Monday, February 10, 2014

Citrus and poppy seed slice and bakes, Matthew and Leo

Citrus and poppy seed slice and bakes / Biscoitinhos cítricos com sementes de papoula

I admire actors committed to their craft who are willing to go the extra mile for a part, but getting fat/thin/ugly to play a character must be part of the preparation, not the only highlight – the physical transformation and the talent to play the part must go in hand. Nicole won an Oscar with a prosthetic nose and not much else, while Christian Bale’s impressive weight lost in The Fighter was part of his portrayal of Dicky Eklund, not all of it.

I watched Dallas Buyers Club last week and though not very impressed by the movie – it is an OK movie with great performances, like Monster – the amount of dedication put into characters by both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto is outstanding. I wish Leto had had more screen time for he’s absolutely amazing as Rayon, and Matthew’s contained yet strong performance is something completely different from the movies from his past, but I think that a better script and a more talented director could have gotten much more out of him (he’s even more brilliant in True Detective, for instance).

Having said that, if I were the one choosing the winner for Best Actor in a Leading Role this year Leonardo DiCaprio would take the award home: he is ten times the actor Matthew will ever be (and the latter has evolved quite a lot in the last few years) and his character is a despicable one, even with the sort of comedy route Scorsese chose for the movie, while Matthew’s character has the empathy/sympathy factor going on for him; the Wolf is a complex character that expresses and ignites several different feelings and emotions throughout the three hours of the movie and Leonardo adds layer after layer to the character, making him hateful yet very interesting, and I did not see that in Ron Woodroof – I think that the character could have been taken to a whole new level by someone more talented, such as the very Leo or Christian Bale.

These slice and bake cookies are delicious, buttery and a snap to make – the original recipe called for lemons only but I decided to use oranges, too, and added poppy seeds to make the cookies even more interesting, for they add crunch and make the cookies look beautiful.

You can omit them, of course, for the cookies will still taste great – let’s say that they will be the Matthew McConaughey version while the ones with poppy seeds will be the Leonardo DiCaprio version. ;)

Citrus and poppy seed slice and bakes
slightly adapted from Epicurious

2 ½ cups (350g) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoons table salt
2 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup (226g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks

¾ cup (105g) icing sugar
½ tablespoon lemon juice, more if necessary
½ tablespoon orange juice, more if necessary

Cookies: whisk flour, salt and poppy seeds in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar, lemon and orange zest and vanilla in a large bowl, occasionally scraping down sides, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks; beat just to blend. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and beat, occasionally scraping down sides, just to blend. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Place each on a 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). Cut into 5mm thick rounds; space 2.5cm (1in) apart onto prepared sheets. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are firm and golden brown around the edges, 12-14 minutes. Cool slightly on sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the other log.

Icing: whisk sugar and juice in a small bowl, adding more juice by ½-teaspoonfuls if too thick. Spread or drizzle icing over cookies. Let stand until icing sets, about 10 minutes.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes about 50


Sue/the view from great island said...

These look great, I'm a huge fan of any citrus fruit and poppyseeds!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

I would love a few of these bright slices with my afternoon tea!

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