December 19, 2013 § Leave a comment
The spice I most associate with Christmas is cardamom. The rich scent immediately brings me back to holiday treats. Cardamom is included in my dad’s famous kuchen (coffee bread with loads of cardamom and citrus zest) and these amazing rusks. My mom always made these, often gave them away, and let me eat the ends she cut off. What a treat.
In addition to cardamom we add almond extract and sliced almonds to give with a delicious nutty flavor. And they’re twice baked, making them dry and hard. I realize that sounds gross but trust me, they’re still amazing. It’s even better if you enjoy them with a cup of coffee.
Depending on how you cut these the recipe makes roughly 60 rusks so feel free to share with co-workers, neighbors or your mailman.
- 1 cup of butter, softened
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 tsp almond extract
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 cup slivered almonds
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper
2) Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and almond extract. In another bowl whisk together flour, cardamom, baking soda, salt and flour. Using a mixer (or stand mixer), add flour and sour cream to butter mixture, alternating. Before you add the last of the flour, stir in almonds. Dough will be sticky.
3) Separate dough into four equal parts. Directly on parchment paper, shape dough into logs, roughly 12 inches long and 3-4 inches wide. Bake 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool on wire racks. Using serrated knife, slice into pieces roughly 3/4 inch wide.
4) Turn down oven to 225. Place rusks back on baking sheets and bake until crisp about 45 minutes. Cool and enjoy, dipped in coffee.
December 16, 2013 § Leave a comment
It’s Christmas treat week here. A lot of baking has happened and it’s been intense, delicious and awesome. My stomach celebrates the sugar and butter and then I have a serious sugar crash by 3 pm and it’s all downhill from there. Oh well.
I want to introduce you guys to this awesome cookbook. It’s Maximum Flavor by Aki Kamozawa and H. Aleander Talbot. They’ve created a book celebrating science in the kitchen. Check out this review from The Kitchn to find out more about it. I’ve made a few of the recipes now and they’ve all been winners.
This week I slightly adapted their coffee shortbread recipe. It’s a crispy, shortbread cookie with a little something extra: espresso powder and white chocolate. Best part about this? You get to eat the scraps after you cut the shapes out!
We start out combining almonds and instant espresso granules into a powder, combine that with flour and set aside. Then we mix butter, brown sugar and sea salt using a mixer. Add in chopped white chocolate.
Dump in the dry ingredients, still until combined and you get this beautiful dough. It has to chill in the fridge for about an hour. Take it out, roll it out, bake it and cut shapes out and you are in business. I find it goes really well with a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk. Enjoy!
Just as a heads up I found it easiest to do cookie shapes that didn’t have points (like a snowflake). Since you’re cutting them while dough is still warm the points broke off when transferring on some of them. A circle cookie cutter would work very well.Coffee Shortbread
from Maximum Flavor
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3.5 oz white chocolate, chopped
1) In a food processor combine almond and espresso powder, pulsing until a find powder forms. Pour into separate bowl, whisk in flour and set aside.
2) Using paddle attachment on a stand mixer, stir butter, brown sugar and salt until light and fluffy 3-4 minutes. Add in white chocolate all at once, mixing just until combined. Pour in the flour mixture all at once and mix just until combined, making sure to scrape down the sides once. Put dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate about one hour.
3) Preheat oven to 325. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Take dough out of the fridge, using a large rolling pin roll dough into rough rectangle shape. It’s easiest if you keep dough on plastic wrap while rolling out. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to baking sheet by lifting up plastic wrap from counter and flipping carefully onto baking sheet.
4) Bake 20-25 minutes until browned on edges slightly and cooked through. Cut out cookie shapes immediately and transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy!
November 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
- 1 French baguette
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 round Brie cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups homemade cranberry sauce**
- 3 cups arugula