You know by now that I love lemon, I saw this recipe and thought I try it by adapting it to my own version. Well, ok, the cookies looked a bit different from the ones in the recipe, but, my test person Andy told me: it is essential for them to taste delicious, not if they make a “bella figura”. So here we go, I wrote below recipe considering a few corrections, so in order for your cookies to turn out “belli e buoni”!

Ingredients:

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200g soft butter (not heated/melted..remember what my Daddy told us?)
300g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 lemon, 2 teaspoons zest, 6 tablespoon juice (me:Juicy Amalfi Lemon)
1 cl Mastika (optional)
Vanilla seeds (I bought this vanilla mill, really useful and less a hassle than scraping out a vanilla bean)
350g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of  baking powder
1 knife point of baking soda
Powdered sugar (about 50-100g)

The making of:

To start with, heat the oven to 180c. Place a baking paper on a baking tray. Pour the powdered sugar in a soup plate, set aside.
My Kenwood Chef now came into action, first I mixed the butter and sugar until it got a fluffy texture. Then, I added all the ingredients up to the Vanilla and let the Chef mix very well for a few minutes.

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Then, I added the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and soda. Mix until you get a dough.
The dough remains quite soft, its texture is between a dough for muffins and one for bread.
Now comes the fun part, hope you don’t mind to get your hands full of sticky dough (yeah, wash your hands first, dry them very well, remove all jewellery and put some powdered sugar in your palms). Now, the recipe I read said to take a good tablespoon full of dough and roll it in the powdered sugar. Which I did, but they turned out quite big. So my recommendation is: take half a tablespoon full of dough out (maybe the size of a walnut), roll it in the sugar and put it on the baking sheet. Make sure to not place them too close together, else they will stick to each other. Maybe you will need two baking trays.

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Bake the cookies for 11 minutes until golden brown. When you remove them, they are still very soft but will harden when they are fully cooled down.
So, yours hopefully turn out better looking than mine, which were “brutti ma buoni”!

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Cantucci-si alle mandorle e pistacchio

Cathy has asked me for my fav Cantucci recipe. I am far from baking the perfect ones, but then, when is a Cantucci a Cantucci and perfect? Try these and let me know how you lked them:
250 g white flour (type 00)
125 g sugar, me: white raw sugar, yes, that exists
2 eggs
50 g butter, taken out of fridge ahead of time*
4 g of dry yeast
A pinch of salt, a pinch of vanilla sugar or sugar that you mixed with lavender in a bowl and stored for a while, but only use the sugar, no lavender
90 g almonds, unpeeled
60 g pistacchios unsalted

Heat the oven to 180c. Roast the nuts for 3-4 minutes, let them cool completely. I use them entirely, you can chop them if you want, but not too much.
Now, you have two possibilities to make the dough, “a mano” or with the “wondermachine” called Kenwood Chef. Or whatever food processor you have at home;-)
Ok, let’s do it with my Chef…first mix eggs with sugar until creamy, add the butter which you have cut in cubes, continue to stir at low speed. Add salt, vanilla sugar. Mix yeast with flour and add to the egg-sugar cream in 3-4 portions. Not all at once, always stir until almost smooth, then add more flour. The dough remains very moist, now add the nuts and blend everything together, add a little bit of flour if it still seems too moist. It’s best if you use your hands instead of the food processor to finish the dough, form a ball at let it rest for a while.
Prepare a baking sheet. Form a kind of flat baguette of the dough, put it on the sheet and bake for twenty minutes. Take the “Cantuccibaguette” out and let it cool for a few minutes, then cut it diagonally in 1.5cm-wide Cantuccis. Put them back on the baking sheet and off they go to the oven for another 10-15 minutes (watch them, the thinner you cut them, the faster they are done).
Let them cool completely before you taste them! Enjoy them with a glass of Vin Santo, or just like that!

* my Daddy’s recommendation: if you read in recipes that you should melt butter in a pan and then add to the dough (any type), don’t follow that step, it kills your dough, instead, take it out of the fridge ahead of time, after 15 minutes it will be soft enough to be worked into the dough without cooking it first.

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