Friday, June 22, 2007

weekend "goodies" project

these almost shortbread-like cookies are a fun little project which can be tailored to your taste. while i have used apricot preserves to fill them, you can use any type of preserve or jam you like.

once filled and baked, they are then iced with a simple glaçage of confectioners sugar and lemon juice to offset the sweetness of the preserves. adding sliced almonds either on top of the preserves before baking or toasted ones on top the icing afterwards adds texture and interest also. of course, they are just as good without it. experiment and see what you like.


apricot preserve diagonals

ingredients:

1 stick (1/2 c) margarine or butter
1/4 c sugar
1 1/4 c all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract

3 tbsp preserves or jam of your choice
sliced almonds, optional

9 - 10 tbsp icing (confectioners) sugar,
or enough to make a thick but runny icing
1 tbsp lemon juice or water

toasted sliced almonds for garnish, optional


method:

preheat oven to 35oF.

in a mixing bowl, beat the softened margarine with the sugar, vanilla or almond extract and salt until it is light.

add the flour in 1/4 cups until all has been incorporated.

make a ball and then divide the dough equally into 3 portions (~112 grams each).

line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly oil the sheet.

with your hands, roll out each ball into a length which measures about 8 1/2 to 9 inches. you will notice that it may crack while you're rolling it out. don't worry about that, just squeeze it together and work it so it extends. the cracks are part of the look of the cookie.

carefully place the ropes on cookie sheet. i have found it easier to roll the dough out on a chopping board and then carefully roll it/transfer to the sheet.

once on the sheet, take your finger and press into it about a 1/4 inch from the top edge. you need a border.

press all the way down the dough until you reach about 1/4 inch again. the dough will probably crack, again, don't worry about it. the final shape should sort of look like a little canoe. just make sure they are compact.

in a bowl, place 1 tbsp (maybe 1/2 to 1 tsp extra, if needed) of apricot preserves or jam and mix it well to break up any lumps. don't be tempted to use more as it will overflow and make a mess. trust me, i know ;P

place this tablespoon of preserves all along the length of one "canoe". repeat two more times.

at this point, you can sprinkle some sliced almonds on top if you like. you can also add shredded coconut over the filling.

place the cookies in the oven for 17 to 20 minutes.

remove cookie sheet from oven and let cool completely. if you move them now, they will break.

once cooled, make your icing by mixing the lemon juice or water together with the sugar. if you don't want to use the icing sugar mixture, you can alternatively dust them with icing sugar using a fine meshed sieve.

make sure your icing is not too runny and thin. if it is, add more icing sugar bit by bit. it should be thick-ish but still runny. test a bit on the edge of the pastries first to see if it is the right consistency otherwise you will end up with a mess.

drizzle the icing equally over each of the canoes with a spoon and let it harden. putting it in the fridge for an hour or so helps hasten the process.

once the icing is set, cut the "canoes" diagonally. make them as big as you want. mine are usually 1 inch wide.


enjoy!

happy first full day of summer :)

25 comments:

The TriniGourmet said...

do you think it would work without the glaze?

Roberto said...

The way you shape those cookies make a perfect time to say that's why they are finger looking good!

burekaboy — said...

hey sarina - sure it would :) you can serve them plain or dust them lightly with confectioner's sugar. if you're doing them "plain", i'd probably use the almonds though or maybe increase the jam by only 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp max. it depends on how high the ridges are and the type of jam or preserves you're using. if it's too runny, chances are it will overflow.

roberto - LOL! such a clever boy. (that was actually funny).

Nafeesah said...

*GASP**GASP* Okay that's it. I'm making these TONIGHT. This is one of those rare recipes which I fall in love with at first sight. And I'm sure I have all the ingredients in my cupboard at home! yay!

Actually I was going to make shortbread because my father has been asking for it for a while but..Sorry Dad!! These will come first! lol

Okay I will update ;)

Nafeesah said...

Oh B-boyyyy I was just going to print the recipe but I see that you forgot to put the amount of flour. Now we can't make shortbread without flour can we lol.

Flour please!

burekaboy — said...

nafeesah - oh oh!!! thank G-d you told me. you're the only one who noticed & mentioned it! don't know how i left that out. hope you get this on time then.

re: earlier comment,

that's why i like this one; it's very basic and a recipe for which everyone usually has all the ingredients on hand in the pantry.

hope you enjoy them. looking forward to hearing what you did with yours :)) i'm sure they'll be good. you can also change the colour of the icing with food dyes.

