My dear friend Mark, a.k.a. “King of Desserts”, posted an embarrassing story on his blog the other day – he even got some bruises from it. Poor, poor Mark. It reminded me of one of the many embarrassing days I had when I was 16.
I was taking a Teaching Course and, being on the 3rd year, our class was responsible for decorating the school for Christmas. The 30-something students were divided into smaller groups and each one would have a part of the school prepped; my group got the teachers’ room – oh, yeah, sheer luck.
One of our plans was to make centerpieces using candles and pine cones and off we went to buy the material: 3kg (6 ½ pounds) of red and white thick-as-hell candles. Boy, those were heavy. But not heavy enough to stop two teenage girls with serious plans of going out that evening from going to the mall in search of the perfect outfit.
All was well until the bag with the candles broke while I was standing at the top of the escalator; I’ll never forget those people’s “WTF??” faces, having to move away from the candles, then from me trying to catch the candles – without much success, I might add.
I was so mortified I stayed away from that mall for over a year. I wish I had these cookies to comfort me back then.
Recipe from my lovely Brazilian friend Clarice – the cookies were a lot flakier the day they were made; I took the photos 2 days later. I also used a very small cutter, so there’s not much filling in each cookie – next time I make these, I’ll use a 5cm round cutter.
Apple filled cookies
1 small apple, finely diced
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
ground cinnamon, to taste – believe it or not, I forgot to add it
80g cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
150g all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 large egg yolk
1 egg white, for brushing
caster sugar and ground cinnamon
Start by making the filling: mix all the ingredients in a heatproof bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and take to the microwave oven (500W) for 3 minutes. Remove from over, stir and set aside to cool.
Now, the dough: sift flour and salt and place in a food processor, along with the butter – I used my Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment for it. Pulse a few times until mixture resembles fine meal. Add the egg yolk and a little water. Pulse again and add water until dough comes together. Transfer dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and press it to form a 1cm-thick disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF; line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
In a lightly floured surface, roll dough until 3mm-thick. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place a bit of filling in the middle of dough, brush edges with egg white and top with another dough shape, closing the edges so the filling won’t leek. Transfer cookies to prepared pan.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges – mine took a little longer to bake, 35 minutes.
Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll each cookie in cinnamon sugar.
Makes 38 with a 3cm cookie cutter in the shape of a drop