tagged ‘Nuts’

Hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies

in Desserts, Taste -

These hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies are sweetened by petimezi (grape molasses) and baked until soft and a little crunchy around the edges. 

Hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies

Last Saturday, I had the great joy to once again take photos at Oliveology’s cooking workshop. It’s no secret I have a huge soft spot for Marianna’s shop; everything is so carefully selected and brought over to London after much thought, consideration and testing, always in pursuit of best quality products*. The workshops follow the same philosophy: they are relaxed yet informative, introducing Greek cuisine and tradition through tasting and hands on preparation. The recipes are created by Despina Siahuli (another big soft spot right there) and every dish I’ve tasted time and time again there is filled with the best ingredients, bursts of flavour, goodness and an ever so slight sense of nostalgia, with which I am only too familiar. On that day, the menu included some of the most delicious cookies I’ve ever had- which also proved to be entirely fool proof and filled with all the good stuff.

Hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies

Made with no eggs, dairy or sugar, they highlighted some of Oliveology’s best ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, soft, wrinkly and sweet Corinth raisins, nuts (Despina’s original recipe calls for walnuts, but I can’t resist hazelnuts when baking, so I used those) and petimezi. I’ve used this sweet and aromatic grape molasses on a number of different dishes and I’m always impressed anew by the depth of flavour it adds; in here, it gives the cookies a delicious sweetness and their lovely tan colour.

You can flavour these with mastiha liquor like Despina suggests, but I didn’t have any at hand so I used brandy instead. It worked a treat and after 15′ out the oven came these little cuties. Very fragrant, soft and crunchy too, every bite bursting with just enough sweetness and so much flavour. They were gone on that same afternoon and made again the following day. Do give them a try- I have a feeling you’ll be making them many times over too.

Hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies

Hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies

Hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies

Hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies

WHAT

80g petimezi (grape molasses) 

50g extra virgin olive oil

150g all purpose flour

10g mastiha liquor (or brandy)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 orange zest

15 pieces Corinth raisins (I used more)

5 pieces roughly chopped walnuts (I used hazelnuts and doubled the amount for extra crunchiness)

30g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks

extra grap molasses and olive oil for brushing

cocoa powder for dusting (I omitted this)

HOW

  1. Preheat the oven to 175C and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Dissolve the baking soda in the mastiha liquor (or brandy); combine the petimezi and extra virgin olive oil and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the liquor (with the added baking soda), orang zest, ground cinnamon, nuts and raisins.
  3. Slowly add the flour, mixing to crated a soft cookie dough (if it feels dry, you can add a few drops of olive oil); lastly, add the chocolate and fold again.
  4. Shape the dough into round or oval cookies (about 35g each) and place on the baking sheet, leaving some space between. Brush with the petimezi and olive oil combined and bake in the preheated oven for about 15′ or until lightly coloured.
  5. Remove from the oven, and after 5′, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

* Just to clarify: this is not a sponsored post. I do work with Oliveology and (as with all brands I collaborate with) I love their products. As I use them very frequently, I would wholeheartedly also recommend them. 

 

 

 

Cranberry, citrus & pecan brown butter cake

in Desserts, Taste -

Sweet and a little sour, soft and bursting with seasonal goodness- there’s lots to love in this cranberry, citrus & pecan brown butter cake.

Cranberry, citrus & pecan brown butter cake

There was a time when I was oblivious to cranberries and their beauty. They sure are a peculiar bunch: perky and bright red, a sight for sore eyes indeed, yet tart and mostly accessible when they are cooked. Instead, come spring I paid my respects and showed love to other berries: soft sweet blueberries, my favourite of them all, perfect in a summer pie, a fragrant cake or rich overnight oats; also delicate raspberries and the ever so slightly tart and chubby blackberries. [READ MORE]

Apricot & blueberry pie

in Desserts, Taste -

Buttery, crumbly, sweet and juicy, this apricot & blueberry pie is delicious on its own and even better with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

During colder months, apples and pears are my go to, both for a quick snack and for a pie. In the summer, I very happily switch to nectarines, peaches and mostly apricots. They may look less impressive than the two former, but I so love their soft flesh, sweet & slightly sour flavour! Plus they are just perfect for baking: tossed with some sugar and a little spice, when cooked they turn so sweet and sticky, they are just impossible to resist. [READ MORE]

Courgette flower & pine nut omelette

in Savoury, Taste -

This fluffy courgette flower & pine nut omelette showcases these beautiful blossoms in the best way; and it’s even better served with a crisp white wine.

