Since I last put pen to paper (or perhaps fingers to keys) in the blazing heat of the high summer, I’ve traveled back and forward across the Pond a couple of times, including visits to London, England and Oslo, Norway seeking inspiration for the blog as I traveled trying new foods and ingredients. However, rather unexpectedly, the inspiration for today’s blog post didn’t come from the Mathallen Food Hall in Oslo, or even the famous Borough Market in London but from my best man’s mum, Carmella, who is a fantastic cook and some humble home made cookies she served my kids and I, when we went to her house for tea on my last London trip!
The cookies were delicate, light and dusted with icing / powdered sugar. On popping one into my mouth, I experienced one of those moments, when you know you’ve just sampled one of the wonders of the food world. A simple cookie with a crumbly soft texture that just melts in your mouth like a drop of heaven had just landed there!
I got hold of the recipe immediately (which is apparently Austrian in origin) and the day after I exited JFK, I baked a pile of them, with a bit of help from my daughter
As everyone I have inflicted these treats with will attest, they are simply stupendous and go brilliantly served with an afternoon pot of earl grey tea. So, give them a whirl, you won’t regret it!
- 8 oz unsalted butter
- 3 oz caster sugar (superfine sugar in the US)
- 8 oz plain flour sifted through a sieve
- 2 oz walnuts (finely chopped)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp hot water
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- A bowl of icing / powdered sugar
As an aside and being a little lazy and rather pushed for time on the day I made these, I decided to use my food processor, however, mixing things the old fashioned way (elbow grease) will get the same result!
- Cream the butter slowly adding the sugar
- Add the vanilla and hot water and continue to blend the mixture
- Then, stir in the flour, walnuts and mix until the mixture resembles a thick slightly crumbly sticky dough
- Wrap the dough in foil and pop in the refrigerator for at least an hour
- Unwrap the dough, tear approximate 1..5 inch pieces from the dough and roll each piece into little thin sausage shapes, curving them to form a roughly 3″ crescent shape
- Place the crescents directly on a baking sheet (or on parchment paper if you prefer)
- Then bake at 325f / 170 c for just 15 minutes
- Remove from the oven, allow the cookies to cool then dredge each cookie through a bowl of icing sugar
For our readers here in NY, London and around the World celebrating Jewish New Year this week, this treat is a delightful way to usher in a Sweet and Happy Year!