euro sweets

Walnut Scones

walnut-scones

the-best-scone-recipe

These were the most delicious little treats. They are buttery and flaky just the way a perfect scone should be. A few months ago I ordered a non-stick scone pan and after I had it I really was not sure about how they would turn out but I have to admit that I doubt I will ever make scones without it again. For you Americans out there you can also make biscuits in the pan as well. I am always afraid to over handle the dough (like when you make Southern biscuits) but I really do not think that applies to this recipe because I surely over handeled the dough and they came out so risen and fluffy. If you want your scones to be nice and flaky then make sure your butter is cold before using. Of course you need a nice cup of hot tea on the side.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons dried milk powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 cup buttermilk (I used laban)

1. Preheat your oven to 425F and lightly grease the scone pan. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter just until the mixture is crumbly. Fold in walnuts.

2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and liquid. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.

3. Add about 2 tablespoons of mixture into each scone pan wedge. Bake the scones in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove them from the oven and let them sit for 4 to 5 minutes to firm before removing them from the pan.

Yields: 18 scones

slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour

Halva

albanian-halva

albanian-halva-recipe

Halva is a popular dessert throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean especially during the month of Ramadan. This is the Albanian version and my favorite. Most of the Arabic recipes use brown flour. In all recipes you can choose to lump into onto one giant shape and serve it that way or make smaller pieces like I have. I always make this smaller batch and shape it into a flower like the above picture. This is the perfect dessert to serve with hot tea.

Some people like to allow the flour and butter mixture to cook longer until dark brown or you can choose to cook it until golden like I do, they both taste the same. When you first start cooking the halva it will be thing but during the course of the 15 minutes it will thicken up and clump as it should so do not add or remove anything.

7 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
hot water (just a bit about 2-4 tablespoons)

1. In a saucepan on medium heat add butter and allow to melt. Add flour into butter and use a flat disk and spoon to make sure the mixture has no lumps and is mixed well. Allow to brown (golden or dark brown).

2. Add the sugar and a small amount of water, mix and allow to cook for 15 minutes while mixing. After the time is up the mixture will thicken up mix hard until it balls and shake the pan. Allow to cool (bit not to long) and shape as you would like.

Yields: 4 servings

Pepparkakor

pepparkakor

Finnish-pepparkakor

Pepparkakor are popular Scandinavian cookies. They are usually cut out with pig or goat cutters throughout Finland and Sweden. I did not have either so I used an old fashion gingerbread man cutter that my mom sent me. These cookies are much more than thin and crisp compared to regular gingerbread cookies and honestly although they seem simple without all the frosting and such they do not need it all and are much better. I made quite a bit and they were gone in a days’ time. My picky five year old even declared them his new favorite cookie.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer cream together the butter, sugar, corn syrup, egg, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves until smooth.

2. Stir in the flour.

3. Scrape out the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk, using the wrap, not your fingers.

4. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a cutters cut into desired shapes. Space each cookie 1 inch apart.

7. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until golden. Transfer to racks to cool.

Yields: 2 dozen

German Pancakes

I have wanted to make and try German pancakes for a while now and finally an image I saw on Pinterest pushed me over the edge (I swear that site has made me craft and cook so much). My son and I are ecstatic about Breakfast food as it is. I made some sautéed apples out of some fresh green apples I had on hand for a topping and also served powdered sugar and maple syrup so everyone could choose their own topping. This was the most delicious and filling recipe in fact it’s so filling you do not need any other dishes to serve alongside. Please remember that you must beat the eggs as noted so they mixture is airy and puffs up and browns on the edges, this is a must for this recipe.

6 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In an 11×13 baking dish add butter and allow to melt in oven.

2. In a mixing bowl add eggs and with a hand mixer beat until frothy for 2 minutes. Carefully add flour, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt, mix well.

3. Remove pan from oven and increase temperature to 400F. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Yields: 6 servings