Coconut Milk Caramels

23 Oct

It rained a bit, at last, and it smells of Autumn.

I don’t know if this is going to last though and summer seems to have lasted for ever.

I started experimenting with making caramels, and this is my first attempt ever.

I found the recipe on Saveur and it clicked but was too reluctant to make it. But as part of trying to step out of my comfort zone lately, I decided that I would give it a try. What would be the worst thing that would happen? (Besides burning my stove? I would just keep on standby my fire extinguisher). As part of stepping out of my comfort I started this blog and aerial yoga and I haven’t regretted any of those choices (yet).

These caramels are sort of like the typical caramels you probably ate as a child, but with a hint of coconut. They are rich and melt in the mouth. They are rather on the chewy-rubbery side, something that some loved, but others hated. You will need a candy thermometer and some patience.

Coconut Milk Caramels

Recipe from Saveur

Ingredients
2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted, plus more for cutting caramels
1-16 oz. can coconut milk
¾ cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water

Directions

Line a 20×20 cm square baking pan with parchment and grease the parchment with coconut oil.

Combine the coconut milk, corn syrup and sea salt in a medium sized saucepan/pan.  Heat over medium low, stirring constantly for 2½-3 minutes until mixture is just warm and any coconut milk clumps are dissolved.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a big pot, combine the sugar and the water and stir until sugar is wet.  Place over medium high heat and let cook, without stirring, till the sugar turns a light amber color and a candy thermometer reads 154°C/310°F.

Immediately remove from heat and pour melted sugar into the coconut milk mixture. Be careful, as the mixture will bubble and splash.

Return pot to medium low heat, stirring continuously until all the caramel is dissolved.  Raise the heat to medium high, and cook until caramel becomes quite thick and a candy thermometer reads 1116°C/240°F, stirring frequently. This may take a while.

Immediately remove from heat and pour into the prepared pan.  Let cool completely and cut into squares. Brush your knife with melted coconut so that it doesn’t stick to the caramels. Wrap individually in wax paper squares and store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream cake

25 Sep

I made this cake ages ago…

I was supposed to post this at the beginning -middle of August, but I left for holidays and got lazy didn’t have any decent internet connection, so I just didn’t bother until now.

As you can see, it’s not your average plain ol’ chocolate cake. It’s more “special”. At least to me it was, as I made this for my father’s birthday. He doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, or so he says, so he is usually a bit harder to satisfy than others. I thought that you can never go wrong with chocolate and ice cream, so that’ s what I  went for.

It’s one big ice cream sandwich you could say. The cake is super moist and fluffy. The ice cream is hand made too, as I am trying to make the most of my ice cream maker, but you could always cheat with store bought.

Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream cake

recipe from La Receta de la Felicidad

Ingredients

For the cake
200 g flour (1 and 3/4 cups)
300 g sugar (1 and 1/3 cups)
90 g unsweetened cocoa powder (3/4 cups)
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
2 eggs
200 ml buttermilk (4/5 cup)
125 g butter, melted (1 stick)
200 ml freshly brewed hot coffee (4/5 cup)

Ice cream filling:

1 lt vanilla ice cream  (33 fl oz)

Chocolate frosting:
200 ml heavy cream (4/5 cup)
50 g butter (1/2 stick)
250 g dark chocolate (9 oz)
chopped almonds to decorate

Directions

Cake
Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Grease and flour (or use baking spray) two 23cm baking pans and set aside (I used 2 disposable aluminum foil pans)
Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth
Add hot coffee, and mix well. The batter will be very runny (probably that is why the cake is so moist).
Distribute batter between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for about 20-25 minutes.
Wait 15 minutes before unmolding. Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack.

To assemble cake
Take the ice cream out of the freezer a few minutes before starting to assemble the cake, to soften and make it more spreadable. Line a mold with paper parchment (the size of your cakes).Place a cake inside the mold, spread the ice cream over it, and top with the other cake. Freeze, if possible 24 hours (what I did as I made my own ice cream,  was after it was churned I poured it in a disposable aluminum foil pan and froze it there. You will need to trim it a bit on the sides when you put the cake together, but I found this method hassle-free for me).

