17 September, 2009

What's your favourite flower?





"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw acrowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company;
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."


I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,
by William Wordsworth




Ok, I'm not confusing orange blossom with daffodils, but the whole flower theme, brought back the memories. I've never been much into poetry, but I've liked William Wordsworth's poetry ever since I studied Romanticism Period in Literature.

So ever since I made these, I couldn't stop thinking of this poem. They are so romantic, and I don't know, make me dream of a field filled with flowers and tall grass, fresh breeze... while sitting on my couch...

Wake up... I present you one of my favourite ever... cookies...

I've been making these for more than 10 years, and anyone who's ever tried them, loved them from the very first moment.
I couldn't wait for the actual orange season and grabbed a bag of oranges the other day and made them. They are gone already... yeah, unfortunately, they never last long.

And I just realised this is my 50th post, so I'm even happier.

ORANGE BLOSSOM COOKIES

300 g flour
100 g powdered sugar
200 g cold butter
2 egg yolks
a pinch of salt
2 oranges (possibly organic)
+
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon sugar
orange marmelade
apricot jelly

Sift the flour with powdered sugar and salt into a mixing bowl.
Add chopped cold butter and finely grated orange zest of both oranges. Rub together to get coarse crumbs.

Add two egg yolks and quickly bring everything together.

Knead shortly, wrap in a piece of plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 1/2 an hour. The dough will be quite soft and sticky.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper to about 2mm thick (that's very, very thin).

Advice (remember? the dough is quite sticky): One, roll out only half of the dough at a time, because the edges always get way thinner than the central part, and keep the rest in the fridge.
Two: When you have rolled it out to desired thinness, lift the upper sheet of baking powder, sprinkle with flour, cover again and then flip the dough so that the floured side is on the bottom. This way, it will be easier to lift the cookies once you have cut them without changing their shape.
Remove the upper piece of paper and cut the cookies with a flower shaped 6 cm cookie cutter,

and place them on a baking sheet (lined with baking paper if you are not using silicon matt).
With a small 2 cm cookie cutter, cut a hole in half of the cookies.
I always bake those little flowers for kids, but you can collect them and roll out again making more big cookies.

Brush the cookies with a "hole" with a mixture of egg yolk and milk, and sprinkle with caster sugar (I used some demerara cane sugar).

I guess it's obvious this is my 2-year-old daughter. I guess the passion for baking is in our genes. :-)

Just in case mom forgot to sprinkle these with sugar...

or didn't put enough...

Bake in an oven preheated to 175°C for 10-12 minutes.
Warning: Watch them carefully because the egg in surface will make them burn easily, so as soon as they are golden, take them out.
They are very fragile, so let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Let them cool completely on the cooling rack before filling.
Spread a teaspoon of orange marmelade on the bottom side of the "whole" cookie and cover with the other cookie (the one with the "hole").

When you have completed them all, warm up 2 tablespoons of apricot jelly with 2 tablespoons of orange juice until completely liquid. Pour about 1 teaspoon in the centre of each cookie, filling the hole. Let the jelly set before serving.

Another warning: Once you have made your first batch you will learn, just like me, to make a double or even triple batch (like I do at Christmas), because they are so good, tasty, that they will disappear before you know it.

They keep well for a week (but they never last that long) and they freeze really well.



(Cro)
NARANČINI KEKSI

Mirisni i neodoljivi. Nestanu dok kažete "keks".

300 g brašna
100 g šećera u prahu
200 g hladnog maslaca
malo soli
2 neprskane naranče
+
1 žutanjak
1 žlica mlijeka
1 žlica krupnog kristal šećera
pekmez od naranči
pekmez od marelica (ili želea)

Prosijte brašno, šećer u prahu i sol u zdjelu. Dodajte hladan maslac narezan na listiće i sitno naribanu koricu dvije naranče.
Trljajte prstima da dobijete mrvice. Dodajte 2 žutanjka i brzo zamijesite glatko i meko tijesto. Omotajte prozirnom folijom i stavite u hladnjak na 1/2 sata.
Razvaljajte tijesto između dva komada papira za pečenje na 2 mm debljine.
Nekoliko savjeta: Razvaljajte polovicu po polovicu tijesta, bit će lakše i tijesto će se manje zagrijavati. Kad ste tijesto dovoljno razvukli, maknite gornji komad papira, pospite brašnom, pokrijte opet papirom i preokrenite tako da je pobrašnjena strana dolje. Tako ćete lakše odignuti izrezane kekse a da se ne slome ili iskrive.
Kalupom u obliku "ružica" promjera 6 cm izrežite kekse i stavljajte ih na pleh prekriven papirom za pečenje ili silikonskom podlogom. Na polovici keksa izrežite manjim kalupom krug ili cvijet promjera 2 cm.
Pomiješajte žutanjak s mlijekom pa time premažite prstenove i pospite krupnim kristal šećerom.
Pecite 10-12 minuta. Zbog jaja na površini keksi lako izgore, stoga ih vadite čim su zlatno žute boje.
Ostavite da se hlade nekoliko minuta na plehu potom ih izvadite i ostavite da se potpuno ohlade.
Kad ste ispekli sve kekse, napunite ih pekmezom. Na donju stranu cijelih keksa, stavite žličicu pekmeza od naranče i poklopite prstenom.
Zagrijte pekmez od marelica (bolje je ako imate žele, u suprotnom propasirajte ga) s 2 žlice soka od naranče. Stavljajte 1 žličicu na sredinu svakog keksa da ispunite rupu. Ostavite da se pekmez ščvrsne.
Odlično se čuvaju tjedan dana, ali sigurno neće trajati tako dugo, jer nestanu u trenu. Odlični su i za zamrzavanje.



