Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lemon and caraway biscuits

Now when everybody is not as busy with halloween I can clearly see that it is not only me who is impatiently waiting for Christmas. My first Christmas cinnamon roll cookies this year were baked on October 1st and here comes the second batch. Every time I bake these lemon biscuits they surprise me once again with their depth and intensity. And almost everybody who tries them asks me for their recipe.

I feel childishly happy watching Christmas trees appearing at more and more cafes, offices and shops around Moscow. Last Friday - even more than that - Jagannath vegetarian restaurant already had its Christmas fair with mulled wine, candies and all the Christmas fetish.

For many years already it is our little Christmas tradition to bake many kinds of cookies, so that we always have them in beautiful and welcoming vase at the kitchen. We pack them in little present bags and give those to our friends. Thus I already gathered quite some feedback and I can see these cookies strongly resonating with many people as they do with me.

To add to that, last weekend I got to visit the shooting of Elena Spirina's cooking TV show - Prosto vkusno (Просто вкусно) on Kuhnya TV. It was my first chance to watch a cooking show from the inside. I'm so grateful to Elena for the invitation. Not only it was very interesting, it was great pleasure to see her and the team working together with lot's of joy and fun. I even got to do some cooking and try Elena's amazing Çäkçäk (чак-чак). Using this occasion I got her opinion about the lemon biscuits as well and (yes!) she asked for the recipe.

They are a joy to make - easy and relaxing. I always made them with caraway and it seems to be a perfect fit. However once I tried them with cardamon and it turned out to be one more good combination. Some people who tried them were sure they had some ginger in.

Lemon and caraway biscuits

makes 70 biscuits

125 g butter
300 g white sugar
2 egg yolks
zest of 2 lemons
4 table spoons lemon juice
1.5 tea spoons ground caraway (you might also try ground cardamon)
300 g all purpose flour
1 tea spoon baking powder

Cream butter and sugar, add the yolks, lemon zest and juice and slightly beat once again.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, caraway and baking powder and mix well.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing first with a spatula and then with your hands. You should get a dough which is even and quite dense and doesn't stick to your fingers.

Divide the dough in two roughly equal parts. Using a sheet of baking paper shape the first half into a roll of 4 cm in diameter (it will be around 35 cm long). Cover the roll in the same sheet of baking paper and place it into the freezer for 40 minutes - 1 hour. Do the same with the second half of the dough.

Heat the oven to 170C. Take the first roll out of the freezer and slice into rounds 5 mm thick. Place the rounds on a baking tray covered with baking paper leaving 2-3 cm distance between them. Bake for around 8 minutes. The biscuits shouldn't brown and should still feel soft if you press with your finger.

Take them out and quickly transfer the whole sheet of baking paper with them on a cooling rack. Try one biscuit while it is still warm. Let cool for 10-15 minutes and take off the paper. The biscuits will firm up while cooling down. Repeat with the second roll.

The biscuits are perfect with a cup of tea or black coffee. They can lie around at room temperature uncovered for around a week and keep fine. If you need to store them longer - plastic bag and freezer are the best decision. Take them out of the freezer 20 minutes before serving.

Related posts:

Cinnamon roll cookies
Chewy oatmeal cookies (vegan version)
Petits sablés (French butter cookies)
Savoiardi biscuits (ladyfingers)

Jagannath Moscow vegetarian restaurant and specialty store

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