Kipferl biscuits and a dog in a jumper
These lovely, light biscuits are worth sharing. The recipe is from Konditor and Cook, a chain of bakeries in London with the emphasis on German baking. I do like German biscuit recipes and if you try this one you'll see why.
INGREDIENTS (this link takes you to the Telegraph from where I got the original recipe.)
50g ground hazelnuts
60g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla extract
125g salted butter, cut into sugar-cube-sized pieces
200g plain flour
for the vanilla sugar
If you start from scratch and want ‘instant’ vanilla sugar, use 1 vanilla pod to about 250g caster sugar. It’s more economical, however, to mix scraped-out vanilla pods with sugar and infuse it for a longer period (ideally at least a week) in a tightly sealed jar. For this recipe you will need 100g vanilla sugar.
Heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Spread out the ground nuts on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and toast them in the oven for five to seven minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
In a mixing bowl, blend the caster sugar with the egg yolk and vanilla extract, using a wooden spoon. Add the cubed butter and mix until the pieces have broken down a little. Add the flour and toasted ground hazelnuts, stir, then knead to a smooth dough with your hands.
Divide the dough into three pieces and roll each one into a sausage 16-20cm long. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut each length into 16 pieces (half, then quarters, then eighths and so on). Roll each piece into a ball, then, using the palms of your hands, shape it into a small, tapered crescent moon. Don’t make the ends too pointy or they will burn.
Place the cookies 1cm apart on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake for about 12 minutes, until pale golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a minute or so, then push all the cookies towards the centre of the tray and sprinkle with the vanilla sugar. It’s best to cover them completely. Leave to cool. When the cookies are completely cold, lift them out of the vanilla sugar. They will keep in an airtight container for up to two months.
In puppy news - I had to work really hard to resist getting a cutesy Christmas jumper for my daft dog. Then a friend saw one and bought it. So now we have a jumper for the dog. He enjoyed unwrapping his gift....
A bit cute, a lot scruffy and still a lot of fun. We've come along way together in the past 3 months, from the first 48 hours when I wondered what on earth we'd done to now, when we wouldn't be without our mischievous, friendly, muddy, scruffy pup. His paws are permanently dirty, he believes we only exist to play fetch and our (few remaining) cushions are his personal property but his tail is set on autowag and he is always pleased to see us and that's difficult to resist.
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