Sunday, 19 December 2010

Strawberry linzer cookies

I'm awfully excited about spending Christmas in my new home!! Due to move in 4 days, I've been busy ensuring the house renovations get completed in time, contacting the movers, and getting started on packing stuff into boxes... busy busy busy!!! Thank goodness things at work has lightened considerably.

Trying to clear as much as possible out of my fridge before the house move, I finally got down to baking those linzer cookie dough I prepared and kept in the freezer about 2 weeks ago. Linzer cookies are one of my favorites during the Christmas holiday season. I wish I had more time to make them into interesting holiday shapes... Merry Xmas everyone!!


110 g ground almond
260 g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
227 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
135 g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 large egg yolk
zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup strawberry preserves

Sift together flour, cinnamon and salt in a bowl, then set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add in the vanilla essence, egg yolks, lemon zest and ground almonds while continuing to beat. Add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Shape dough into a round ball and wrap in plastic. Keep in the fridge until firm (about 1 hour) or up to a few days. At this point the dough can also be stored in the freezer for a few weeks.
Roll dough between 2 baking sheets until about 0.6cm thick. Using 5cm cookie cutters of any shape desired, cut out pieces of dough, placing them on prepared baking trays around 2cm apart. Using a smaller cookie cutter, cut out the centers of half of the cookies. Bake for around 12 to 15 mins in a preheated 180 C oven. Cool on wire rack.
When ready to assemble cookies, place strawberry preserves in a saucepan and heat gently. Spread around 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of heated strawberry preserves on the bottom of a full cookie, top with a cookie without centers, sandwiching them together firmly.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Galette aux pommes (Apple galette)

I do realize its been over 2 month since my last post. Work has gotten the better of me lately... This weekend I got back into the kitchen with a vengeance! I made chicken cordon bleu on Friday for dinner (no pictures unfortunately as we were hungry!), linzer cookie dough on Saturday (stored in the freezer in advance preparation of some christmas cookie baking coming up), and a galette aux pommes for tea on Sunday which I'm sharing with you here.

I love how free form galettes can be. It can be made with a variety of fruits or fruit compote and in almost any shape one prefers. There are also both sweet and savory versions. To keep it as a light snack I made this one without any cream filling.

Recipe below adapted from Australian weekly's "Pies & Tarts"

- 300g pâte feuilletée
- 2 large apples
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
- 30g butter, chopped
- 1 tbsp fruit glaze (or apricot jam)

Preheat oven to 240 C.
Roll puff pastry into shape of your choice on a lightly floured surface till around 3mm thick. Place onto oven tray and turn edges in around 1.5cm, pressing down lightly. Set pastry aside. Remove core from apples and slice them into thin pieces. Toss apple slices in lemon juice. Arrange apple slices on pastry. Sprinkle sugar over apple slices and dot with half the butter.
Reduce oven to 190C, place galette in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Dot with remaining butter and bake for a further 25 - 30 minutes until browned.
Brush hot galette with warmed fruit glaze (or apricot jam that has been warmed and sieved).
If desired, serve warm with ice cream.


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