Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Walnut and Coffee biscuits

Biscuits...my love affair is growing. I wrote a while ago that I was getting back into biscuits. For a while I found them too time consuming in my little parisian kitchen. The french have a knack for making the most of every each of space. They have to - as in Paris many apartments are spatially challenged, to say the least. I have a friend who lives in 9m2 bedroom/bathroom/kitchen included. At least it doesn't long to clean! In Paris shops one can find any combination of kitchen appliances in the one machine. My personal favourite is the stovetop, oven and dishwasher - all-in-one. They also sell microwave ovens that function as an oven and microwave, with 2 hotplates on top. Whatever next!

I had a combination microwave/oven for three years. To bake a batch of cookies took just over an hour, because I could only fit 6 biscuits in the oven at a time. I preferred to bake a cake. Much better rate of return for input/output ratio, in my opinion. One bowl, one mess, one cake, feeds up to 12.  Now, times have changed and my oven is considerably upgraded, due to moving to a bigger apartment. I am finding pleasure again in making individual portions of things. These biscuits fill the apartment with such a lovely smell that they are becoming a regular. 

Warm coffee, crunchy walnuts and crispy edged, soft centred.

Make yourself a hot drink and enjoy them any day of the week.

Coffee and Walnut biscuits (adapted from Nigella Lawson's 'How to Be a Domestic Goddess')
makes about 25

250g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (levure chimique)
200g butter
130g sugar
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 large eggs
200g walnut pieces

preheat the oven to 180°C.

Mix the flour, baking powder (levure chimique) together. 
In another bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a cup, crack the eggs and beat lightly together with the coffee powder to help the coffee to dissolve.
Add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar and mix to combine. 
Stir in the flour mixture and walnut pieces but don't overmix.
Line a baking tray with baking paper (papier cuisson). Using a tablespoon (cuillère à soupe) drop spoonfuls of mixture on the tray. Leave about 5cm between each as they will spread during cooking. 
Bake for 12 minutes. They should be golden brown and just firm to touch. 
Take them out of the oven and remove the biscuits to a wire tray to cool. 
When cool, store in a tupperware, airtight container. They will keep for several days. 

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