Jeff Ong said...

Hi, there --

Notice you didn't put in an oven temperature... I'm assuming around 375, or perhaps a bit cooler, given the shortbread-y nature of the dough. I'm trying them right now... I'll let you know how they come out!

- Jeff

burekaboy — said...

jeff - looks like i'm scoring high points on this post; first the flour and now the temperature! LOL

many apologies ... the correct temperature is 350F but 375 will work for the lower time (17 min). they should only slightly colour but from the sounds of it, you know what you're doing.

i have reread everything and the rest is fine. again, sorry for the oversight. hope it goes well & you like them. looking forward to hearing you what you think.

thanks for the comment and pointing out that important [absent-minded] omission!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That looks awesome! I could just bite in one now (my tummy's rumbling...) ;-P!

I guess you could also use other fruit preserves.

I have to save your recipe...

burekaboy — said...

hi rosa - thank you :) you can pretty much use any kind of preserves you like. my faves are also peach or strawberry. guess it depends on my mood and what i have available.

Nafeesah said...

I made these last night :)

They're so easy to make! I had so much fun forming them into 'canoes' poke poke lol. I doubled the recipe and I love the way they turned out. Mine were crispy all along the sides and then in the middle where the jam was it was still slightly soft and buttery...yummy!.

I think I beat the butter too much or something though? Because when they finished baking they sure didn't look like yours in the pic! they had spreaaaaadddd on the pan. Not so much as to be totally out of shape but the cuteness was lost anyway hehe..

But in the end I decided not to put on the glaze and just dust it with powdered sugar because they were just PERFECT without the glaze. The preserves have a really nice tart taste and I was afraid that if I put on the glaze it would be too sweet and I'm not one for too much sweet (I dont even like chocolate!)

Also I think next time (yes there will be next time God willing! ;-) ) I will cut them whilst still warm and soft and then leave to cool because they crumbled around the sides when cut after cooled.

I took some pics of them but they're not on the comp yet, later when I get them on the comp I'll show them God willing :p

Vcuisine said...

Its beautiful BB. You have done a good job. I think you got yourself involved in this recipe, that's the reason for not giving some measurements. But the end product looks so yummy. Will try sometime, as all ingredients are available. Viji

Princess Jibi said...

these look so goooooooood...
though am not quite sure i know what apricot is, am going to check it out now...

burekaboy — said...

nafeesah - thanks for trying them out and letting me know how it went. looking forward to seeing your pictures of them :D [i hope the other commenter, jeff, who said he was making them didn't have problems :o]

sorry to hear though that they spread out in the oven. it could be many things:

-your oven temperature could have been too high
-the 'canoes' may have been too wide when you shaped them (should be about 2 inches wide and ~ 3/4 inch high sides)
-you could have not put enough flour (this is my suspicion); too much "fat" makes pastries spread when baking
-or, you may have had too much butter/margarine in relation to amt of flour....

i don't think it was a matter of beating the butter too much. also sometimes, products in different countries are a little different so you may have to adjust a bit.

important, too, is that doubling a recipe sometimes changes the results and may require you to adjust your amounts. i really suggest trying it again but only in the amounts called for in the original to see if you have the same problem.

the fact that they were "crispy" suggests to me that it may have been your oven temperature was too high or you baked them a little too long (at the right temp). try a bit slower oven next time or reduce the time just a little. do you have an oven thermometer? (a good [cheap] investment from a hardware store).

all this to say: baking is difficult as deviations in results are often multi-factorial and it's sometimes hard to pinpoint one single reason.

all that matters was that they tasted GOOD :) the glaze is gilding the lily, so to speak, so really it's optional (i'm a sugar addict LOL so i love it).

hi viji - always such nice compliments you leave me :D thank you, viji, much appreciated.

i copied and pasted when i was writing the post so i must have missed something. the annoying part is that i read it over and over to make sure it was correct!! that's why people have proof readers, i guess (either that or i'm getting old! ;p)

hi PJ - ohh, you've never tried apricots?? guess you did not get these in guyana. they're small orange-y yellow fruit which are a bit sour and a bit sweet. often they're made into jams/preserves or used in baking. i hated them when i was small and my parents used them a lot in our food (desserts). it's also a very popular european thing/ingredient to use, i guess.

