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Desserts Eat

Paximathakia the Greek Biscotti

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.

Cookie therapy.

Who’s with me?

Love & cookies,

Wenderly

Greek Biscotti – Paximathakia

(makes 48 cookies)

Ingredients:

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.

ENJOY!

Categories
Desserts

Heavenly Cinnamon Scones

O.k.- I don’t know about you, but I’ve personally never met a scone I didn’t like.

I mean, what’s not to like about a dense, ( yet flaky) sweet, (but not too sweet) perfect for ANYTIME of day decedent treat? Right?

I made my very first scone about 8 years ago after going to a friend’s house for a morning play date with our girls. She served coffee and scones and I JUST COULDN’T get over the fact that she had actually made them herself. I oohed and aah-ed and asked all kinds of questions like, “how long did it take?” “was it difficult?” “did you need special tools?” Looking back now, I sounded like Mrs. Kravitz interrogating Bewitched during one of their little neighborhood coffees.

But I  just couldn’t help myself. I was dumbfounded by the fact that she had (with her own hands) made these delicious, heavenly scones. (I knew that she was a good cook and all, but this was different, this was divine).

Finally, (probably out of embarrassment, and to get me to shut my mouth) she offered up the recipe. And to this day, I’ve made dozens upon dozens of scones. They are perfect for every occasion, from birthdays to baby showers or just when you want to really knock the socks off of your lady friends  next time they gather in your home for coffee. (and the one that keeps yappin her flapper about how good they are?…well, you may just want to have a copy ready and on hand ).

Here are the delicious secrets…

The recipe happened to be one of Martha Stewart herself. I am certainly no Martha, but have found that I do enjoy her recipes. The original recipe called for dried-apricot and sage scones, but I’ve substituted in cinnamon chips instead. And trust me, It’s a good thing.

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist that one!


These are the ingredients that you’ll need: flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter (keep the butter nice & cold) cinnamon chips, heavy cream and sanding sugar (you’ll use that as a finishing touch to make the little gems sparkle).

 

In a large bowl, pour in flour, sugar, baking powder, and cubed (cold) butter.

Now grab your pastry blender (or fork) and work butter into flour mix until it looks like coarse meal.

Now for the fun part.

Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get down-n-dirty.

Pour in heavy cream, and with your (clean) hands, just start grabbing and mixing and squishing until it starts to hold together.

Pour in cinnamon chips (make sure to pop one in your mouth for good measure) and continue mixing until incorporated.

Don’t mix too much because you don’t want the butter to get too warm from your hands, it will effect the flaky goodness.

Next,flour you work surface, pat dough onto an 8-inch circle 1 inch thick, pick up your handy dandy bench scraper (or knife) and cut into wedges. I usually cut 10, but you can cut as many as your little heart desires! Then place on a cookie sheet with a silpat mat (or parchment paper) so your scones don’t burn.

FYI- I love my silpat mat, it really does make a difference in the quality of your baking, you can get one at any baking goods store. It makes me feel all fancy, and like I’m on my own cooking show as silly as it sounds. But that’s just me…silly.


Now grab some heavy cream, a pastry brush and your sanding sugar (or sugar in the raw works too! I like the way the brown looks, personally).

Brush on the cream.

Sprinkle generously with sugar, this will really give your scones that lovely sparking finish and pop them in the oven.

Now sit back, relax and wait to become dizzily intoxicated by the sinfully delicious aroma of the cinnamon scones that YOU made with your own two hands.

Happy Baking!

Wenderly

P.S. Did you know that a scone a day keeps the doctor away? (well in my world it does anyway)