The large amount of mastic we have in our kitchen supplies has recently prompted us to bake cookies using this characteristic resin. We were inspired by a recipe from the book Vefa's kitchen by Vef Alexiadou. Mastiha gives the biscuits a specific, slightly resinous smell and a slightly bitter taste. We like its taste, so we really like the cookies. It is a good addition to your morning coffee. It is enough to eat one such cake: D
The preparation of these cookies is quite time-consuming and laborious, so if you would like to prepare them, save some time. Raw dough made according to this recipe is quite unusual to prepare and prone to tearing, so it needs to be handled gently. However, we evaluate the whole thing as a big plus, so these pastries definitely come to our standard.
And one more word about the mastic itself, i.e. mastiha. It is a natural resin obtained on the island of Chios. Mastic is sold either as whole crystals or in powdered form. While the powder is more convenient to use, however, it is ventilated faster. The crystals retain the aroma longer, but before adding it to the baked goods, rub them in a mortar. In Crete, mastic can be bought even in ordinary supermarkets, it should be among other spices, in Chania it is also available in the Market Hall. However, if you have not brought your holiday mastic so far, you can buy it in Poland at kreta24.pl .
1. Grind the mastic crystals into a fine dust in a mortar. The grated mastic must be divided into two parts, one for the dough and the other for the stuffing.
2. Pour chopped walnuts, ground almonds, raisins and mastic into the bowl. Then add about 2 tablespoons of honey and mix. If the ingredients do not combine, add a little more honey.
1. Sift the flour with baking powder and baking soda into a bowl. Then add the mastic and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Mix the ingredients.
2. Pour oil, orange juice and sugar into the blender. We mix everything until the ingredients combine into a homogeneous emulsion.
3. Make a small hole in the center of the bowl with flour and slowly pour in part of the previously prepared emulsion. Mix it with the flour and gradually add the remaining emulsion. Knead everything until a uniform, smooth dough is obtained.
4. Then put the dough on a pastry board sprinkled with flour. Divide the dough into several parts and roll them out to a thickness of 3 to 5 mm. The thickness of the cake depends on the consistency of the dough obtained. It must not be too thin so that the filling does not come out of the inside.
5. Use a round mold to cut out cakes with a diameter of 10 cm. Place each piece of dough on your hand, then put about a teaspoon of the previously prepared stuffing on it. We do not recommend putting the stuffing on the table because the dough is delicate and tears easily.
6. After applying the stuffing, fold the pancake in half and use your fingers to lightly clamp its edges so that they stick together. In this way, crescents are formed, which are immediately placed on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
7. The cakes rise slightly during baking, so you need to arrange them with spacing.
8. When we have all the cakes ready, put them in the oven heated to 180 degrees Celsius. Bake the cookies for about 25 minutes until they are slightly golden.
9. After baking and gently cooling the cookies, sprinkle them with rose water. If you don't have it, use plain water. Then sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.
Halvas is a traditional Cretan semolina dessert, present on tables most often during the fasting period. However, we have sometimes received halvas in taverns as "free" added to the bill in completely no fast time :) You have to admit that the light lemon flavor, despite the addition of a large amount of sugar, makes this dessert pleasantly refreshing even on hot days. Coconut flakes add flavor, which is a perfect complement here.
Rizogalo is a creamy Greek pudding prepared on the basis of rice and milk. The name of this dish is derived from these two ingredients: ρυζι - rice - rice; γάλα - gála - milk. An addition that will enrich the taste can be orange or lemon peel, which we add during cooking. Rizogalo ideally suited to the form of dessert, snacks during the day or as an addition to breakfast.
Baklava is probably the most famous Greek dessert. However, let us put aside the genesis of its creation, because Turks, Bulgarians and several other Balkan countries also admit to the invention of baklava. Nevertheless, since the Greeks have invented almost everything, the baklava is probably also ;-)