Cookies from around the world
With the holiday season nearing, the director of the university center where I work suggested that we bake cookies this year, bring them to work with us on a designated afternoon, and together assemble tins of homemade cookies for the other departments in our university: IT, the Dean's office, the cafeteria staff, etc. And for added fun, we've been instructed to bring cookies representative of the cultures from which we, as individuals, hail. I'm Eurasian, and did find several recommendations for Italian, German, and Scandanavian cookies on the Chow boards, but what of all your Filipino, and Chinese, and Irish cookies?...Got a great cookie with an unusual pedigree? I'd love to hear about it.
sorry to be so long to get to you but here's a few that have been fun and delicious to make:
Iraqi Date-Filed Pastries (require tiny tart tins for molding)
3 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 c cold unsalted butter
3 t orange flower water or rosewater
1/4 c water
8 oz chopped pitted dates
2 T butter
Heat together till dates are soft, set aside.
Cut butter into flour and sugar mixture. Rub with fingers until evenly distributed. Sprinkle on orange flower or rose water mixed with tap water. Work to a firm dough and knead lightly till smooth; let rest 30 min.
Roll into balls the size of walnuts. Flatten a ball in the palm of your hand, place tsp. of filling in center, and pinch dough up around it to close. Press ball (pinched side down) into tiny (1 1/2")round fluted tart tins.
Bake on sheet at 325 until lightly golden. Cool on tray. Pastries will be firm and crisp when cooled. Delicious butter/orangeflower water aroma!
Store in sealed container. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.
1 1/2 c butter--melted
5 1/2 c sifted cake flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1/2 t baking soda
2 c finely chopped walnuts mixed with 2 well beaten egg whites, 1 T sugar, dash cinnamon.
Mix sugar and milk and heat over low heat. Mix melted butter with beaten eggs and mix with cooled sugar/milk mixture. Add flour gradually untill you have a nice soft dough. Divide dough into 4 portions. Roll one at a time about 3/8" thick on lightly floured board, cut into 3" round. Place a spoonful of filling in center of each round, and bring the edges together, pressing so that the nuts remain inside. Cookie will have an egg shape.
Bake at 300 for 20 minutes.
Sicilian Sesame Cookies
1 T vanilla
5 C flour
1 T b powder
1/2 t salt
2 c sugar
3/4 c softened butter
sesame seeds, toasted
Beat eggs and vanilla.
Mix dry ingredients.
Cut butter into dry ingredients (as making a in pie crust).
Add eggs and beat to combine.
Roll into long logs 1/2" thick.
Roll logs in sesame seeds to coat.
Cut rolls into 2" segments on the diagonal.
Bake on greased sheet at 350 for 15 to 20 min till just golden. Let set 5 minutes, then cool on rack.
Hope this gets the ball rolling; folks should be gearing up soon for the holiday bake-fest!