Teaparty Trio: Chocolate-almond cookies, Zingy Palmiers and Versatile Sponge

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”  C.S. Lewis

Baking true classics never really goes out of fashion…Nowadays the household veterans live through their fancy, sexy, new-old Renaissance, but , really, they are at their best without any contemporary twists.

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Chocolate-almond cookies
Ingredients
115 g chocolate, roughly chopped
115 g butter (1 stick), cut into cubes
2 large eggs, room temperature
150 g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125 g all-purpose flour
60 g dutch process cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
180 g flaked almonds
Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Set aside. Melt the butter, sugar and bittersweet chocolate over low heat. In a separate bowl beat the eggs until light and fluffy and mix in the chocolate mixture until well combined.  Add the flour mixture and gently stir, finally fold in almond. Make small balls and placed them on the lined tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on pan before transferring to a cooling rack.

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Zingy Palmiers
Ingredients
1 batch of puff pastry
200 g sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
Zest of 2 limes
Method
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
Combine 150 g sugar and zests together in a bowl. With a rolling pin, roll out the prepared puff pastry sheet in both directions to create a large rectangle. Evenly cover the surface of the puff pastry with sugar mixture. Using the rolling pin, roll over the sugar surface; this helps the mixture adhere to the puff pastry. Fold the long sides of the puff pastry towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Chill the dough for 15 minutes to allow the butter to harden slightly before cutting. Slice the dough into even slices.
Dip each side of the sliced dough into sugar. Place the cookies cut side up, wide apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, then turn over with a spatula and bake another 4 minutes, or until lightly caramelized on the surface. Immediately transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

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The Versatile Sponge Teacake
Ingredients
125 g butter, melted and slightly cooled
125 g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
125 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
To flavour:
80 g ground walnut instead of 50 g flour
or
3 tbsp strawberry jam
Preparation method
Heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line a cake tin with baking parchment. Whist egg whites with sugar to stiff peaks. Beat in egg yolks, then butter. Sift over the flour and fold in using a large metal spoon.
The mixture should be of a dropping consistency. Gently pour the mixture into the cake tin and gently spread out with a spatula. Bake for 35 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before turning on to a wire rack to cool. The recipe can also easily be baked in cupcake sizes.

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Finally, find a good friend to share all the goods with….

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” Linda Grayson

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2 thoughts on “Teaparty Trio: Chocolate-almond cookies, Zingy Palmiers and Versatile Sponge

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