Princess Jibi said...

oh... nope we never got them in Guyana...
Maybe I will pick up a jam next time I have to buy...

Roo said...

Hi

Lee over at Pink Granite gave you such a write up, that I thougth I had better pop in and say Hi.

I left her a note too about baking. My old college lecturer said;

Hot hands = Bread baker
Cold Hands = Pastry maker

It seems to be borne out so far ;o)

trupti said...

Hey BB...

wow..wow....I love your detailed pictures.....
you have so much patience ;)

trupti

burekaboy — said...

hi there roo :) - thanks for your visit & comment. i think your college professor was probably right — judging from that comment though, i must have one cold hand and one hot one! LOL.

trupti - hey there :-) thanks. me, patient? hehe. i think that all depends on the venue ..... line-ups make me crazy (banks, stores, etc). i'm glad my patience for this, though, has paid off with comments such as yours ;) {and, of course, all the others, too!}

Roo said...

Hey hey - I never thought of that :o)

Nafeesah said...

Sorry! I've been forever to get back to you BB, here's the link for the pic, now that I look closely between mines and yours there does seem to be a big difference between texture..hmm...

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y87/tahaany/IMG_1648.jpg

So I made them for a second time last night :) and I took them to the mosque today for my friends and of course I dont need to tell you that they finished in a few mins time :p

I tried your suggestions too last night and made a single batch, but they still spread :( but it's not so bad if they do I guess, I also made another batch and substituted half cup of flour for rice flour and they were more firm...

What I realized though when looking at your pictures for the millionth time :p is that when you press your dough out it cracks but mine just barely does... is that a lack of flour I wonder?

Well I guess I will just experiment some more. I must sound like advertisements everytime I comment on your recipes with my "oh they were so good" kind of talk LOL :p

burekaboy — said...

hey nafeesah - many thanks for the photo link; they look GREAT! :b i'll have some! :)) glad to hear they "disappeared" quickly.

re: the spreading, i'm wondering if perhaps it has something to do with the fact that i usually make these with non-dairy margarine (otherwise i am limited to eating them only when i have other dairy meals). i KNOW i've made them before with butter only. the substitution SHOULD work o.O

i'm going to try them again but this time with butter and see if it happens. will get back to you about it. if you do repeat these again (lol, you're probably sick of them now!) before i tell you about what happens with the butter trial, increase your flour content maybe by another 1/3 to 1/2 cup or reduce the butter a bit. try baking them at 325 also instead of 350F and see if that makes any difference. or, perhaps chill them for an hour before baking; that may retard the spreading. adding rice flour was a good idea; it's commonly added to shortbreads. as you say, however, it's not such a big deal. it's not like they looked ruined judging from your picture.

really, i'm puzzled as to why they're spreading on you but not on me. like i said, it may be due to the fact i use/d margarine.

are you crazy?! you're great advertising!! i should be paying YOU, LOL. i'm also flattered you've tried many things from here and enjoyed them ... so thank you :)

Nafeesah said...

LOL I might just take you up on that paying comment BB, you'd better not regret it! :))

Naah..but really, I've enjoyed following the recipes from your blog, and besides, my little brother is always like "so what else are you making from the falafil blog" LOL...they call it that since that's the first thing I made from here :)

Actually it isn't such a big problem with me that it's spreading, they still taste awesome anyhow :p but if you do make them with butter i'd be real intersted to know the results. :)

burekaboy — said...

hey nafeesah - oh no, i'll go broke then!! :o LOL. you've made so many things.... in the end, i'm glad you've like the things you've tried so far. keep feeding that brother of yours!

will def. retry them with butter and let you know how it goes for me. at the very least, they tasted good. i remember them spreading on me once also and wondering what was going on .... but that was many, many years ago. i thought perhaps it was just some freaky thing that happened but now you say it happened to you, it makes me wonder if it was when i used the butter. hmmm....

TBTAM said...

GORGEOUS!!!

chanit said...

נראה כל כך יפה, וכל כך טעים.אני מקוה שהכל בסדר איתך, מוסרת לך דרישת שלום חמה, מפה