Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Almond poppy seed cookies + someone who should shut up

Almond poppy seed cookies / Biscoitos de amêndoa e sementes de papoula

I have, several times, spoken of my love for Jamie Oliver’s recipes – except for one problem years ago, everything I have made from his books and website turned out really good. But unfortunately when the guy opens his mouth for something else other than eating we are “graced” by so many ridiculous remarks that it’s very hard to digest. It’s a shame that someone like him, who reaches out to thousands of people and could send messages about understanding chooses to be judgmental about something he has no knowledge of – and when I think of his shows, especially the 15 minute meal one with all those dishes made with preserved lemons, harissa, pistachios and even saffron I can’t picture someone living in poverty being able to spend money on ingredients like those.

One of the things that aging has brought me is the constant exercise of not pointing fingers at others – I don’t always succeed, as I’m only human, but I try as hard as I can because the “if I can do it so can you” philosophy makes me sick – and that is exactly what Jamie Oliver is doing. Shame on him.

As I am overly disappointed at Mr. Oliver, I decided to post a recipe from a book that, up to this moment, hasn’t failed me – it has become one of my favorite baking sources, one I reach out for quite regularly and with excellent results every time.

Almond poppy seed cookies / Biscoitos de amêndoa e sementes de papoula

Almond poppy seed cookies
slightly adapted from the delicious The Grand Central Baking Book: Breakfast Pastries, Cookies, Pies, and Satisfying Savories from the Pacific Northwest's Celebrated Bakery

1 ½ cups (210g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/8 teaspoon table salt
¾ cup (170g/1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
85g (3oz) almonds, lightly toasted and cooled, coarsely chopped
granulated sugar, extra, for rolling the dough logs

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds and salt.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy, then add the vanilla. On slow speed, add the dry ingredients and mix just until they disappear into the dough. Fold in the almonds with a sturdy spatula. Divide the dough in half, then place each on a large piece of parchment paper; shape dough into logs. Fold parchment over dough; using a ruler, roll and press into a 3.5 cm (1.4in) log – like Martha does here. Wrap in parchment. Chill in the refrigerator until very firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F; line two large baking sheets with baking paper. Unwrap one log at a time (keep the other in the fridge) and roll log in the extra sugar, coating it evenly, then cut into 5mm thick rounds. Place them onto prepared sheets 5cm (2in) apart and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool in the sheets for 5 minutes then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 40


Nisa-mom said...

your cookies looks delicious .
For Jamie Oliver case maybe he doesn't know yet that "your tongue can be sharp like a sword" :(

Lesleyc said...

Patricia - you're probably lucky - but here in the UK we have a surfeit of JO and his utterings... and I cannot bring myself to watch his programmes he's such a messy cook. His only saving grace is that he's put a great many disadvantaged youngsters through cookery school and into work. Think he's also just brought out a book on eating/cooking cheaply. I have about 6 of his books on my groaning cookery bookcase that I'm thinking of trading-in with Amazon as I just don't use them. Best wishes Lesley

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

I haven't had a poppy seed cookie in so long, these look wonderful!

Rhiannon at After Plumcake said...

And lest we forget the time he went to East Los Angeles to cook for a Latino family's party and seemed so amused by all the quaintly poor brown people and their kooky traditions.

There was a child, about eight years old, standing too close to a boiling pot of soup. Jamie turned to the twenty-something guy who'd been his connection during that segment and said "Tell him it's hot."

So the guy looked at the kid and said in perfect deadpan English "It's hot."

Jamie Oliver looked at the camera and said "I thought he was going to say it in Mexican!"

Not Spanish, Mexican.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Ladies, thank you for your comments!

Nisa, you are so right. He should know better.

Lesley, I like his recipes, but he should be more understanding of other people's living conditions before pointing fingers.

Rhiannon, I missed that show - what a shame. You know, we Brazilians get that a lot: people think we speak Spanish here or that Buenos Aires is our capital... :S

Lesleyc said...

The only thing I would say in his favour is that ingredients such as spices, Harissa, and even preserved lemons are pretty cheap ingredients in supermarkets here - as are all spices probably because of our complete passion for spicy food here in the UK. So what is pretty feasible and can be thought of as a cheap ingredient here doesn't translate to other parts of the globe. By the way have you discovered the wonderful Yotam Ottolenghi yet - the most scrumptious food you can imagine. Cookery books are fantastic and his chocolate swirled meringues have to be seen to be believed. He has a blog in The Guardian as well. Best Lesley

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lesley, I have "Jerusalem" because I have eaten in Ottolenthi more than once and loved the place and the food there. Thank you, sweetie! xx

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