Yesterday evening, I had my friends and family over for my belated birthday party. I had been looking forward to this for a few weeks and I really enjoyed having them all together in my flat. I haven't seen some of them in quite while. And of course, I had a lot of fun preparing all the food!! Two evenings and one day in the kitchen. Lots of recipes to test... salads, sweet and savoury cakes, brownies, cupcakes... But let's start at the beginning: with the appetizers. Here is a savoury cookie recipe from Ottolenghi's cookbook which is always a great book to turn to when it comes to preparing party food. Stay tuned this week. There's more to come!
(from: Ottolenghi - The Cookbook)
210g plain flour, plus plenty extra for dusting
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp paprika
a pinch of cayenne pepper
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
165g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
80g poppy seeds
1 free-range egg, beaten
Sift the flour, baking powder, paprika and cayenne into a bowl and add the salt and pepper.
Mix the softened butter with the Parmesan until they are well blended (either by hand or by using a spatula, or in a freestanding mixer fitted with a paddle attachment). Add the dry ingredients and continue mixing until a soft dough is formed.
Put the dough on a well floured work-surface and divide it in half. Use plenty of flour, both on your hands and on the work surface, to roll each piece into a long log (3-4cm in diameter). Wrap each log into cling film and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up.
Scatter the poppy seeds over a flat plate or rtay. Brush the logs with the beaten egg and then roll then in the poppy seeds until covered. Refridgerate again for one hour (at this stage, you can also wrap the logs and freeze them).
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cut the logs into slices 5-8mm thick and arrange them on the tray, spaced 3cm apart. Bake for 12 minutes. The biscuits should be dark golden. Leave to cool completely before serving, or storing in a tightly sealed container.