Chocolate frosting
Next day, prepare the chocolate frosting. Pour cream on a medium saucepan, bring to boil, remove from heat, and add chopped chocolate and butter. Allow to rest for a few minutes, and then stir until dissolved. Place cake on a wire rack, and pour frosting over it, being careful to cover the cake completely. Drop some chopped almonds over it, and freeze again until you are going to serve it.

To serve: take the cake out of the freezer 10 to 15 minutes before you plan to serve it.

Multi layer ice cream

12 Sep

I know that in my previous post I  mentioned my longing to start using the oven asap. But the weather in this country is not really helpful, so I decided to make an ice cream instead. I would get to use my ice cream attachment for one more time (probably not the last for the season though) and I would also get a lot of time left to work on my other “projects” as this is a really quick and easy recipe.

The ingredient list is really simple and it can be adapted pretty much to suit everyone’ s tastes and ingredients available (that’s what I did).  The original recipe is  from Bake at 350, and it is called “7-layer ice cream”. As I used what I already had in my pantry, mine is a 5-layer one, if one were to count the layers.

Multi layer ice cream

adapted from Bake at 350

Ingredients:
¼ cup (56g) butter, melted
1/2 cup petit beurre cookie, in crumbs
½ cup dessicated coconut
¼ cup chocolate sprinkles
¼ cup chocolate chips
2 cups whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk, chilled

Directions

Stir together the melted butter and petite beurre crumbs in a small bowl. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

In another bowl, stir together the coconut, chips and sprinkles.  Place in the refrigerator to chill.

Whisk the cream and sweetened condensed milk together until well combined.  Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions, about 20-25 minutes.

Five minutes before the ice cream cycle is complete, add in the chilled coconut, chips and sprinkles, and continue to process for the remaining five minutes.

Scoop out the finished, soft ice cream into a freezer container, adding in bits of the petite beurre mixture, trying to keep some of it in chunks. (if you are lazy like me, you can add it in the machine, after the cycle is complete;just let it incorporate with the ice cream for like 10 secs)

Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down onto the ice cream and freeze for several hours until hardened and scoop-able.

Banana streusel snack cake

7 Sep

I really wish that while I am typing this post, I am wearing a cardigan, sweats and I am sipping warm coffee. Because autumn is here and all the leaves are brown and the air is chilling. And in my kitchen I am baking something cinnamon-y, dunno what though yet. I haven’t decided what.

Reality check…. I leave in Athens (the original one, in Greece) and it’s hot out there. Most of my friends and(sane) people I know, are still spending hours on the beach whenever they have free time and we are still semi-dressed due to the hot weather. The only thing that has come out of my kitchen the past month are mostly ice cubes, and I am lucky cause I didn’t have to make them (thanks to my fridge), so I won’t be giving you any recipe there.

In my head though, autumn is here.  My vacation time seems far away and I am back to my normal forty fifty-something- hour workweek (business as usual). I had a nice time, I can’t deny that, but now I am ready to start the new season and get back to my schedule. I’m also looking forward to doing loads of baking without instantly converting my kitchen to a sauna (it’s good for the skin, though).

I am just trying to be patient for now, and whenever I have free time I find great pleasure into going to department stores to secretly touch the new suede jackets or just feel the soft angora jumpers. I was even daring enough to use my oven the other day to make this cake.

I made it to accompany coffee, on a Sunday morning. It’s really cliché and at the same time an all time classic to make a banana bread/cake, especially now that schools are starting. But this one is not your typical banana bread. First of all it’s not a one bowl recipe, so if you were looking for a quick recipe, please come back next week. It’s more cake-y and light in texture and the streusel gives a nice crunch and feel (to me at least) and it makes it stand out (even judge G_ liked it and he always complains when he sees me making something with bananas).

Someone had cake for the first time (and from the look on his face he really liked it).

