Seven-spice cookie ~ Kömbe

May 23rd, 2020 § Comments Off on Seven-spice cookie ~ Kömbe § permalink

The cookie dough is made from a beautiful mixture of fresh ground spices that include mahlebi, mastic, cinnamon, ground cardamom, ginger, clove, ground nutmeg and anice seeds with crushed walnut filling. During Ramadan, these seven-spicy cookies are a tradition of Hatay and Southeast region of Turkey. Almost in every household, large amounts of kömbe cookies are formed with its special wooden moulds then baked or else can be purchased ready from a wood-fired bakery.

These are a classical ritual cookies of Sugar Feast (Şeker Bayramı) as well as perfect for every occasion of Hatay region. During Sugar Feast bayram, people visit each other and the wonderful smell of these cruncy cookies are served to the guests.

  • 150 gr. butter (melted)
  • 100 ml. extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml. milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. vanilla powder
  • 570 gr. flour
  • 1 t. seven spice mixture

for the filling:

  • 1 cup crushed walnuts
  • 3 T. powdered sugar
  • 1 t. seven spice mixture
  • 3 T. sesame seeds to cover (optional)

for seven spice mixture:

  • 6 mahlebi seeds (pastle and mortar with a grinder)
  • 1/2 t. ground mastic tears (grind with a mortar and pestle the mastic tears)
  • 1 t. cinnmon powder
  • 1 t. clove powder
  • 4 cardomom seeds (give the pods a good whack with the side of a knife and take the seeds to grind)
  • 1/2 t. ginger powder
  • ground nutmeg ( grate 1/2 t. nutmeg)
  • 1/2 t. aniseed ( crush the aniseed in a mortar and pestle)

The combination should be around 2 teaspoons. Use one teaspoon for the dough and the other one teaspoon for the filling.

Melt the butter. When it is lukewarm, put to it to a bowl. Add olive oil, milk and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the seven spice mixture and stir well. Slowly add flour. Knead the mixture well until the dough will be smooth and soft.

Make the dough walnut sized balls. Fill with walnut mixture to the round shaped dough and close it with hands.

Then press down one side of the filled dough, to the oiled wooden mould to take its shape. Optionally dip them to sesame seeds. (This time, I forgot to dip to sesame seeds.)

Place on a parchament baking sheet covered tray.

Bake them on preheated 160°C oven until the cookies are golden colour.

Mini carob rusks with aniseed and walnut

December 5th, 2019 § Comments Off on Mini carob rusks with aniseed and walnut § permalink

According to the historians, rusk was consumed by ancient Minoans (in Crete) as it was the only way to have a kind of bread to keep longer without spoiling, during their journeys. They call paximadi (παξιμάδι) to the ancient wonder bread that is rusk, of which various shapes of them are loved in all over the country with many different types.

It is beleived that, the word paximadi comes from an ancient Greek baker and cook, Paxamos. The double baked bread paximadi word is derived from Greek and borrowed as  peksimet into Turkish.

Paximadi is a staple food of Greek island cuisine, especially for sailors, farmers and shephards that are away from homes for long periods.

The classical preferred flour for paximadi is barley which gives its characteristic flavour.

Nowadays one can find a paximadi with various types, including sweet ones, but not as sweet as a biscuit.

The sweet ones like these mini carob rusks are commonly served with a cup of coffee.

  • 400 gr + 1 T. whole wheat flour
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup carob syrup
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 T. aniseed
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda

Preheat your oven to 170°C.

In a bowl, combine orange juice and baking soda.

Add extra virgin olive oil, brown sugar and carob syrup to the bowl.

In another bowl, combine whole wheat flour, baking powder, aniseed and walnuts.

Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture in batches and make a soft dough.

Knead 4 small loaves and cut into 2 cm slices, but not all the way through.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of your baking tray. Put the loaves into the tray and bake in 170 °C for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, cut in slices and seperate the pieces.

Place the rusk pieces to a parchement covered oven tray and bake again for at least 30 minutes with lowered temperature of 160°C.

Bake the rusks until dry compeletly and all moisture is gone.

Let them cool and store in an airtight container.

Chocolate sponge cake with dark chocolate ganache decorated with homemade oreos

October 24th, 2019 § Comments Off on Chocolate sponge cake with dark chocolate ganache decorated with homemade oreos § permalink

If you are missing a classic snack, here it is the dark chocolate cookies sandwiched with butter vanilla cream fillings, nowadays called oreos!

