Anise Cookie

In an attempt to make a healthy(er) cookie, I adjusted a recipe found in a Spanish cookbook (De Complete Spaanse Keuken.) This cookie has a nice crunch and is not overly sweet but flavorful because of the anise and whole wheat flour. A great company for a cup of thee or coffee.

 

Ingredients:

190 gram whole wheat flour

190 gram plain flour

1.25 dl olive oil

1.25 dl water

3 tablespoons anise liquor

40 gram sesame seeds

3 tablespoons anise seeds

1 tablespoon baking powder

125 gram cane sugar

Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until you have a sticky dough.

For easier rolling you can cool the dough in the fridge or just get your hands dirty.

Roll small pieces of dough between your hands and flatten them into any shape you wish about 3mm thick.

Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with baking paper or dusted with some fine polenta.

Bake the cookies for about 25 minutes or until light golden brown on the top (the bottom will be darker).

Let them cool down on a baking rack.

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Yogurt Lavender Pie

A friend reminded me yesterday about this pie I made. If he remembers it after more than a month I think it’s a good enough recipe to write down. The flowery taste and spring make a good pare, it’s best eaten outside, sitting in the grass.

Photo Credit: Lotte Hoeksema

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Ingredients:

Bottom:

100 gram rolled oats

125 gram flour

1 tsp anise seeds

30 gram sugar

200 gram butter

Filling:

350 gram yogurt (10%)

4 eggs

3 tbsp cranberry compote

1 tsp dried lavender

3 tablsp honey

cacaopowder

PhotoCredit:

Lotte Hoeksema

You can choose to make the bottom with crumbled cookies (like kandijkoeken) as well, than you can omit the sugar.

Melt the butter

Mix the flour, oats, sugar and anise seeds

Combine the two and decorate a round cake tin with it.

Press the mixture to the bottom until it’s more or less a flat bottom without and holes in it.

Prebake the bottom on 180C and let it cool down.

Mix together the yogurt, 4 eggs, honey and lavender until everything is combined. Swirl the cranberry through the mixture with a spoon.

Poor the filling on the prebaked bottom and bake it in the oven until it’s set.

To serve you can dust the top with cacao powder but I think it would be even nicer with a layer of melted chocolate on top. Put it in the fridge before serving.

Whoever tries to taste before it cooled down will get punished immediately, it’s far from tasty when eaten warm.

Dusting the cake while holding it out of the window is a great idea on a less windy day…

And again, the credit for the pictures is for Lotte Hoeksema

Amreen and Janne’s Bread Pudding

 

Some left over rock hard bread

2 eggs

1 pear

1 cup of whole milk

2 heaping tablespoons apricot jam

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

Pinch of grounded ginger

Pinch of salt

Handful of raisins

Preheat the oven to 180C / 360f.

Peel the pear and cut it into small pieces, a little smaller than the bread.

Cut the bread in pieces and put it in a small oven dish with the pear and the raisins.

Mix the egg, milk, jam and the spices together (don’t forget a pinch of salt).

Pour the mixture over the bread in the oven dish and slide it in the oven. If the bread is really hard you might want to let it soak for a couple of minutes before you slide it in the oven.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Fruit of the God’s Pancake

Be generous when making your pancake batter, whatever is left is great as breakfast or lunch the next day. I can never decide what I like more; warm pancakes or cold ones the next morning. Of course I am talking about the queen of pancakes, the Dutch pancake, which is between a crepe and an American pancake. I have to admit that we (the Dutch) are not famous for our cooking and sadly for a good reason but we can make good pancakes.

Fruit of the God’s Pancake

1 persimmon, fruit of the gods

1 ½ cup flour, mixed white and whole wheat

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

400 ml whole milk

Pinch of salt

Butter

½ envelop vanilla sugar

Light brown caster sugar

Grand Marnier

With a mixer, mix together the flour, vanilla sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs and milk. If you use a hand mixer: first mix the dry ingredients, make a well in the middle and poor in the eggs and some of the milk. Start mixing carefully and bit by bit eating bits of flour of the edge of the well with your hand mixer until you have a smooth batter, now add the rest of the milk and mix everything together.

Cut the persimmon in thin slices.

