All done! I almost wish that there was another week to go before Christmas so that I could keep up the holiday bakefest, but nope, enough of the sweets until next month. I worked on 2 more Ottolenghi recipes this week (one is an adapted version on Food52), and despite the scary amounts of sugar, I have to say that Yotam’s ideas are amazingly delicious and spot on!
Clockwise from left: Halvah and Nutella Babka from Food52; recipe adapted from Ottolenghi’s Chocolate krantz cakes. I used nocciolata, a chocolate-hazelnut paste, in the place of Nutella. The babka is a treat at breakfast. Next, Christmas Eve Tourtière from Dish in the Kitchen. It has a savory pork, mushroom, and potato filling seasoned with sage. And lastly, coffee and hazelnut cakes. The recipe is Yotam’s Coffee and walnut financiers but I like the marriage of coffee and hazelnuts better. The batter needs chilling so this was a great recipe to put together the night before. At first I thought the mixture overly sweet, but after baking it mellows out and is just fine without the added icing that’s called for.
Hope your kitchen smells just as good. The dachshund hung around the kitchen all day long!
They would’ve been chocolate, banana, and pecan if pecans were readily available in Italy but Yotam already had that covered in the recipe so feel free to switch between the two nuts, or go all out and use chopped macadamia nuts as well. I felt that the icing sugar called for towards the end wasn’t necessary at all since the cookies have great flavor from the chocolate chips and banana. I LOVE these, but there are a few things about the recipe that I definitely did not.
Firstly, the time involved. Between chilling the dough and eventually rolling it into balls, this is not a lickety-split kind of cookie; plus, after they’re shaped, they need to firm up in the fridge again for another 60 minutes. Make the dough the night before. The next day, let the dough sit out at room temperature until it’s easy to work with.
Secondly, it’s a sticky mess rolling the dough into balls. Use a small cookie scoop instead. Even if I was shorted 3 cookies from the total yield of 24, my #40 scoop (1.5 tablespoon capacity) made quick work of it.
Thirdly, I won’t stand for cookies that need to be devoured within a day of baking. It just doesn’t work that way during the holidays. I keep these in an airtight container in the fridge. To enjoy them properly, they go in the microwave for 15 seconds. The recipe can be found here.
With some of these in the freezer, rolled and ready to bake, cookie production is officially over for the rest of the month. Santa visited us early this year so I’m off to ride my new bike!
Remember the adage ‘A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips?’ This indulgent, 3-layered Middle Eastern millionaire’s shortbread by Yotam Ottolenghi is definitely hip-happy but who cares? It’s the holidays! I’ve never even attempted the original millionaire shortbread version since the calorie content just scares me, but the recipe caught my attention when I noticed halva and tahini among the ingredients. Having watched Yotam on MasterChef Australia this year and totally loving his cooking vibe, I thought I’d have a go at a couple of recipes from his new dessert cookbook ‘Sweet’.
I reduced the recipe by 25% to adjust for my rectangular tart pan and it was just right, with a bit of extra tahini caramel left over (perfect inside chocolate truffles). This recipe and others are currently here and if I’m happy with another two, I know what I’ll be asking Santa this Christmas.