Christmas time. Where has the year gone. Lately it’s been so hard for me to keep up regular posts. I still haven’t settled into a routine, and my studio space just switched again. I am not a fan of my studio space constantly switching as I am a total homebody but I must say at least my photography skills have improved as a result. It’s just me and Ernie the pug right now in my flat. I set up my favourite table by the window and this is the first shoot I have undertaken in my new place. It’s quite cozy right now, a fire on, cookies, tea and crochet await me as soon as I finish typing this post with one hand as I console my grumpy pug who has taken a dislike to the small airplanes she sees outside. I am also making truffles today. These cookies are a play on the traditional pasta flora cookie that are found everywhere in Cyprus. I am not sure if your family makes them at Christmas, but we certainly do. I modified the recipe to produce something a bit more Christmassy. I added a little cinnamon and orange brandy to the dough to give a touch of the Christmas spirit and went with a blackcurrant jam instead of my traditional apricot jam and star shaped pastry on top. I hope you enjoy and are enjoying the wonderful Christmas season.
3 & 1/2 cups Mitsides Plain Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of baking soda dissolved in 1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 egg yolks
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons orange brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
275 blackcurrant jam
roasted almond pieces for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180C. Beat the sugar with butter until fluffy. Add in the the egg yolks one at a time, beating them in well.
Add the lemon, orange brandy and the vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Add the dry mixture to the liquid mixture by hand until a nice soft dough is formed.
Divide the dough in half. Press half of the dough flat into the bottom of a baking tray 38 cm by 25 cm. Spread the jam on top.
Take the remaining dough and roll a long thin roll and place it on top of the jam so it follows the outer edge of the rectangular pan. Make more rolls and place them diagonally, in opposite directions, over the jam to create a diamond pattern.
If you wish, place small roasted almond pieces in each diamond pattern. Place in the oven and cook for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the dough is golden brown in colour. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, cut into bite size squares.