Tag Archives: Egg-Free

Kiffling (Wedding Cookies)

Rich crescent-shaped almond cookies with a light, crunchy texture. Despite the powdered sugar, they're not too sweet. They're easy to make.
Makes 3 dozen
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1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter

1/3 cup sugar

8 oz almonds (unroasted, skins on)

2 cups cake flour

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

These cookies have a delicious crumbly texture. I’m not a fan of confectioners’ sugar, but the coating on the on the outside works perfectly.

Using a mechanical grinder (meat, nut, whatever), grind

  • 8 ounces almonds

I suppose you could use 8 ounces of almond flour, but leaving the skins on provides a darker result and more flavor.

In a bowl, cream

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter

Add

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

When thoroughly mixed, add the ground almonds. Then blend in

  • 2 cups cake flour

to make a uniform dough. ATTN Using cake flour provides the cookies with a better texture. Place the covered dough in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325º F. After the dough has rested, measure out uniform pieces. I  used a scale and aimed for 22g pieces: they’re a little bigger than I’d have liked because (to my surprise) the dough rose a bit as it baked. You can just use a spoon or approximate uniform pieces with your eye: ATTN that’s better for your mental health.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Form crescents, making sure they taper down at the points. Place the cookies on the parchment-lined pans: they can be fairly close because they don’t expand much.

Kiffling waiting to go into the oven.
Kiffling waiting to go into the oven.

Bake for about 12 minutes and then check on them. If you need to rotate the racks or swap the racks top to bottom. Keep an eye on them until they are golden. At the size I made the cookies they took about 22 minutes to bake, but your timing may vary. You definitely want the cookies watch the cookies until they take on a nice color.

When the cookies come out of the oven, coat them in confectioners’ sugar. The cookies can break, so my approach was to dust them using a strainer with confectioners’ sugar right over the cookie pans. Then I used a spatula to move the cookies over a little to place the bottoms onto some of the spare sugar on cookie sheet.

Some people dust them a second time after they cool, but it’s more sugar than I like.

From my sister, Mindy, who probably got it from a family friend.

 

Semolina Cake

Makes 24 pieces

11/2 cups regular grade semolina flour (not fine)

21/4 cups sugar

6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

Scant 11/2 cups yogurt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon tahini

11/2 teaspoons lemon juice

4 teaspoons rose water

4 teaspoons orange blossom water

24 blanched almonds (about 1/3 cup)

In a mixing bowl, place

11/2 cups regular grade semolina flour

scant 1/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

Work together with your hands until well blended. Add

Scant 11/2 cups yogurt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Mix well to make a firm batter. Grease an 8- by 12- by 11/2-inch pan with

1 teaspoon tahini

Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Flatten it gently with the back of a spoon and cover with a clean dishtowel. Let rest for three hours.

While you are waiting, you can make the syrup, which must be cool before using.

Place

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup water

11/2 teaspoons lemon juice

in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stir occasionally and let it bubble for 3 minutes. Stir in

4 teaspoons rose water

4 teaspoons orange blossom water

let bubble for just a few seconds and then remove from the heat. Cool before using. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week.

Back to the cake: preheat the oven to 400°. You will need

24 blanched almonds (about 1/3 cup)

Cut the uncooked cake into 2-inch squares and press one almond into the center of each. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden.

Remove from the oven and pour the cooled syrup all over. Let the cake stand for 30 minutes to soak up the syrup. If you think the amount of syrup is excessive, reduce the quantity to your taste. Bear in mind that the cake will take time to absorb the syrup and although it may look as if it’s swimming in syrup to start, it will be fully absorbed within 30 minutes.

Adapted from Mediterranean Street Food, by Anissa Helou

Oatmeal Shortbread

Real chew-food: the uncooked oats are delicious and not overly sweet.

Makes one 9×13-inch pan, about 24 pieces

31/2 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup white or whole wheat flour

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 tsp salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 325° F. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon or your fingers. Butter a 9×13-inch pan and put the dough in it, pressing down and evenly distributing dough. Bake 30 minutes. When cool, cut into squares.

Adapted from The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook