Posts tagged almonds
Hrapocusa aka Dol Torta
Walnut brittle on top
Daring Bakers Challenge in September was Hrapocusa, a cake from the City of
Dol, on the Island of Brac, on the Dalmatian coast in Croatia. I made it in October but at least I made it. :)

The recipe provide and the this from the Recipe Hunters were the same but the technique spelled out differently.

I did double the forum's recipe or single the Recipe Hunters' and filled a 10 inch pan and two small 4 inch spring form pans.

I left my walnuts whole on the top and while that was super craggy looking, it felt a little less than harmonious when trying to get a bite with some topping and some cake. I'll run a knife through the nuts and give them a rough chop next time.

Also I think a half recipe in an 10inch pan might make for a shorter cake but it would still make reasonable satisfying slices.

What's cool is that it has lemon, orange and cherry flavors. I like those three combined. Also the technique for the topping, browning sugar and nuts with egg whites in a skillet on top of the stove was one I've never done before. You then go on to top the almond cake with them and bake an additional 15 minutes. It was super interesting.
She's a pretty hefty cake. Many eggs, many nuts. 

This cake has no wheat flour so it's a good one for the gluten free crowd. And while I shouldn't be lazy and type the thing out myself, laziness is winning. I hope I put enough information here for me and you to find the recipe should we want to make it again.



Gazelle Horn Cookie-Moroccan
There are so many beautiful cookies in the world. I can get lost on the internet looking at different cookie recipes. I came across these stuffed cookies on a French language website and kind of got sucked down a hole looking for recipes in cups and ounces not in metric.

What I learned is that sometimes they are rolled in powdered sugar, sometime rolled in sesame seeds, sometimes dipped in orange blossom water...

There's a problem however with trying to create a cookie you've never seen in real life or tasted or even had a conversation about with someone who has. How do you know if you are even close? It's pretty much just a leap of faith.

And I never did find a recipe that was in Empirical measures. I did however convert one. That's what I've got here.

Just a note about the orange flower water it is a flavor that is different than orange zest or orange juice. As the name indicates it is very floral. When I smell it straight out of the bottle it seems almost soapy probably because it's a smell used in soap in the USA. But it is mellower once it is added to other ingredients and adds a dimension to the cookie that is lovely. I went low on my use of it too in this recipe. The one I converted used 0.25 cup in the nut filling and no orange oil. I wimped out thinking my family might not like that as well.

Gazelle Horn Cookie like you might find in Morocco

Dough

2 cups flour
0.5 cup sugar
0.5 tsp. salt
2 eggs
0.75 cup butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
0.25 cup orange flower water (from a Mediterranean grocery)

Filling

2 cups blanched almonds
1.25 cup sugar
0.25 cup butter
1 tablespoon orange flower water (more if you'd like and omit the oil)
1 dram orange oil
0.25 tsp. cinnamon

powdered sugar for rolling

For the dough pulse the ingredients in a food processor 30 seconds after the dough comes together, about a minute total. Form into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; chill for at least an hour. It will be soft.

For the filling pulse the nuts into a fine meal. Add the remaining ingredients, but do not over process, don't make almond butter. Scrape the sides of the bowl a few times. It should hold together if you squeeze it. If not add a tablespoon more of butter.

While the dough is chilling form the nut mixture into "horns" about the size of your pinky, using about a tablespoon of the mixture. Press it against a glass to get a nice semi-circle that is fuller in the middle and tapered at the ends. You should get about 36 of them.

Using a glass to shape the filling
Portion the dough into 20 pieces, roll into a rectangle that is wider half an inch wider and 3 times longer than your semicircle sized nut crescents. Place the crescent on the lower third of the dough.
The size of dough compared to the filling.
Lift the top over the crescent and press the dough around the filling. Press an edge around the filling.
Fold over and press. 
Cut the excess dough off using a knife or like me an antique ravioli cutter. (It is the favorite thing passed to me by someone I love.) Be sure to seal the nut mixture in the dough, it will bubble out while baking if not. You'll use the scrap dough for the remaining 16 cookies. Be gentle with the scraps so you'll have tender cookies.

Trim excess dough. 
Set on a parchment lined cookie sheet and let sit an hour. Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Score the cookies with fork or some other pokey tool in a decorative manner just before putting them in the oven.

Bake 15-18 minutes until just golden on the bottom and the dough looks dry.

Remove to a cooling rack. Toss in powdered sugar when cool enough to handle.

These are indeed a fussy cookie. Sometimes you want something fussy, right?

Will you make something you've never seen in real life? How do you explore recipes?
Super Nutty Biscotti

Three Nut Biscotti

With it turning to spring (finally) I'm gearing up to clean up the kitchen. I realized I have bit of left over ingredients from my winter baking. There's no way I'd throw away a half cup of hazelnuts so the question was what to do?

Make a nut filled cookie! I had pecans and almonds tucked away in the freezer too. What would be nicer? Also, it's taken until March to recover from all the holiday and competition recipe making. I have enjoyed reading books and watching TV instead of baking though.

Lastly, I have a folder filled with hand written recipes that I want to put into this blog for my own reference and your potential enjoyment.

This biscotti recipe is an updated recipe that was given to me by an Italian grandmother. Filomena isn't my grandmother but she and I had great affection for each other. I met her when she was close to 70. I never caught her with out her hair curled and her nails polished a pearlescent cream. She always looked like a million bucks and invariably had a kind word for me.

The original recipe calls for 6 egg yolks and 1 egg and turbinado sugar. The sugar is not an update, and measured in pounds! Filomena wasn't kidding around! 

Basic Biscotti
Makes about 30 large biscotti

1/2 pound butter
1 pound turbinado sugar
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks, reserve the white
1 1/2 pounds flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon other oil

turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top

For variation add up to a total of 3 cups of nuts, chips, and or dried fruit.

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time. When creamed add flour, baking powder, salt, and flavoring. Mix well. Add additions. The pictured biscotti has 1 cup blanched almonds, 1 cup pecans and 1/2 cup hazelnuts plus 1 teaspoon almond oil.
Just before going into the oven, glaze with egg white and topped with sugar.

Divide the dough in half. Shape into a two loaves. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 30 minutes or until baked well enough that the center springs back when pressed. When cool enough to handle cut diagonally into 1 inch wide pieces. Place on a cookie sheet and bake again for 15 minutes, turning them over half way through. Or bake a little longer if you like them extra toasty.

You can temper chocolate and dip an end or the bottom of the cookie in chocolate for a fancier presentation.

Share with friends, take pictures of them holding a bag of cookies, and enjoy with espresso or cold milk.
Cookies and colleagues are a wonderful combination. 
Do you have a favorite handed down recipe? Or a favorite cookie recipe.