There was a recipe in my Middle Eastern cookbook that intrigued me. It’s called Ghorayebah, which is like a Middle Eastern butter cookie. The recipe suggested replacing some of the flour with ground hazelnuts for extra delicious melt-in-your-mouthiness. I only had ground almonds so I used that, and then I thought I would dump half a bottle of red food colouring in it to give it ya know, a bit more PIZAZZ. I had to resist making that blink so hard. I think I popped something.
My intent was to cut out tiny pink flower shapes and put them together with a dollop of lemon curd in the middle and then some icing sugar sprinkled on top. How fucking cute would that have been? Well we’ll never know because the little buttery bastards turned to puddles. BOO! Tasty little buggers, but far from Cookie Challenge Champignons. Cory disagrees, and thinks they are tasty and that I have a brain disease. Also, I halved the recipe, so, here is exactly what I made. Thats a picture of them by the way, up there, blurred and hiding behind the giant bowl of lemon curd. Which rocks by the way. Mmm.
Almond Butter Cookies
Makes about 50
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup ground almonds
Blanched almonds – optional
Cream the butter and beat it until it becomes white. Add the sugar, beating constantly for about 5 minutes, until it is a smooth cream. Add Flour gradually, working it in by hand. This will make a very soft dough, thats okay, don’t worry, it works okay. If the dough is TOO soft, add a bit more flour. Chill for 15 minutes. Roll small balls and flatten slightly. Place them on baking sheet quite a good distance away from one another because they do spread out. Stick a blanched almond on top for decoration if you want. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. Watch the first batch carefully and make sure to take them out just as they look cooked but before the edges start to brown. Let cool.
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
3/4 superfine or granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small bits
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt 3 large egg yolks
1 egg white
Whisk lemon juice, zest, sugar, cornstarch, butter and salt together in a metal bowl over a post of gently simmering water. When everything is smooth and melted, very slowly add the egg a little bit at a time. Whisk gently until curd thickens and will hold the indent of the whisk, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and strain if necessary. Sometimes if the eggs arent tempered right you get little white cooked bits that strain out pretty easily.