Warm a pan on a medium to high fire until very warm, melt a little lump of butter and poor in a soup spoon (about 7cl) of the pancake batter. Immediately swirl the pan around to thin out the batter and make a pancake a little thicker than a crepe. Push slices of persimmon in the batter and sprinkle with half a tablespoon of sugar. You will have to work a little bit fast, because the top of the pancake will dry out quiet fast and you want to have the fruits in before that happens.

When the bottom of the pancake is nice dark brown, flip the pancake over. This is best done without a spatula but with a strong sweep of the hand, it takes some practicing but once you get the feeling it’s like biking, you never forget how to do it.

Bake the other side of the pancake until brown; be aware that the fruit will brown faster than the pancake. Flip it back over, poor some Grand Marnier on top, flambé and eat!

Nutty Chocolate Cookies

 

chocolate cookies 2

150 gram unsalted butter

220 gram plain flour

¼  teaspoon salt

20 gram icing sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

Handful of dried cranberries

2 teaspoons of sumac

80 gram pure chocolate

Small hand of pecan nuts

Small hand of almonds

Chop 40 gram of the chocolate coarsely, about chocolate chip size and shred the other half finely.

Mix together the butter, the flour, the icing sugar, sumac, the fine chocolate and the salt in a kitchen machine. Add the cranberries plus the coarse chocolate and mix with a spoon, it should still be a crumbly mixture.

Transfer to a bowl or a clean work top and work the mixture with your hands into a log of about 4 cm diameter. Cover with cling film and cool in the fridge for minimum one hour.chocolate cookies

Chop the nuts finely, but not completely into dust, a few chunks can remain.

Brush your dough with the beaten egg and roll all the sides firmly through the nuts. Wrap it back in the cling film and place it for another 30 minutes in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 150C and cut the log into slices of 5mm- 1 cm thick. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and place the cookies 2 cm from each other on the tray. Bake for about 20 minutes, they don’t have to color toomuch. Take from the oven and let them cool down.

Fig Bonbons

For all the chocolate and fig lovers!

Fig bonbons

10 dried figs

1 pound pure chocolate (at least 54% cacao)

10 walnuts and/or almonds

1/2 tablespoon butter

200 milliliters fig liquor

Place the figs in a little bowl and cover them with fig liquor. Let them stay like this for one night so they can get soft and soak up some of the liquid.

Melt pure chocolate with a little butter ‘au bain marie’. Take the figs out of the liquid and put them in the melted chocolate. Push them around. put them on a stick and hang them over a bowl so they keep their nice and round shape, put them in the fridge so the chocolate can get hard; another method is: transfer them to a baking sheet and then put them into the fridge.

Figs

When the chocolate has dried, repeat the process so you get another layer of chocolate on them. You can repeat this until you think the chocolate is thick enough or until you’re out of melted chocolate. I made three layers of chocolate because I am crazy for pure chocolate but you can do less (or more) if you like. Push a nut on the last layer of chocolate and put in the fridge until the chocolate is entirely dry and hard.

When Orange met Chocolate

The hardest part of making this cake is waiting until it cooled down. Of course we did not manage to do so and warm it is also delicious; but it is best when the chocolate is completely hard. Using the entire orange including the peel gives the tart an incredible rich orange flavor and I like to think that it also keeps some vitamins, or am I just kidding myself?

orangecake

Ingredients

2 oranges

500 gram/ 1 pound Greek yogurt

5 eggs

100g/ 3.5 ounces whipping cream

150 gram/ 5 ounces caster sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla sugar

1 teaspoon orange blossom

200 gram/ 7 ounces flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ tablespoon butter

before the chocolate

this is how it looks like

before the chocolate

  • Boil the oranges in water with a teaspoon of orange blossom for 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 160 C/ 320F. Take a round cake form about 24 cm/10 inch diameter; grease it with butter and dust it with flour.
  • Puree the whole oranges, peel and all, in a kitchen machine with the whipping cream until almost smooth.
  • Separate the eggs and mix the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla sugar until light and creamy; now add the orange puree and the Greek yogurt and mix well. Bit by bit sift the flour with baking powder and bicarbonate of soda over the mixture and mix until all is incorporated in the mixture.
  • Beat the egg whites until cloudy (you have to be able to turn the bowl upside down without the egg white gliding out). Carefully fold the egg whites into the mixture.
  • Pour the mixture in the form and bake for about one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • When the tart is cooling down, melt 200 grams of pure chocolate ‘ au bain-marie’ with half a spoon of butter and poor it over the tart. Let the chocolate cool down in the fridge.