On the Northern hemisphere, we are still caught in the winter time with cold and often grey afternoons that are very inviting for spending some time in a nice, oven-warm ed kitchen or cuddled up in a warm blanket in front of the TV or fire.
I enjoy my afternoon tea or coffee a lot, especially if I get to have it with a little treat like a cookie or a piece of chocolate. And to be very honest, home-made cookies are the best anyways. I find myself too often disappointed by cookies purchased at the supermarket. I don’t know what it is but their taste is flat. It either has to do with the ingredient quality used by industrial food companies or simply with the fact that industrial food these days is made with substitutes for the ingredients that give our food the taste: e.g. corn sirup for sugar, palm oil or cheap vegetable oil for butter, colorants and aromas for actual fruit or other flavor-giving ingredients and too much raising agents like baking soda that leave a weird taste on your tongue. That is quite sad but, hey, gives us the opportunity to return to old school baking.
Stored in a metal tin or any other air-tight container, you can munch on your cookies for weeks, if not for months.
Original recipe by Nancy Silverton
1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons orange zest, grated
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence or 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (325 degrees Fahrenheit).
2) Beat butter with orange zest.
3) Beat in sugar until well blended.
4) Whisk together yolk and vanilla.
5) Add to butter mixture and mix scraping down sides as necessary.
6) Add flour and poppy seeds, stirring gently.
7) Divide dough into 4 pieces and Roll into 4 logs, each about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
8) Dough should be frozen for 30 minutes or refrigerated for 1 hour so that it can be easily cut
9) Slice 0.5cm (3/8 inch) rounds.
10) Bake on a parchment lined sheet pan until firm and lightly and evenly browned for about 12-15 minutes.
11) Let cool down before serving or storing and enjoy!