I enjoy reading books a lot, especially culinary books, cookbooks or books about food history. I have a list of 10 cookbooks, it's not all the books I like, but these are some of the special ones. I thought maybe you have a foodie friend or family member who would love to have a cookbook for Christmas.
The Kinfolk table, it's one of them, it contains stories and recipes by very talented home cooks, restaurant owners, writers, students, flower artist that live and work all around the world.
Int the book there was this "Almond Sugar cookies" recipe by Vera Williams, mother and home cook living in Alberta-Canada. As Nathan Williams, founder of Kinfolk and also her son wrote in the book: She is famous among the family and friends for her delicious warm cookies, soups and healthy, fresh from the garden meals. She reminds me a lot of my grandma, living thousand of kilometers away, In Iran. With the same passion and love that Vera has for her family.
Vera used Almond extract to flavored her cookies and I thought why not I use some of my favorite spices and replace the Almond extract. So as a fan of Cardamom and Roses, I replaced the almond extract with rose water and I added some freshly ground cardamom to the dry mixtures. A wintry flavor that reminds me of my grandma's kitchen, plus rose always add a freshness and extra aroma to these cookies. A Persian classic. Cardamom suits the Christmassy vibe, Jewish Hannukah and of course our Persian Yalda.
You also can change the spices as you like, add cinnamon instead of cardamom, or orange blossoms, vanilla or ginger instead of rosewater. The choice is yours. ;) I also had my own icing recipe that is different from the one in the book. The only thing that it's best if you can use pasteurized eggs. The salmonella tends to be found in the yolk of the egg, according to researchers. But it's possible for it to be in raw egg whites too. But if you really like using eggs and you can not find any pasteurized ones, try to buy a free range eggs and check for their freshness; click here to see how.
Check out also for my other recipes with "Cardamom an Rose" you might like them too; such as the Persian Jeweled rice, the Carrot marmalade and the Cardamom rolls. I Hope you enjoy baking, cooking and celebrating the holidays with your loved ones. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah & Happy Yalda from Noghl-e Mey. <3
My Christmas CookBook list:
- Made In India by Meera Sodha
- The Art of Fermentation
- Cook For Syria
- Claudia Roden Books
- Rachel Roddy
- Jamie oliver Cookbooks
- Silk Road Cooking
- Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes by Ariana Bundy
- Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi
- Kinfolk CookBook
Ingredients for the cookies:
- 850 g "00" flour or all-purpose flour
- 6 g or 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 g or 1 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 teaspoon crushed cardamom pods
- 455 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 400 g sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 120 ml milk
- 1 tsp. Rose extract (or 2 tsp. Rosewater)
For the icing:
- 150 g powdered sugar
- 1 pasteurized egg white or fresh free range egg white
- 1 tablespoon milk or rose water
- Rose petals or other colorful dry flowers
- In a big bowl mix the ry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt and crushed cardamom pods.
- Use a electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then add each egg, mix well, before adding the next one.
- Combine the milk and rose extract (or rosewater), reduce the mixer speed to low, add start adding the flour and the milk, in 3 parts.
- Gather the dough in to 2 or 3 balls, place and close them using the plastic wrap. Then try to press them down a bit, it will be easier to roll them when they're cold.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour or completely chilled.
- 10-15 minutes before rolling the dough, preheat the oven to 177C-350F.
- Lightly flour a dry and clean work surface, roll out the dough to 0.50-0.60 centimeter thick.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, arrange the cookies on the sheets and bake them for 8-10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden.
- Transfer the cookies on racks and cool completely for 1 hour.
- Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room tempreture for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
As I don't have a lot of time decorating the cookies, and of course I am not that professional either, I chose the easiest, most simple way to make my cookies a bit Christmassy. I am very happy with the result, using a super simple icing recipe that it gets ready in less than 5 minutes. If you don't have icing accessories, 1 chopstick will do the work.
- Beat the egg white using a work for 5 seconds, then add the sifted powdered sugar, mix and beat until very smooth and glossy. You can always balance the icing density by adding more liquid (Milk/in this case also rosewater) to makes it more thin or to add more powdered sugar to make it thicker and dense.
- Then separate them in smaller bowl, and your favorite coloring, but be aware of the liquid colors that changed the density of your icing, try the brands that has creamy or paste texture colors.
- Use a chopstick or another similar tool to decorate the cookies; Using your tool, start to add very little amount of icing in the center of the cookie, then spread the icing towards the barrier, little by little, while adding more icing to the cookie. Then with the tip of the chopstick, outline the cookie along the outer edge. This will create a liquid "barrier" to keep the icing from dripping over the sides of the cookie.
- When you're done with the outline, continue to fill the center of the cookie with icing. Like coloring inside the lines. Try to not overdo it on icing, If you add more, the icing will leak over the outline you already created and make a mess.
- Sprinkle dry flowers, salt, sugar and different types of cookie decorations while the icing is still wet. Let them dry out completely for about 2-3 hours.