In order to continue promoting England (the land of my ancestors - I'm 1/2 English) and it's British culinary patrimony that is so dear to me, I made the decision to talk about a little cookie that occupies a special place in my heart...
My aim is to make you discover the traditional English cuisine through my childhood memories and make the skeptic folks who think that English food is horrid see this country's specialities under a different light - free from received ideas or preconceived negative misconceptions influenced by a global misunderstanding (sometimes close to propaganda) of the British gastronomy that have been blurring the vision of too many people until now. At least not everybody thinks that England has the worst food ever and thanks to many talented cooks such as Gordon Ramsay, Nigel Slater, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, Heston Blumenthal - to name a few - the British culinary tradition is being seen in a better way. That makes me happy.
Since a very early age, I have been very lucky to have been exposed to ver y good English homemade food thanks to my grandparents and my mother. Every year when I visited my grandparents, I was fortunate to eat extremely well. The meals were a festival of wonderful dishes that delighted me to the highest point.
Not only did I discover awesome dishes at my grandparents' place, but I was also spoilt by their friends who were members of the Women's Institute and baked like cr azy for the market which took place every Friday in the Belper Masonic Hall. Not to forget that we went out every week to eat some of the finest foods in the region: Fish & Chips from one of England's best chippy (George's Tradition); real Bakewell Puddings from Bakewell in Derbyshire (Bakewell Pudding Parlour & Bakewell Pudding Shop); Pork Pies, Black Puddings, ham and sausages from Jerry Howarth on King street; healthy and natural potato chips from organic foodstores; gorgeous chocolates from Thorntons; Iced Buns, Chelsea Buns, Beef Pasties from the local bakeries; dreamlike cakes, scones, cookie bars in tearooms; B aked Potatoes, Mixed Grill, Steak & Kidney Pie in pubs etc...
I always loved sitting at the kitchen table and watching my grandmother cook or bake. She took cooking very seriously and didn't want people messing around the kitchen. Although my grandmother didn't like me to touch her pans, I nonetheless found a way to get close to the workplace and stove. Looking wasn't enough and having a kid that wanted to touch everything made her mad!
Sometimes though, after insisting repeatedly that she bake with me, my grandmother graced me with her presence while I baked treats. It is to be said that she isn't a big fan of giving baking or cooking lessons, but she nonetheless accepted to show me a few tricks. Standing next to her and making goodies together felt so good. It was the only time that I could bond with her and feel some kind of closeness (until now my grandmother hasn't told me that she loves me, hugged me or made any compliment). It is for that reason I c herish those rare moments that I shared with her and which made me feel important to her eyes...
A book my grandmother used all the time (my mother has it and I am also the happy owner of that book which was offered to me by my grandparents) was the Bo-Ro best-selling booklet. It was first published in 1923 and it is still available. This little jewel is chock-a-block-full of traditional English recipes that even the novice baker can f ollow. A real goldmine. As a matterof fact, the recipe I am presenting today is highly inspired by it.
The cookies I clearly remember making with my grandmother are oldies but goodies known under the promising name of "Melting Moments". Those easy to make (a great cookie to make with kids), simple, yet delicious vanilla shortbread-like cookies carry their name very well as they literally melt in the mouth and are absolutely heavenly. The dessicated coconut (or fine oats) used to roll the cookies in give them an extra layer of flavor and yumminess. Pure bliss in the old-fashoioned way!
~ Melting Moments ~
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2010 and inspired by Be-Ro.
105g (3 1/2 oz) Unsalted butter
75g (2 1/2 oz) Castor sugar
1/2 Medium egg
1 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 Pinch Sea salt
150g (5 oz) All-purpose flour, sieved
1 Tsp Baking powder
1. Preheat the oven at 180° C (350° F).
2. Cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy and light in texture.
3. Beat the egg together with the vanilla extract and salt.
4. Add to butter mixture and beat until well incorporated.
5. Mix together the flour and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture and mix well until totally incorporated.
6. Shape the pastry into walnut-sized balls and toss in the dessicated coconut.
7. Place the cookies on the baking tray (covered with baking paper) and flatten slightly.
8. Press slightly a piece of cranberry into on each cookie.
9. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden in color.
10. Cool on a rack.
You can also roll the cookies in fine oats and place a piece of glacé cheery on the cookies (the original recipe uses no cranberries).
The original recipe contains 65g (2 1/2 oz) margarine and 40g (1 1/2 oz) lard. I chose to replace both with butter.
Keep the cookies for up to 5 days in an airtight cookie box.
Serve with coffee and tea at any time of the day.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Melting Moments ~
Recette par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2010 et inspirée par Be-Ro.
105g Beurre non-salé
75g Sucre cristallisé
1/2 Oeuf (moyen)
1 CC d'Extrait naturel de vanille
1 Pincée de Sel de mer
150g de Farine blanche, tamisée
1 CC de Poudre à lever
Noix de coco rapée
1. Préchauffer le four à 180° C (350° F).
2. Battre le beurre en pommade avec le sucre.
3. Battre l'oeuf avec la vanille et le sel.
4. Ajouter ce mélange au beurre en pommade et bien battre afin d'obtenir un mélange homogène.
5. Mélanger la farine avec la poudre à lever et ajouter au mélange beurre/sucre/oeuf/vanille. Bien incorporer.
6. Former des petites boules de la taille d'une noix avec la pâte et les rouler dans la noix de coco afin de les recouvrir entièrement.
7. Mettre les boules sur une plaque recouverte de papier sulfurisé et applatir légèrement.
8. Poser (en pressant légèrement) un morceau de cranberry sur chaque cookie.
9. Cuire pendant 10 à 15 minutes ou jusqu'à ce que les cookies soient dorés.
10. Laisser refroidir sur une grille.
Vous pouvez aussi rouler ces cookies dans du son d'avoine et les décorer avec un petit morceau de cerise glacée (la recette originale ne contient pas de cranberries).
La recette originale contient 65g de margarine et 40g de saindoux. J'ai choisi de les remplacer par du beurre.
Conserver les cookies pas plus de 5 jours dans une boîte à biscuits.
Idées de présentation:
Servir les Melting Moments à n'importe quelle heure de la journée avec une bonne tasse de café ou de thé.