This week, we're away from London again, enjoying some fresh air on the Dorset coast. The sun has started to shine and it feels like spring has finally sprung! Away from the comfort of my own kitchen, I wanted a simple bake that would reward us after days out at the beach but not take too much time to deliver to hungry mouths. It's always fun looking through other people's cookery books for inspiration and I'm loving Rick Stein's From Venice To Istanbul -- so many delicious recipes to inspire and I fell upon his Greek Almond Cookies.
I started with his recipe and adapted it a little -- most notably he includes rose water which is not one of my favourites as it always reminds me of soap, so I swapped this for Orange Blossom Water instead. It's a subtle taste but definitely a layer behind all the almondy goodness.
I abandoned all my usual kitchen aids and used a good old trusty whisk, couple of bowls and a lined baking tray. Super easy :) The dry ingredients are mixed together with the orange blossom water to make a crumbly dough - this is pretty dry so don't worry if yours is the same. Then the egg whites should be whisked to soft peaks before being added to the dough. First of all, a tablespoon should be added to loosen the dough slightly and then the rest of the egg whites added and folded in in two additions.
The dough should be stiff and still a little crumbly and makes twenty crescent shaped biscuits. Divide the dough into twenty walnut sized balls with dampened hands. And you do need to dampen your hands here so that the dough doesn't stick to your hands! Then squeeze each ball gently with your hands so that the dough sticks together, whilst rolling it into a sausage. Place each one on a lined baking tray and form a crescent shape with each sausage. These are quick to bake and only take fifteen minutes. Once they're golden brown and out of the oven, they need to cool down on a cooling rack and then are dredged with icing sugar.
Almond is one of my favourites so this was always going to be a hit. If you'd prefer to not use the orange blossom water, you could swap it back for the original rose water or just a regular tablespoon of water -- although I think the subtlety in the background helps lift these.
So a quick and easy recipe for a sunny day when you don't want to spend too long in the kitchen but want a home baked treat in relative ease.
We are on holiday after all :)
Orange Blossom and Almond Cookies
Adapted from Rick Stein's Greek Almond Cookies
Makes 20 cookies
- 130G CASTER SUGAR
- 250G GROUND ALMONDS
- 1 TBSP ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER
- PINCH OF SALT
- 2 EGG WHITES
- 2 TBSP ICING SUGAR
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Line 2 baking trays
- Combine the caster sugar, ground almonds, orange blossom water and salt in a bowl to form a crumby dough mixture
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peak
- Add 1 tbsp egg white to the dough and mix through to loosen it
- Then add the rest of the egg whites in 2 additions and fold through after each addition
- Dampen your hands and divide the dough into 20 walnut sized balls
- Roll each ball into a long sausage, place each one on a baking tray and bring to ends around into a crescent shape
- Bake for around 15 mins until golden brown
- Transfer immediately to a cooling tray and allow to cool
- Dredge with icing sugar and serve :)