Friday, 9 May 2014

Saffron Hazelnut Cookies

Prepare yourselves for a saffron galore - saffron hazelnut cookies, saffron pumpkin seed falafels and saffron eggplant dip - all made last evening after I got back from the library at 23:15.  And this morning I made saffron tapioca pudding, but the photo wasn't very nice so maybe I'll make it again tomorrow for a better blog post.

So what's the craze with the saffron, you may wonder.  Well, my incredibly generous friend had just brought me back quality Iranian saffron and Christ, just take a look at this. It just looks and smells of luxury.
 Also, I realized it's been awhile since I last updated my blog.  I mean this is my first post in May!  It's okay, I'll catch up.  I've been busy with work and life. And I haven't been able to cook because of my hand - look at my hand - it's pretty bad-ass, I know, but wait till you hear how I did it.
It's actually quite embarrassing, I wish I could tell you it was from getting mugged -- like I was walking on the somber and deserted streets one cold evening, and the silence was suddenly broken by hurried footfall coming from behind - I turned and a man was there with a knife in his hand.  I punched his face with all my strength and I saw his tooth fly out of his mouth in slow motion, but I stumbled backwards and I fell to the ground and - ok.  So what actually happened was that I was cutting prosciutto by hand and I accidentally cut myself.
It was a challenge making cookies with one hand disabled but I always enjoy a culinary challenge.  And okay, my hand's actually not that bad.  These cookies are pretty spectacular - I'm not bragging as it's not my recipe.  The original one was with saffron and pistachio, but hazelnuts work with saffron as well.  In the beginning I was worried that it was too much saffron, and yes the taste of it is very strong, but it's sensational.  The hazelnut flavor's not as pronounced, it sings in the background, but it's definitely still there.  Delicious.

makes about 30 cookies
Recipe adapted from here
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 tbsp hot water
1 stick (113g) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, skinned and roughly chopped

Crumble the saffron in a small bowl and pour hot water over it.

Beat the butter until creamy and add the sugar, continue beating with electric whisks until fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Beat in the egg yolk and the saffron (along with the soaking liquid).

Stir in the salt and flour.  When well combined, mix in the hazelnuts.  Form into a long log, wrap in cling film and leave it to chill in the freezer for at least 1 hour or up to a week.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Take the log out and leave it to defrost for 15-30 minutes.  Using a sharp knife, cut into 1cm slices.  Place them on a lined baking sheet, a few cm apart from each other, and bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. 


  1. These are looking awesome. Sorry for your hand, hope you'll recover soon.

    1. haha thank you it's already much better! I have opposable thumbs again!


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