Sometimes life just calls for milk & cookies.
So plain and simple. So comforting and nurturing.
The past few weeks have been wild and wooly… filled with too much to do in too little time and I find myself whirling. I start at point A and somehow manage to spend a day that takes me over-the-river-and-through-the-woods then dumps me on the doorstep weary and tired.
And what better way to wake the weary than a pretty plate filled with delightful little cookies and a cold cup of milk or pipping hot coffee.
And not just any cookies will do.
These beautiful, crunchy, cinnamon-y, clove-y, delightful cookies are the Greek version of biscotti. They have the uncanny ability to melt away stress and comfort my soul in ways I cannot explain.
A traditional Greek cookie called “paximathakia” (say it with me, pa-ksi-ma-tha-kya), they are easy to make and are to die for.
I finally got my mother-in-law to slow down long enough to teach me how to make them. She has “tweaked” the original traditional Greek recipe, changing little things here and there through the years that has made this sweet treat perfection.
For as long as I can remember, she would make batches of these gorgeous cookies every week to have on-hand for impromptu visits from family and friends. One can always find paximathakia waiting in the cookie jar at Yaya’s house. Maybe that’s why I find so much comfort in the little guys. There’s something so rich and wholesome about family tradition and recipes that stand the test of time.
Now it’s my turn to make batches of these soul satisfying sweet treats.
Who’s with me?
Love & cookies,
Greek Biscotti – Paximathakia
(makes 48 cookies)
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
zest of 1 orange (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup white Zinfandel wine
3 teaspoons baking powder (heaping)
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup slivered almonds or walnuts (chopped)
2 1/2 cups wheat flour
2 1/2 cups white flour
What To Do:
Briskly whisk oil & sugar in a bowl for 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl mix orange juice & baking soda until incorporated, slowly pour into oil & sugar mixture and beat until creamy.
Add wine and orange zest mix well.
Next add baking powder and spices and mix with hands. Slowly add flour about a 1/4 of cup at a time and continue mixing with hands until batter becomes a dough-like consistency.
Add almonds or walnuts (or you can make without any nuts at all) mix with hands until incorporated.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and shape into a round ball. Take a knife and cut a cross into the top of the dough, making four equal sections of dough.
One by one, roll each section into a 12 inch loaf, place two loafs onto a cookie sheet. Pat loaf until even and flat on top and cut 1/2 inch wide marks down loaf being careful not the cut all the way through. (Each loaf makes 12 cookies.)
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until they start to become golden brown. Take cookie sheet out of the oven, let cool, cut all the way through and then bake for 15 more minutes.
Let cookies cool completely before eating. Cookies can be stored for up to a month in a sealed container.