Friday, 25 July 2014

Orange Cantucci

 Pastries, desserts, cookies and other baked goods can often go wrong.  Sometimes there are variables beyond our control or simply not considered by us - the temperature of the room, the conditions of the oven, the egg size etc.  My mother's never been good at the sweets department, but for her, the reason was obvious, she always f*cking halved the amount of sugar.  My Chinese mother didn't grow up in the kitchen watching her mother bake.  In her time, Chinese sweets were bought, no one made desserts at home.  And Chinese people aren't too into sweets in the first place - they're just sort of left with a hole at the end of a big meal.  Nothing to really...finish up the palate....

But obviously, married to an Italian man and living in Italy led to a bombardment and consequently appreciation of Western desserts.  She would follow the recipe step by step, all the ingredients weighed to the gram, but as soon as she gets to the amount of sugar on the page, she would gasp in horror as she sees how much 300g of sugar looked like on a scale, and would put half of it back into the sugar bag. 
These cookies made me think of her as I was a bit uneasy over the amount of sugar in these cookies.  It's 1:1 flour to sugar.  That's a lot of sugar for so few cookies.  But it's okay, they're delicious.  You'll forget all about it when you eat them.
makes 20-30 cookies
Recipe adapted from Juls Kitchen
250g flour
250g sugar
a pinch of salt
2 eggs
100g whole almonds
zest of 2 oranges

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then mix in the orange zest, eggs and lastly the almonds.

Put on a work surface and knead until it comes together.

Form into two logs, about 5cm wide and put it on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden. 

While hot, cut into 1.5cm slices and put them open side up back on the baking tray to bake for a further 5 minutes.  Then turn over and bake for 5 minutes more.

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