Monday, January 17, 2011

Mediterranean Almond-Shape Cookie


Identity crisis.

Take this examples. For those kids whose parents are Chinese (or Japanes or Indian, etc) born and raise in the States, growing up with eating charcoal-grilled burger and reading Highlights, they see themselves as American. Still, some people can't not to say, 'You're (and you can speak) Chinese/Japanese/Indian, eh?!'. The kiddio-innocent eyes meet such comment with frustration.

I have this Finnish cookie's recipe Lusikkaleivat, written by my favorite baker Beatrice Ojkangas. Probably due to our flours or weathers being so different, quite a few ingredients don't work out like the specifications and needed adjustment. Since the changes are already there, I might as well throw in some olive oil, lemon zest and almond meringue as well. This supposed Lusikkaleivat is beaming the Mediterranean rays after being "adopted" to my kitchen. So I hope Beatrice wouldn't mind me changing the name and identity.

I meet more and more "international" people since I live overseas ... an American girl has never lived in America. Another girl has an English-speaking Indian mom and a Spanish-speaking Indian dad while her own native tongue is one dialect of this region. Idenity? Let the kids define themselves :)


Recipe of Mediterrean Cookie Nuts

(yield about 40 almond-shaped cookies, before being filled)

The original recipe is called Finnish Teaspoon Cookies (Lusikkaleivat), written by Beatrice Ojakangas, published in her book "The Great Scandinavian Baking Book" 1988. Her recipe calls for 210g butter, more sugar and baking soda (not requiring olive oil, egg white and lemon zest).
  • 110 g butter (top quality is a must)
  • 3 Tbsps (or more) olive oil, not extra virgin
  • 70 g sugar
  • seeds from one vanilla bean
  • zest from 1 small lemon
  • 1 small egg
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • a good pinch of salt
  • for the filling: you can use high-quality marmalade, or nutella. I used meringue + ground almond
  1. In a medium-small heavy skillet, cook the butter over medium/ medium-low heat for 2 minutes or until the butter turns pale tan color. After it cools to lukewarm, stir in olive oil, the sugar, the vanilla, lemon zest and the egg.
  2. In a big mixing bowl, whisk to combine the flour, the salt and the baking soda, then stir in the butter mixture and form a dough. Knead a few time, add a little more olive oil if necessary The dough should be smooth but not oily.
  3. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Pinch out a tiny dough and press it into a teaspoon (see the photo above), then lay the shaped dough (flat-side down) on the baking tray. Repeat the work to the rest.
  4. Bake the cookies in a pre-heat oven 170C for about 8 minutes, take them out before they start turning too brown.
  5. After the cookies cool off, take one cookie and spread some filling on the flat side, cover it with another cookie, now an almond-shape is formed. But if you want to store the cookies for futher consumption, skip the filling, and only fill them before it's to be served.




Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great cookies! I have ordered that book and can't wait to receive it.



David T. Macknet said...

They look and sound awesome!

I'm a Californian who gets mistaken for being Canadian or Scottish, depending on how thick the accent is of the person doing the guessing. I've been told by native Scots that they thought that I was, "just talking polite," rather than that I was from somewhere outside Scotland.

That's what 3 years of living in Glasgow will do to you. I've no idea where the Canadian thing comes from, 'though I do sound a bit Canadian to myself, these days.


Expats tend to find more in common with other expats, after they've been abroad for awhile. After all, we're all "outsiders" in the same culture, no matter our native culture.

Cool Chic Style Fashion said...

deliziosi molto deliziosi, ciao

Unknown said...

I'm going to try and make this!
I'm Thai, but grew up in Australia, so picked up an aussie accent. I then moved to London for 2 years then developed an Aussie accent with British twang. Now that I am living in Germany who knows! :)

I totally agree with David on expats. I sort of considered myself as nomad.

Anonymous said...

thats funny...."English speaking Indian mom and spanish speaking Indian dad".BTW cookie looks too good.