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 t.vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Beat the butter and sugar until smooth about 2 minutes. Add vanilla.

Add eggs and dark cacao powder and mix on low speed.

Add flour gradually until the dough turns a clean ball and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.

Be careful you might not need all the flour. arrange the dough of needs add more flour or if it is crunchy add a bit butter.

Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll the dough about 1 cm thick.

By the help of a cutter cut on round shapes and place the cookies to the parchment placed oven tray.

Bake at preheated 180° C for 9 to 11 minutes until crisp around and done in the centers. Be careful not to overbake!

for the filling:

  • 40 gr. butter
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat all the ingredients until smooth.

Sandwich the cookies with the filling.

Today I used these homemade (oreos) cookies to decorate my chocolate sponge cake covered with dark chocolate ganache without heavy cream.

for the sponge cake:

  • 9 eggs
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 T. cocoa powder
  • 3 t.vanilla
  • 3 t. baking powder

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick, about 5 minutes using a mixer.

Add flour, cocoa and baking powder and continue to mix.

Pour the mixture into a parchment lined ring mold.

Bake for about 30 minutes until firm. The best way to check is to use a toothpick , when it comes out clean you can take the cake out.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down.

for the bitter chocolate ganache without heavy cream:

  • 10 T. good quality butter
  • 350 gr milk
  • 800 gr bitter choclate couverture

For the smootest chocolate ganache use a good quality chocolate.

Chop or grate the couverture chocolate into small pieces and place it to a saucepan.

Place milk and butter into a sauceopan over medium heat. Cook stirring occasionally until butter melts completely and tiny bubbles comes out.

Do not allow the milk to boil, not to burn.

Pour the hot milk to the chocolate saucepan.

Stir until the chocolate melts completely and the mixture will be glossy and smooth.

The ganache will be liquid so put it to a piping bag and place it to the refrigerator to have a velvet texture.

for the assemble:

Carefully and slowly cut the sponge cake into layers.

Set the bottom aside and put the top into the bottom of the ring mold.

Moist the cake with Rum and orange jam mixture syrup– which is optional.

Spread the dark chocolate ganache with piping bag.

Repeat the same for the remaining layers.

Place the bottom layer on top and remove the ring mold from the cake gently.

Start spreading the ganache to top also coat the sides with ganache.

Use a fork or a spatula for the sides of the cake for decoration.

Decorate top with home made oreos cookies and strawberries.

Crack cookies with walnut dipped in chocolate

July 10th, 2019 § Comments Off on Crack cookies with walnut dipped in chocolate § permalink

  • 3/4 cup walnut
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 200 gr butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. vanilla powder

Chop nuts pressing gently.

In a large bowl combine flour, cacao powder, baking soda, vanilla powder, cinnamon powder and chopped walnuts.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and stir until creamy.

Add dried ingredients  including chopped walnuts with butter mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated.

Roll dough into walnut shaped balls and flatten balls slightly with your thumb leaving an indentation in the center.

Place the cookies into the pachment paper lined baking sheet with sufficent space between them.

Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Bake at preheated 180° C for about 15 minutes.

Cool cookies completely before transferring to a plate.

for chocolate filling:

  • 100 gr bitter chocolate

Break chocolate and place into a bowl. With bain marie method, sit over a pan of simmering water and allow the chocolate to melt.

Spoon 1 or 2 teaspoons of this filling into the center of each cookie depending on the size of your indentations taking care not to overflow the thumbprint.

Let cool at room temperature for about 3 to 4 hours.

Sugar & flour free oat drops

March 12th, 2015 § Comments Off on Sugar & flour free oat drops § permalink

One can adapt this recipe according to his/her personal preferences.

Just mix and match the ingredients to get a different result each time by adding different seeds, nuts or fruits.

It can be wrapped and freezed. They are absolutely delicious, super easy to make and healty.

  • 1  1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts (chopped)
  • 1 cup dried fruit (like dried sultanino, huckleberry)
  • 1 3 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1  t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. cloves (powder)
  • 1 t. ginger
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg(grated)
  • sesame seeds
  • 2 t. pine nut
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine rolled oats with olive oil. Stir mixed nuts, dried fruit, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.

Add mashed banana with chocolate chips and pine nut.

Stir well and evenly mix them altogether until they are combined.

Form balls with your hands.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bake at preheat oven 170° C for 20 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

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