(Ita)
BISCOTTI ALL PROFUMO DI ARANCE

Profumati e irresistibili. Spariscono sempre troppo in fretta.


300 g di farina "00"
100 g di zucchero a velo
200 g di burro freddo
2 tuorli d'uovo
un pizzico di sale
2 arance non trattate
+
1 tuorlo d'uovo
1 cucchiaio di latte
1 cucchiaio di zucchero
marmellata di arance
gelatina di albicocche

Setacciate la farina con lo zucchero a velo e un pizzico di sale. Unite la scorza grattugiata di due arance e burro freddo tagliato a tocchetti. Strofinate con le mani fino a ottenere delle briciole. Aggiungete due tuorli e impastate velocemente.
Avvolgete nella pellicola trasparente e lasciate in frigo per 1/2 ora.
Stendete la frolla molto sottile (2 mm) tra due fogli di carta da forno.
Qualche consiglio: La frolla e molto morbida e appiccicosa. Stendete solo metà alla volta, sarà più facile e la frolla non si riscalderà ulteriormente.
Quando avete raggiunto lo spessore desiderato, togliete il pezzo di carta superiore, cospargete con un po' di farina, rimettete la carta e girate il tutto in modo che la parte infarinata e rivolta verso il basso. In questo modo sarà più facile togliere i biscotti una volta ritagliati, senza rovinare la loro forma.
Togliete la carta e ritagliate i biscotti con una forma di diametro 6 cm.
Trasferite i biscotti su una placca da forno foderata di carta da forno.
Con una formina più piccola (2 cm) ritagliate i buchi nella metà dei biscotti.
Spennellate i biscotti (solo gli anelli) con il tuorlo mescolato con il latte e cospargete con lo zucchero. Infornate nel forno già riscaldato a 175°C per 10-12 minuti. Attenzione perché si bruciano facilmente.
Lasciate raffreddare qualche minuto sulla placca e poi trasferite su una gratta e lasciate raffreddare completamente.
Procedete con la frolla rimasta. Ogni volta raccogliete i resti e raffreddateli un po' nel frigo prima di stendere di nuovo.
Unite i biscotti due a due (intero + anello) con un cucchiaino di marmellata di arance. Riscaldate la gelatina di albicocche con 2 cucchiai di succo d'arancia e versate un cucchiaino nel centro di ogni biscotto.
Lasciate riposare almeno un'ora.

18 comments:

  1. oh mamma mia ma sono splendidi!! chissà che buoni!

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  2. What beautiful flower cookies!

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  3. Those look wicked good. I love orange cookies!

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  4. Che belli mettono tanta allegria... belli e buonissimi!!!! complimenti sei grandiosa!!!!!

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  5. I love the poem!

    These cookies are so pretty I can see why everyone loves them so much! :P

    I need to get one of those cute cutters!

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  6. Mmmmmm, sounds so delightful! I just love your cute little helper too!

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  7. Happy 50th post! Those flowers are beautiful! So is your daughter by the way!

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  8. * Federica, grazie, sei gentilissima.
    * Thanks, Kathie, I love flowers, so these are perfect.
    *Me too, Bob.
    *Pasquy, sei troppo carina. Grazie.
    *Kim, I got my cutter from Tupperwere, I used to sell that stuff, :D
    *DD and Michele, thanks, girls. Wouldn't you like to have a little helper like this?

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  9. Adorabili questi biscotti,immagino il profumo ummmmm :P

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  10. Bellissimi e credo buonissimi i biscotti, ma quel ciuccio!!! che creatura meravigliosa che hai!!!
    Bacioni

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  11. AAAAGGGGGHHHHH! You're killin' me, these look amazing! It's so much work, though...I feel way to lazy to make these. I wish I could just have some of yours ;)

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  12. *Grazie, Solema, e il mio tesorino pestifero
    *Nany, sì, profumino incantevole

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  13. *Girlichef, ha, ha, you can always simplify. But they are well worth the effort

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  14. Beautiful Cookies!!!! and they sound divine. They remind me of Linzeraugen, one of those cookies that is a lot of work, but WELL worth the effort. :) I love these and have GOT to try them. I wonder if I chilled my marble slab, if it would help with the sticking...

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  15. Mmmm I love apricot jam in desserts.

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  16. *Thanks, Shane, I don't have a marble slab, so I play safe with baking paper. But let me know if it worked for you.
    *Me too, Lele.

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  17. Beautiful cookies, beautiful daughter! Congrats on your 50th post. This looks like a great recipe to celebrate with!

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