One of the things I most look forward to when I go home, is the weekly shop at the farmers market; in Greece, each neighbourhood has its own market, on a specific day each week, withe the same producers, stalls lined up in the same way every time. It’s perfect: much like a slightly chaotic stage, everyone has their part and everyone is vital: the farmers are loudly trying to lure clients, teasingly insulting their competitors and flirting with ladies of all ages. There is testing and haggling, small talk and gossip, there’s colours and sounds everywhere. I’ve loved it ever since I was a kid and I still do. [READ MORE]

Almond & white chocolate salami

in Desserts, Taste -

This almond & white chocolate salami is one of the easiest and quickest desserts you’ll ever make- and it is just ideal for summer snacking.

Almond & white chocolate salami

I am not exactly sure how this salami got stuck in my head; chocolate is, surprisingly, not something I really crave during the summer months. I long for simple pies and delicious ice creams, refreshing popsicles and fragrant sorbets. Yet here I was the other day, mixing melted butter with cocoa, chopping white chocolate, fragrant almond cookies and shaping it all into delicious thin logs. [READ MORE]

Homemade dukkah

in Small bites, Taste -

Fragrant, spicy and crunchy, this Egyptian savoury spice blend has the right amount of heat, is very addictive, versatile and so easy to make at home.

Homemade dukkah

I don’t remember the first time I came across dukkah; what I do remember is how crazy in love I fell. Listen, crunchy texture in food tends to make me very happy. Peanut butter is always crunchy (although I often cook with the smooth variety) and granola stays in the oven just a tiny bit longer; when I make pie using filo pastry, I try to call dibs on all the extra crispy corner pieces and as much as I love hummus, crunchy chickpeas always trump it. I won’t even get into milk chocolate with hazelnut or almond chunks- they pretty much sum up half of my childhood and don’t want to get soft now. [READ MORE]

Coquina squash, quinoa & goat cheese salad

in Savoury, Taste -

Coquina squash, quinoa & goat cheese salad

It’s pumpkin season and I’m in love. And by pumkin, I generally refer to all you wonderful squashes out there. All the different shapes and colours and textures- every year I get so excited and overwhelmed, I end up covering every corner in our house and sneaking squashes and pumpkins into most of our meals: from soups, snacks and mini cheese pies to main dishes and dessert, come October, chances are there will be squash or pumpkin in there. [READ MORE]

Mascarpone, pea & tarragon one-pot pasta

in Savoury, Taste -

Mascarpone, pea & tarragon one-pot pasta

Pasta is probably my favourite thing to eat; it’s easy, simple and delicious, aka the definition of comfort food. Although I can’t resist a serving (or two) of a classic tomato sauce slow-cooked with all sorts of herbs, garlic and onion, or a big plate of this stunning, pitch black squid-ink spaghetti, I’m usually partial to more speedy sauces, which you can whip up almost on the spot, with pretty much any ingredient you have in hand. [READ MORE]

Spicy fruit & nut couscous

in Savoury, Taste -

  Spicy fruit & nut couscous

Couscous is probably my favourite speedy food. It’s the perfect blank canvas for easy comfort food and while it can turn super delicious with very few additions, it never feels heavy, but always keeps its delicate flavour and appearance. Now that spring is (almost) around the corner, more so than before, I crave food that’s full of flavour, but also light; fresh salads filled with greens and herbs are on heavy rotation again and what I most often go for for a main is a plate of delicious couscous. I’ve made this vegetable variation with broccoli & cauliflower a couple times, but for this spicy fruit & nut couscous, the real thing is required. [READ MORE]

Vegan nut, cocoa & olive oil spread

in Breakfast, Taste -

Vegan nut, cocoa & olive oil spread

Every time I’m reunited with my sister, there are certain things that always take place (almost in this specific order): we hug and kiss (dramatically, on my part- Alkyoni is way cooler than me to gasp and whisper sweet nothings to my ear); we exchange gifts, have our first coffee and gossip enthusiastically. And then, on to the main course, our first brawl. It’s loud, usually for a dumb reason and it escalates quickly. And then, like ten minutes later, we’ve apologised to each other, made up and are swiftly moving on to what really matters: food. [READ MORE]