After Christmas many of us want a break from big heavy sit down dinners. With cheese and grazing boards becoming popular, almondina are the perfect addition to lend some interest if you’re bored of crackers.
This is also a great recipe to use up any left over nuts or dried fruit. I actually think it’s better to have mix of fruit and nuts.
175 Grams Nuts (I used a mix of almonds, walnuts and pecans, but any mixture will work)
125 Grams Plain flour
25 Grams Brown sugar
125 Grams Dried fruit (I used roughly chopped apricots and dates, if you are using smaller fruit like raisins or sultanas, keep an eye in them during the second bake as they can catch quickly)
1/4 Tsp Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/2 Tsp Salt
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius). Grease a loaf pan
Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and combine
Stir in the milk with a wooden spoon and when thoroughly mixed transfer to the loaf tin and bake for 60 minutes
Remove from the oven and allow to cool
Wrap in cling film and freeze for 1 hour. This will help you slice the almondina thinly. Do not freeze for longer than this
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees (Celsius) and line a baking sheet with parchment
Take the almondina out of the freezer and remove the cling film
With a bread knife, slice the loaf into 1/2 cm thick slices and place on the baking sheet for 12-15 mins (until they brown around the edges), before cooling on a wire wrack
These will last in an airtight container for up to a week
About a million years ago I lived in Germany, and nobody does Christmas or Christmas confectionery like the Germans.
These rich buttery cookies are the perfect Christmas cookie. I have used pistachios but you could use any type of nut you prefer. These are quite rich, but they aren’t something you’ll be eating everyday. They also make great Christmas gifts.
You could also swap out the vanilla extract for almond essence or pistachio paste if you want to experiment with different flavours.
(Makes 24 cookies)
95 Grams Ground almonds
75 Grams Sugar
270 Grams Plain flour
25 Grams Pistachios (chopped)
225 Grams Butter (chilled and cut into cubes)
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
Add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and combine
Add the vanilla extract and butter, and rub the butter into the dry mix (you can also use a food processor to do this)
When the butter has been rubbed into the dry mix, start pressing together to form a dough
Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 30 minutes
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius), and line a baking sheet with baking parchment
Take the dough out of the fridge and turn out on a lightly floured surface
With your hands, roll the the dough into a sausage and divide into 24 equal parts
Shape each section of dough into a half moon shape with your hands and place on your prepared baking sheet
Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies start to brown at the edges
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire wrack
When cool, dust liberally with icing sugar
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days
The very lovely Debbie from D Rum Pot (check out her delicious Caribbean food on Facebook) dropped off some amazing treats with a Trinidadian flare. Debbie also runs a great Caribbean supper club, and like me can’t wait for restrictions to lift to get back to it.
Yummy spiced sweetbread, rum punch, homemade raspberry sauce, and Caribbean sweets. The diet can start tomorrow!
I love baking at Christmas, something about the smell of delicious things coming out of the oven adds to my Christmas spirit. It’s also brilliant way to keep little hands busy if you have kids at home.
Shortbread can be fiddly to cut out, but these cookies just need slicing into rounds. What’s even better, you can make the shortbread dough up to 72 hours in advance and let it chill in the fridge and then take the log of dough out to slice and bake them just before you need them. They can be stored in airtight box for up 3 days (they won’t last that long).
I used a food processor to make these, which makes them super quick and easy. If you don’t have one, you can chop the cranberries and mix the butter and flour together using the rubbing in method.
You can also dip or drizzle with dark chocolate if you’re feeling particularly indulgent. However they are still delicious just as they are.
Makes around 30 cookies
70 Grams Dried cranberries
100 Grams Sugar
230 Grams Butter (chilled and cut into cubes)
340 Grams Plain flour
1 Orange (zest and juice)
100 Grams Dark chocolate (optional)
Add the cranberries and about a third of the sugar into a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds, until the cranberries have started to break up (the shouldn’t be too finely sliced)
Transfer the sugar and cranberry mix to a bowl. Add butter and flour to the food processor and pulse until they look like fine breadcrumbs.
Add the butter and flour mix to the cranberry mix with the rest of the sugar and the orange zest and mix well
Start adding the juice of the orange a little at a time (how much you will need will depend on your flour). Get your hands in the bowl and start pressing the mix together to form a dough
Turn out onto a large sheet of cling film and squeeze into a sausage shape about 4-5cm in diameter. Wrap tightly in the cling film, you can also give it a little roll to help it look a little neater
Chill for at least 30 minutes (but the dough can live in your fridge for 2-3 days if you want to make ahead of time
When you are ready to bake, pre heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a cookie sheet with baking parchment. Remove the cling film from the dough and cut into 1cm thick slices and put on the baking parchment (they will spread a little, so allow some space between them)
Bake for 12-15 minutes, and allow to cool
If you want to dip or drizzle the cookies in chocolate, make sure they are cool. Break the chocolate into small pieces into a microwave proof bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time until melted and then either dip the cookies or drizzle with a spoon
Food is one of the best ways to nurture people but also remember those who we loved.
We are in the middle of the Jewish holiday of Hanukah. I’m not Jewish, but my much loved sister in law Bobra Fyne was. She was great at describing the customs surrounding the holiday and was a brilliant story teller (she was one of my favourite people in the world).
She also shared my family’s love of carbs and was an amazing cook, and so I made these as a way to remember her.
This is a simple recipe from Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food. While grating the potato is a bit of a faff the results are delicious served the traditional accompaniments of sour cream or apple sauce. Similar to a potato rosti, they can be served as an appetiser or side dish.
1 Tsp Salt
Oil for frying
Peel and grate the potatoes, rinse in cold water to remove the starch.
Drain in a colander. Depending on the type of potatoes you use, you might need to put the grated potatoes in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Transfer to a large bowl
Lightly beat the eggs with the salt and add to the potatoes. Mix until combined
In a large pan, add just enough oil to cover the base and heat over a medium heat
Add a tablespoon of the potato mixture to the pan at a time and flatten slightly so they cook evenly, (they should be thin enough to make sure you don’t have raw potato in the middle)
When brown, turn with a spatula and cook until brown on he other side