This blog post is dedicated to my beautiful, caring, loving Grandma, Anneanne who never fails to produce yummy, comforting food ❤
DISCLAIMER: I apologise if I am quite emotional and soppy in this blog post. As I write this I have just had my Eid dinner with my family so I am slightly drunk on love, happiness and irmik helvasi! Just to clear things up, I am not actually drunk (although I may sound like it). For those who don’t know, irmik helvasi is not an alcoholic drink but in fact THE MOST SCRUMMY DESSERT EVER (feel free to have a Google). Goodness, who do you think I am?! *insert melodramatic back of hand on forehead gesture* I would never promote such alcoholic behaviour on my blog..
Today I give you a recipe which is very close to my heart (because it’s in my tummy! The biscuits, not the actual recipe that is..) The recipe belongs to my grandma from Cyprus, who is one of the best chefs and bakers in the world. 1234567890 times better than any Michelin Star Chef. I’d take my grandma’s food over their food any day because who needs Michelin star food when you’ve got food which feels like a warm hug. Although most of the people in my family are rather “cheffy” I’d say she is the Queen of Cheffiness and I say this based on personal experience (tasting her food) and from all the delicious recipes she has passed down to my mum and therefore onto me.
Whenever I speak to her about her traditional, classic recipes, which come from the heart and soul of her home, she always responds to me saying: “What? You mean the boring recipes?” And to that I reply “No, no, no!” I am going to correct you, Grandma and give you a different definition, well actually several definitions, Oxford dictionary style.. Yes. These definitions absolutely came from the Oxford Dictionary.. :
traditional recipe /trəˈdɪʃ(ə)n(ə)l /ˈrɛsɪpi/ noun sing. 1 the best kind of recipe 2 a recipe that feels like a warm hug 3 a recipe that brings comfort and a happy tummy 4 a recipe that we know and will always love 5 a recipe that we can always count on 6 a recipe that makes you smile like an idiot, even when its name is mentioned
Am I right, Grandma? Am I right?! Have I convinced you?
Anyway, I suppose I should probably start telling you about the actual biscuits as, you know, they are the whole reason why I am writing this post. So you know they say that nothing can fix a broken heart? Well, I say that’s wrong because these biscuits sure could. One nibble and you’ll be dancing on the table singing “Single Ladies.” They are very simple, but aren’t the simplest things always the best? Their bases are in fact, buttery, biscuit bases. Very buttery, biscuits bases. The butteriest, biscuitiest bases you’ll ever find. Crumbly and melt in the mouth as all biscuits should be! The rest is up to you! The night we baked them, mummy and I personally craved apricot and raspberry jam filled cookies sprinkled with chopped almonds. So that is what we made (and ate) very successfully. My mum tells me these biscuits always managed to find themselves on a coffee table surrounded by her and her friends at events from girly sleepovers to tea parties! The plate would be left there and by the end of the occasion all of the biscuits would have magically disappeared.. I wonder where they all went?! They also helped her during those oh-so-familiar stressful exam periods and gave her that “warm hug” she needed when she was feeling down.
Here is the recipe for the cookie itself (you can add whatever you like to it! Jam or nutella or even something like lemon curd for the filling and any kind of nuts to sprinkle on top!)
250g plain flour
140g unsalted butter
50g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
Rub the butter into the flour to create a fine breadcrumb consistency
Add the egg yolks and the icing sugar and mix together until it just comes together into a dough
Roll into balls and squash slightly into chunky discs. Use an instrument to create small indentations, enough for a small dollop of jam. I used a 1/4 tsp measuring spoon and then filled it with a 1/4 tsp of jam and it worked perfectly.
Whisk up those egg whites that you separated out earlier and give your biscuits a glossy coat of egg white. Coat in almonds or any other nut of your choice.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 200 degrees celsius or until the cookie goes a pale golden colour, the jam is a sticky consistency and the tips of the almonds/any other nut have toasted slightly.
Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes on the tray and when cool enough to handle, transfer onto a wire rack to cool (or eat whilst still slightly warm!)
I hope you enjoy these biscuits. They really are something special and played a huge part in my mum’s childhood and I’m sure they will play a huge part in mine too. A crumbly biscuit, a sticky, fruity jammy centre and a beautiful crunch from those nutty almonds.
HAPPY BAKING! ❤