Tag Archives: baking

Lemon Cookies… I mean Fookies!

IMG_0271Continuing my Fooking spree (the things a person would do to avoid studying, right?) I made lemon cookies. Cookies, lemon, only 1/2 cup sugar, what else is there to say? Oh, yes, that we ate them in one day.

Seriously.

Just so you know, I don’t use a cookie cutter, because, you know… I don’t have one! I rolled the dough into a log and cut it with a knife. That way, my cookies (fookies) turned out (almost) round and normal!

They don’t take too long to make, they are pretty easy, the most time consuming thing (obviously) is the three hours the dough needs to rest in the fridge. But, you know, you can do all sorts of things in between!

So, here’s what you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Lemon
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter
1/4 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1 egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
Some (a little) Salt

And what you’ll do:

Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a bowl. Set it aside. Take the lemon, grate the zest and keep it, then squeeze it and keep the lemon juice. You’ll need 3-4 tablespoons of that, unless you really really love lemon, in which case, use as much as you want. Meanwhile, separate your egg and keep the egg-white covered and refrigerated – we will need it down the road.

In your mixer bowl, add the (softened) butter along with the zest and beat until it’s united. Then add the sugar, gradually, while beating, just until it is one. Add the egg yolk and half the flour and mix and beat until they are combined. Then add the lemon juice, the vanilla and the rest of the flour and beat until everything is combined. Do not overbeat, there’s no reason for you to do that.

Now for the fun part: Take your bowl and empty it on a flat surface. Take the dough and form a log. The diameter of the log should be a bit smaller than the size of the cookies you want to serve! Once you’re done, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 3 hours.

Three hours later, preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius – 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take your log, unwrap it and cut it in cookies. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place your cookies on that. Lightly beat the egg-white you saved in the fridge with a splash of water (a couple of tablespoons, no more), and brush your cookies with that mixture. Sprinkle with some sugar and place them in the oven.

You can place both baking sheets in the oven at the same time, just remember to switch places halfway through baking.

Now, you know your oven, each oven is different, so you will need to keep an eye on them. They can take from 8 to 15 or 16 minutes to bake. Take them out when they are golden around the edges. If you touch the center and it is soft, that’s ok. The cookies keep baking even after you’ve taken them out of the oven, they will go harder as they stand.

Let them stand in the baking sheets for about five minutes and then transfer them on wire racks, to cool. Or eat them warm, that’s what I did.

There’s also video evidence that I made them, which follows. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

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Red Apple Torte

ImageIt has been a while since I last updated this blog and I for that, I apologize. In my defense, so much has happened in Greece in the past few weeks, that I really did not have the head to cook! From the murder of a 34-year-old hip hop antifascist musician by a Golden Dawn member (that’s the far-right party that made it in the parliament in the latest elections) to a beginning of the uprooting of the official fascist branches in Greece, by arresting the Golden Dawn leadership and indicting them for forming a criminal group, Greece is, of course, not changing yet, but surely moving and boiling.

All this, and the fact that I went back to University to study Italian Literature, has kept me plenty busy – oh, and in all that, I got married too. Did I forget to mention that?

Well, it is Saturday today, a warm sunny Saturday – after a couple of pretty cold weeks, so we opened up the windows and let the sun fill the house and help our minds relax. For some strange reason, a sweet cinnamon smell flooded our apartment. My guess is that my next door neighbor must have been making something for her 2-year-old, Nicola. But my mind wandered off to Smitten Kitchen’s and something I had read a couple of days earlier. Their Purple Plum Torte.

Now, I don’t really care for plums. OK, that’s a lie, I like plums, but I prefer apples. I realize that plums have their significance in the food world, just like every other fruit, vegetable, herb, meat, whatever, but if I can have a fruit torte, I prefer to make it an apple torte. So I went rogue and turned this into a Red Apple Torte.

This is a great dessert, because you can literally make it with what you have in your fridge and cupboards. You WILL have eggs and butter and flour and everything needed, and you WILL have some kind of fruit.

I’m thinking frozen strawberries next, I’ll let you know!

Anyway, let’s get started.

What you will need:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoon (I used a little more than 1)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (I used light, because that’s what I had in my fridge.
2 eggs
2 apples, peeled (or 3, I used two, but I actually could use a bit more)
Some fresh lemon juice for sprinkling
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

What you will need to do:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl and in another cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs scraping down the bowl in the process (don’t neglect to do that, otherwise the eggs form a yukky soup-y thing above the fluffy butter-sugar mix, it gets ugly! Scraping down the bowl makes it all good). Add the flour mix and… eh… mix (I usually don’t repeat words, I’m better than that!!) until everything is combined. Pour the mixture (there we go again!) in a 9-inch pan (which you will have greased lightly or not at all, your choice, I greased it a little bit!) and smooth the top. Now, chop the apples in round slices (or that’s how I did it, you can cut them anyway you like, just remember to keep the pieces large) and arrange them on top. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and then add the sugar and the cinnamon.

Put the cake in the oven and bake 45 to 50 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean). The Smitten Kitchen people advice we be patient and eat it on the second day, but I honestly couldn’t do it! In fact, I couldn’t even keep it long enough to take a picture! We dug in it, head first, myself, my boyfriend (oh, wait… my husband… I AM OLD!!) and our friend! So, really… If you can’t help yourself, don’t worry, it is heartwarming and a sweet pleasure either way! But, whatever you decide to do, make sure you do one thing: Enjoy it with some warm coffee and good friends (like we did!).

Image

[NEXT DAY EDIT] The people on Smitten Kitchen were absolutely right. The one piece of the torte that was left next morning was absolutely divine. Makes me wonder if maybe next time I should make two: one for those who can’t wait and just have to have a piece right there and then, and one more to consume next day. Anyway, you should definitely leave something for next day.


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