Banana streusel snack cake

slightly adapted from Technicolor Kitchen

Streusel:
6 tablespoons (60g) all purpose flour
6 tablespoons firmly packed (75g) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cake:
1 1/3 cups (233g) cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (255g) mashed ripe bananas (2 medium or 3 small)
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) demerara sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork

1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles or chips (optional, but you won’t regret it)

Directions:

Streusel:
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon with your fingertips until the mixture is lumpy; refrigerate.

Cake
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 20cm (8in) square pan then flour the pan, tapping out excess flour. Have all the ingredients in room temperature.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and set aside. Put the mashed bananas in a medium bowl and stir in the milk and vanilla; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the butter and sugar on medium-low speed until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
Add the egg and beat until completely incorporated. Add the banana mixture (it will look curdled, but that’s OK) and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer to its lowest speed and gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated (I always do this by hand, using a rubber spatula). If using chocolate, add it now.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter.
Bake the cake until it springs back when gently pressed in the center and a round wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan completely before cutting and serving.

Chocolate granola bars with cranberry & almond flakes

22 Aug

A snack for the road…

We are back from our holidays destination and this was our snack for the trip (to not from), but I am posting the recipe now. Better late than never, they say. Truth is, before we left I prepared the greek text and assumed that I would do this one during my time off. We had various devices with us and plenty of free time. What better to do on your free time, right? I never ever thought, that I would be without internet connection, or even mobile reception for most of my stay in that remote little village on the mountain.

Shock and horror, but after a while I just got bored of having to climb on the tree to get some 3G reception, so I just went with the flow and wire- and reception- less. And guess what? I survived!!!!!!I am really proud of myself, I have to admit.

Here is the recipe for the snack that I prepared for the road trip and to take with us to the beach. You could say they are on the “healthy” side as they have oatmeal and nuts. The bars are on the crunchy side the first day but they get softer and chewier the following days. You can pretty much adapt them to your liking, I just used what I had left in my cupboards. They are also a perfect pre workout snack (something I haven’t done in a couple of weeks though). The addition of chocolate and cranberry makes them a bit sweeter than I would have liked, so have that in mind.

(don’t you just love those little bags?)

Chocolate granola bars with cranberry and almond flakes

recipe adapted from here

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup dried cranberry
1/4 cup almond flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1 egg (small), beaten
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
——-
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Line a 20x20cm (8inch) square baking with parchment paper (let it hang from the sides).
In a large bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, salt, chocolate chips, almond flakes and cranberry.
Add remaining ingredients, gently mixing it all together.
Press the mixture with the back of a spoon or your hands into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cut the bars when they are still warm (either wise they will be too hard and difficult to cut).

Hello Kitty lollipops

23 Jul

(warning: this post is extremely pink)

This blog is a big fan of Hello Kitty (the kid in my just refuses to grow old). I must have spent a fortune on all things Hello Kitty and her friends. My grandma was spoiling me rotten and couldn’t deny me anything (well, I did have my ways I must say), so she was my Hello Kitty sponsor let’s say. I’ve kept everything I have ever bought, although after recent raids from my niece(s) I don’t know what there is left. But I do buy new things every now and then.

When it was time for me to make lollipops for a girlie christening, for twins and big fans of Hello Kitty, there was no debate as to what color or design I was going to use. I just had to make it work.

The recipe is the same as last time.

I ordered the Hello Kitty cookie cutters over the internet and I used sugar paste to make them, as marzipan was getting really soft to work with in this hot weather and besides, the sugar paste ones were better looking. I made them the day before and let them dry and harden (the sugar paste was white and I colored it in the shades of pink I wanted).

When making lollipops it is quite important having everything in place and ready (mise en place). While the caramel is boiling (I have trust issues so I use two thermometers) the lollipop sticks, spoons, silicon surfaces and hello kitties take their place , as there won’t be much time to look for anything later.

You need to work fast and it’s really helpful if you can get an assistant (my mom was the one for the job and she did the packaging as well).

