Friday, 23 December 2016

short but sweet - vanilla & almond crescent cookies

Last week I turned my apartment into a sauna. I guess you could say it was my way of doing a pre-Christmas detox.

For some idiotic reason I thought it'd be a genius idea to bake cookies and mince pies in my little kitchen on the hottest night in Sydney in 159 years. Am I mad? I'm starting to think so. It was so unbearably hot that I slept with an ice pack and Arthur didn't leave the bathroom tiles unless it was to play with the ice cubes I gave him to cool off. It took a good 2 days to finally feel the cool change... oh how I miss summers best friend - the afternoon southerly!

But amongst the heat I baked: what felt like batches and batches of Christmas mince pies - homemade mincemeat and all, panforte - which I've come to realise, I don't actually like eating but wish I could turn it into a scented candle, WP chocolate cookies - delicious but unexpected, gingerbread snowflakes - on the crispier side, vanilla and almond crescent cookies from Classic German Baking and also almond toffee that is my absolute weakness covered in dark chocolate.

A little late but I guess better then never, I thought I'd share a Christmas cookie recipe with you for any keen bakers out there wanting a last minute christmas gift or like me, have a shortbread christmas breakfast tradition. These little crescent shaped cookies are drowned in icing sugar and melt in your mouth. Perfect on Christmas morning with a cuppa in pyjamas.

I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and hope their day is full of all the best things... good company, great food and lots of laughs. Stay safe my lovelies x

vanilla and almond crescent cookies | salt sugar and i

vanilla and almond crescent cookies

recipe from Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss (ever so slightly adapted)

175g plain flour
120g butter, at room temperature
250g icing sugar
100g blanched ground almonds or almond meal
2 tablespoon vanillezucker/vanilla sugar * (or super fine caster sugar + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 egg yolk
pinch salt

- Put the flour, butter, 50g of icing mixture, 1 tablespoon of vanillezucker/vanilla sugar (or caster + extract), ground almonds, egg yolk and salt in a bowl of a stand mixture with the flat paddle attachment and beat until all ingredients are combined. If making by hand, place above ingredients into a medium bowl and combine using a had mixer on low and then bringing the dough together with a wooden spoon at the end or mix entirely with a wooden spoon.

- Split the dough into three equal portions and roll reach piece into 2.5cm thick cylinders. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

- Preheat oven to 165C/325F and line 2 baking trays with baking paper when you are ready to bake.

- Remove logs from the refrigerator and slice each log into 12mm slices. Roll out each slice until it's about 5cm long and the ends are tapered but not pointy. Place on prepared trays and repeat with remaining dough. Space the cookies about 2.5cm between them on all sides.

- Bake for about 10 - 15 minutes or until ever so slightly browned on top.

- While the cookies are baking, mix together the remaining icing sugar and vanillezucker/vanilla sugar (if using) in a shallow bowl. When the cookies come out of the oven, let them cool for only a minute or two and very carefully dredge them completely in the sugar. Cool the dredged cookies on a wire rack and if still sticky, dredge a second time in the sugar to get an extra powdery coating.

- The cooled cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

*vanillezucker/vanilla sugar
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 vanilla bean, cut into quarters

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until the vanilla bean is finely ground and well distributed, the sugar should be powdery/very fine. Store in an airtight container indefinitely.