Sunday, July 19, 2015

Saffron lemon cookies and Claire Danes

Saffron lemon cookies / Biscoitinhos de limão siciliano e açafrão

Those of you around here for a while know how much I enjoy movies and TV awards – I root for my favorites, hate it when the ones I find untalented and undeserving win and usually go to sleep at 2 in the morning. :)

For a couple of years I saw Claire Danes take home lots of awards for her role in Homeland and I did not quite understand why: I like her, I find her a talented actress and very versatile, too – who doesn't love Angela Chase? –, but those were the years she was going against Glenn and Mireille, and those two certainly deserved taking the awards home – I was rooting for them for Damages and The Killing are deep favorites of mine.

Now that I have started watching Homeland – and got completely addicted to it – I understand all the fuss: Claire is really amazing in it! If at first I did not understand all the awards, now I say “keep them coming!” :)

I’m OK with my favorites not winning as long as the ones who do actually deserve the awards, and now I see that is exactly what happened with Claire Danes; in September my heart will be divided for I would love her to win, just as much as I would love Viola Davis, Elisabeth Moss and Robin Wright – I haven’t watched season 3 of House of Cards yet but I am sure she’s fabulous in it.

As for these cookies, they look plain but they have a very special ingredient in them: saffron (which was the name of a character’s dog in Damages). :) I don’t use it very often for it is an expensive ingredient, but I could not resist trying them in cookies along with lemon and almond – they were delicious! The almond meal gives the cookies a wonderful texture that is why I recommend this recipe even if you don’t have saffron around: I am sure that cardamom would be beautiful here, or nutmeg, for instance.

Saffron lemon cookies
slightly adapted from the beautiful and delicious Annie Bell's Baking Bible: Over 200 triple-tested recipes that you'll want to make again and again

1 cup (100g) almond meal
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 egg
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
20 saffron filaments, ground and mixed with 1 ½ teaspoons boiling water – let it cool before using

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, vanilla and saffron infusion. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until a dough forms. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Roll 2 teaspoons of dough per cookie into balls and place 5cm (2in) onto prepared sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool on the sheets over a wire rack for 5 minutes then carefully slide the paper with the cookies onto the wire and cool completely.

Makes about 45

1 comment:

Shilpa said...

Excuse the pun but if Cookie doesn't win, America might revolt. That role made the show. The only person who can win without causing a complete meltdown is Viola Davis.

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