They need some time to cool  and harden (it took about 20-30mins is very hot weather) but once they are cool they should be put in cellophane bags and wrapped tightly, otherwise they will be sticky and it’s going to be really hard to wrap them.

I made a couple of butterfly ones as well, for the boys, but it didn’t seem to matter much anyways.

If you would like to see the previous lollipops I made for my nephew’s christening, have a look here.

Melon Sorbet

17 Jul

How are you dealing with the heat?

It’s boiling out here, but compared to other countries (not too far away) we are doing ok and the temperature is not too bad (we might get used to it after some time).

I am not really in a writing mood. What with the heat, the new moon on my horoscope, the start of a new week, I feel like a zombie. I don’t want to do anything.

I made this melon sorbet this weekend and it turned out amazing, perfect to eat when you are feeling extra hot.

Mellon Sorbet

Recipe from The New York Times

Ingredients
1/4 cup (83 grams.) water
65 grams (about 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon) sugar
33 grams. ((about 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons) corn syrup (I used glucose)
680 grams (1 1/2 pounds) peeled diced melon (about 1 medium melon)
1 tBsp lime juice (optional)
Pinch of salt (optional)

In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Puree the melon with the sugar solution and remaining ingredients until smooth, in a blender or a food processor, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Take out of the fridge, blend again in the blender (or with an immersion blender), pour the mixture into a prepared ice cream maker, following  the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a container and place in the freezer. Allow to soften in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

Lentil quinoa salad

11 Jul

My friends and people who know me, know that I tend to eat things that are not very common and popular (I am talking about this corner of the earth) and that my hobbies have included not so popular/common choices  (like dj-ing, aerial yoga, baking etc).

Baking has been the most popular, I think, and has devotees (as they get to eat loads of sweets) and also because the cooking part is usually with more “experimental” and “uncommon” ingredients (again, for the Greek standards).

In general, I have  very boring and plain meals, most of them comprise of plain salad greens (no fancy croutons or dressings), boiled vegetables, legumes and grains (if Mr. Dietitian allows me). Also, most of my meals are consumed in the office, so I need to prepare meals (at least a day before, or longer) that can be easily packed, transferred and consumed among people (so, no smelly or garlicky food for me).

I’ve drifted here a lot…. Those “uncommon” or experimental ingredients mentioned above are usually found in Asian stores or stores that carry healthy/bio foods and products. One such ingredient is quinoa which is widely popular (not so much in Greece though, but it’s becoming used more and more lately). I must have discovered it in one of my trips to Germany (I usually bring back local/unknown food stuff when I travel), but they do sell it here as well now. Dear judge G_ of course won’t go near stuff like that (usually healthy stuff), even if I try to bribe him with money or anything else.

I think he fears for his life or something and doesn’t trust me (or my food choices). It just happened though, that  I made this at some get together with friends (mostly cause I wanted to eat it and bring some of the leftovers to the office) and he decided that this salad is  “f****** amazing”. Small victories, my friends, small victories!!!! I wanted to crack open the champagne, but I restrained myself (I didn’t even have to sneak it into a recipe, nor did I “advertise” this salad to him).

Anyways…. If you have eaten quinoa, you know what to expect. If not, I hope that I might have convinced you to try it, if not, you might acquire a taste for it at some point in this life.

I made it and served in my balcony (did I mention the nearly 40C/104F weather?) drizzled with balsamic glaze,  a sprinkle of my favorite spices mix called  Toque Iberico (found in supermarkets in Spain and in my house-seriously if you ever go to Spain, look for it) and some extra lime.

