Three Easy Steps to Nutty Goodness
Photos by Rosy
I think we are having a mini-summer. The weather has been so pleasant, with lots of sunshine. Sometimes, I even sweat and complain a little. I love it. How was your weekend? Hope you had lots of fun or just a nice quiet weekend. I had both. How has your week begun? Please share with me!
I spent some time yesterday, reading about nuts. I came across so many interesting facts, but I will only share a few. First of all nuts generally have a high oil content and are a highly prized food and energy source. Did you know that several epidemiological studies have revealed that people who consume nuts regularly are less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. But I kept on wondering about people who over-consume nuts like me. If there was a word called nut-addict, it would perfectly describe my situation. The only way I stop myself from overeating nuts is giving my 14-year old, Rosy, the nut-full-container to hide, or just not buy them at all (the 14 year old took these photos, otherwise there would be no post today). I think if you leave me in a room with a bucket full of macadamia, pistachio, peanuts, cashew nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, (this list might go on forever, so let me just say 80% of the nuts) you will come back and find an empty bucket.
One study found out that people who eat nuts live three years longer than those who do not. The only problem? This study did not look at the over-consumers of nut. Perhaps I should just multiply the three years tenfold? I am afraid it may not work that way. I must do a mini research on over-consumers of nuts.
Many nuts are good sources of vitamins E and B2, and are rich in protein, folate, fiber, and essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and selenium.
The other problem: Nuts are most healthy in their raw form because up to 15% of the healthy oils that naturally occur in nuts are lost during the roasting process. This made me cringe because I can’t remember when I last ate raw nuts, I always eat them roasted, not just rare or medium but well-roasted and sometimes even spicy (tikka masala nuts, sweet and spicy nuts, rosemary roasted nuts, everything roasted nuts),
Today I want to share with you a recipe for Cherry Nut Cookies. I’m afraid you will have to bake them at 370°F, so they will lose some oiliness but gain their nuttiness. I hope you enjoy making these cookies.
Cherry and Nut Cookies
Recipe from The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits
Preparation time: 20 minutes; Cooking time: 15 minutes; makes: 30-4o depending on size
- 125g (½ cup, 4½oz) butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 55g (¼ cup, 2oz) sugar
- 1 egg
- 150g (1 cup +2 tablespoons) 5½oz) self-raising flour
- 185g (1¼ cups, 6½oz) crushed nuts (use your favourite nuts)
- 16 glace cherries, halved
- Beat butter, essence, sugar and egg in a bowl until light and fluffy.
- Stir in sifted flour.
- Drop rounded teaspoons of mixture into nuts, coat, roll into balls.
- Place balls about 4cm apart on greased oven trays, top with cherries.
- Bake at 360-375°F (180-190°C) for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.
- **I weigh the flour and butter, I do not use cup measures. The weight of a cup of flour tends to vary based on individual interpretation, publication and size of cup used (from 125g to 130g to 155g per cup).
- Cup measures based on 1 cup = 125g flour so that would be the US cup of 237ml, not the Australian Cup.
Points to Note:
- Please note that oven temperatures are given as a guideline only. You may need to add or reduce the suggested temperature depending on your oven. I baked these cookies at 370°F for 20 minutes.
- I always weigh my ingredients, especially the flour and butter. You can use cup measures, but please note that if you scoop flour directly from the bag you will end up with 150-185 g of flour instead of the recommended 125 g. I suggest you spoon the flour into the cup, heaping it up over the top, then slide a knife across the top to level off the extra. Be careful not to shake or tap the cup to settle down the flour or you will have more than you need. You can also sift the flour first then scoop. My advice: please use a weighing scale for best results!
- You can use all-purpose flour. Add I teaspoon baking powder for every 125g flour.