A few words about the recipe:

  • I’ve used the white quinoa variety, but you might be lucky enough to find the black or red one (or get the package that has all of them – super yummy and crunchy, my favorite)
  • if you don’t want to use quinoa, or can’t find it, you can substitute it with cous cous (I’d prefer the bulgur one, but I guess the Israeli one will work perfectly)
  • you can add ingredients of your preference (like zucchini, avocado, spring onions, feta cheese, mushrooms etc)
  • can be eaten as a side dish or main course

Lentil quinoa salad

recipe adapted from Food Network

Ingredients

1 cup (170gr) quinoa (uncooked)
2 cups water
½ cup (88gr) lentils (uncooked)
8-10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 peppers
4-5 tBsps finely chopped parsley (or fresh coriander if you prefer)

for the vinaigrette (I haven’t written quantities, it’s up to you how much you will use)
Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, mustard,  lime zest
salt, pepper, chilli flakes, garlic powder

Directions

Put the quinoa in a sieve and rinse in cold water. In a small pot with a lid, simmer it with 2 cups of water (or less if you prefer it al dente) . Quinoa should be tender enough to eat, but with a little “pop” upon biting.

Put the lentils in a sieve and rinse in cold water. In a saucepan, simmer the lentils in water until they are tender, but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse so that they cool down (it will stop them from getting softer).

In a small jar throw the wet ingredients of the vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, lime juice, mustard,  lime zest), place the lid and shake gently so that they blend.

Salad assembly: in a container with a lid, mix the quinoa, lentil, peppers, cherry tomatoes, parsley,  the dry spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, chilli flakes -to taste, according to personal preference) and pour the vinegrette (you might need to shake it a bit before pouring). Place the lid of the container and gently again shake it (up-down & left -right) so that they ingredients blend together.

You can serve it immediately or put it in the fridge for a couple of hours so that it chills and the aromas of the herbs and spices blend together.

If you like, you can drizzle some balsamic glaze before serving.

Chocolate cookies and cream ice cream (with coconut milk)

9 Jul

Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please!

I finally got an ice cream maker (as a birthday present, thanks to my cousin and his family-you will not regret it, I swear!).

And the timing couldn’t be more appropriate, as the temperature seems to rise (I think something like 39 C / over 100F ) and the heat makes it unbearable to do anything. I didn’t go to the beach this weekend (as nearly every person living in Greece did), of course, but I spent Saturday morning outside running errands and shopping, as well as attending my regular weekly (midday) aerial yoga class (which thanks to the weather was a HOT aerial yoga class). When I went back home, I was ready to lay my body on the marble floor, underneath the A/C (trust me it’s the best thing for instant cooling), but the thought of the ice cream attachment cooling in the freezer kept me going.

I prepared a quick and easy recipe, with only 4 ingredients (plus 1 I added), to test drive my new toy. The choice of a chocolate recipe was not a very clever one (at least not in a white kitchen), but at least I could see the splatter on the walls easier than if it was a vanilla one.

I also decided that my kitchen was not hot enough, so I baked some cookie cups/”beds” for the ice cream, from cookie dough I had in my freezer (I always save some when I prepare cookies). You can see them below, they turned out lovely (at least half of them), a sugar cookie dough cup/bed, sprinkled with fuchsia sprinkles for the girls (matching my new nail polish).

Plain for the guys, on a “bed of a white choc chip cookie”. Served and consumed outside, on the balcony or in the garden (if you have one).

Α few words about the recipe:

  • It’s super easy, with only 4+1 ingredients, it really reminded me of chocolate milk (with a coconut twist)
  • It doesn’t contain any eggs, as I have a thing with using not sufficiently cooked ones in desserts
  • If you don’t have an ice cream machine, I guess you can do it manually like I did in this recipe
  • The recipe below makes about half a kilo ice cream (1 pint)
  • the cookie cups/”beds” were made from two different doughs I had stored in my freezer, one classic vanilla cookie recipe and the other this recipe

Chocolate cookies and cream ice cream (with coconut milk)

recipe barely adapted from Two Peas & their Pod

1 (400ml) can coconut milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
10 Oreos, crushed

1 tBsp. rum (optional)

Directions

Combine the coconut milk, sugar, cocoa powder and rum in the mixer bowl (or a blender, or mix by hand)  and mix for 30 seconds or until all the ingredients are combined.Chill the mixture for an hour (if you can, or more).

Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last 5 minutes of churning, add the crushed Oreos.

When it is ready, transfer the ice cream to a plastic container, cover, and freeze until ready to eat.

Honey lemon cookies with wheat germ & my window view

4 Jul

My post was a bit delayed this week, I know.

I apologize, but it was my birthday on Monday and got a bit hang up with loads of chocolate and stubborn pizza doughs. There was chocolate everywhere, up to my eyebrows and flour on my hair (that was not gray hair; there won’t be any grey on my head for at least another 40 years, or until the companies stop producing red hair dye). It would be an understatement to say that I don’t like birthdays, but I’ve decided to have birthday reruns from this year on, if you get my point. I’ve celebrated  “enough” to keep me going for some time.

Since my New Year‘s Resolutions don’t really last until July, I had got into the habit of “renewing” them and call them B’day Resolutions, but they are nothing new, really (I usually vow that I won’t eat all my food, I’ll drag myself to the gym or yoga class, not to smoke like a chimney, think before I open my mouth to say something etc. etc)

But this year I didn’t do it. I’ve decided to let myself relax and be creative. This is how and why I started this blog. I needed a creative outlet,but  didn’t know that I would find it here. And I certainly didn’t know that I was signing myself up for so much work.

I also didn’t know that I would get to meet fellow bloggers, but I should never say never, I guess. Two of them, Eri and Ermioni invited me to play a blog game, asking me to send a pic of what I see out of my window. I took a picture of the view I see when I am mixing something on my green mixer.

I live in a suburb, not far from the center of Athens, and luckily among the urban landscape (translate: concrete walls), there is some “green”(banana/lemon/laurel and lotus trees).  And a mountain top, over there, at the right hand top corner (my eyes have been trained to avoid walls and concrete and focus on the good stuff, yeah).

.

I, in turn, invite the follow 5 bloggers to play, if they are still here, because I suspect for some the holidays have started.

(in alphabetical order)

1. For the love of feeding

2 .My little expat kitchen

3. Pepi’s kitchen

4. Royal Coconut

5.  The donkey and the carrot

I also have a recipe for you today.

These cookies are simple to make, perfect for breakfast, or to accompany your tea or even as a pre-workout snack. They are sweet and lemony, and enriched with wheat germ and spelt flour.

Honey Wheat Cookies

 recipe from  Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients

1 ¾ cups (245gr.) αll-purpose flour (I used 1 ¼  cup (175 gr.) AP flour + ½ cup (45gr.) spelt flour)
1 cup  (90 gr.) wheat germ
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup (100 gr.) sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
8 tBsp (113 gr.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (150 gr.) honey
1 large egg

Whisk together the flour(s), 1/2 cup of the wheat germ (you’ll use the other 1/2 cup right before baking), the baking powder and the salt.

In a different bowl, or the mixer bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers until the sugar is moist.  Using the paddle attachment, if you have one, beat the lemon-sugar and the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until creamy and smooth.  Add the honey and beat another minute or two.  Add the egg and beat for about 2 minutes more, until you have a smooth, light and fluffy mixture.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two portions, mixing only until each addition disappears.  Scrape the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap, seal and chill the dough at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days.

Getting ready to bake:  Preheat the oven to 170C degrees.  Have a pair of  baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  For convenience, you can shape the second sheet of while the first is baking.

Put the remaining 1/2 cup wheat germ into a bowl and keep it near you.  Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and working with a spoonful at a time( I used an ice cream scoop), roll the dough between your palms into small balls.  Drop each ball into the wheat germ, turn to coat, then place the balls on a baking sheet, leaving about a couple of centimeters of space between balls (these don’t spread much).  Use your palm or the bottom of a glass to gently flatten each cookie.

Slide the sheet into the oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes (it took mine about 10 minutes), or until the cookies are just firm to the touch.  Transfer the cookies to racks to cool to room temperature and repeat with the remaining dough.

The dough can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.  Once baked, the cookies will keep at room temperature for about 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

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