Every year, when jam making season arrives I realise once more I have made too many jars which would better be finished to make space for the new generation. Rather than forcing ourselves to have toast with jam for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I prefer making sweet treats calling for jams or fruit sauces, such as Thumbprint Almond Cookies. A couple of days ago I wanted to prepare them once more, realised I was short of almonds and substituted them with ground hazelnuts. The hazelnut version was so good, I am now wondering which one is my favourite… They may look clumsy (the jam is always oozing out of the thumbprint hole during the baking process), but the taste is heavenly.
Before the recipe details I would like to thank Mr. Three-Cookies (from Three Cookies) and Raymund (from Ang Sarap), who invited me to take part in Seven Link Challenge. The challenge consists of presenting 7 links from one’ own blog, each in a different category and then inviting other bloggers to participate in it. The aim is to present some older posts from ones’ blog and to share with the readers our opinions and facts about it.
Choosing the links for the 7 categories was not an easy task. It was however a great occasion to look back on my texts, photos and to have a critical view of my blog. Thank you, once more, Raymund and Mr. Three-Cookies, for tagging me! I will do the best I can. Here are the promised 7 links:
1. The most beautiful post.
I don’t know if I’m influenced by the way it looked in reality, but Asparagus Tempura is my favourite. It’s one of the most beautiful dishes I have ever had on my table.
2. The most popular post.
If I am to believe the number of visit Google has registered, the most popular was Chicken Karaage. I must say it was a very big surprise since I didn’t know there were so many people interested in this Japanese recipe!
3. The most controversial post.
I wouldn’t call it controversial, but since Marmite (the British savoury bread spread) is maybe the most love-or-hate product I have ever used, I might classify the Marmite Muffins as controversial. Believe me, even if you are not a Marmite fan, these muffins are irresistible!
4. The most helpful post.
I have no idea what might seem helpful to my readers. For me the thing that was really helpful was discovering how to make Dashi, or the Japanese stock. Since I started preparing it on my own, I realised how important it was in lots of dishes, not only in soups.
5. The post that was surprisingly successful.
The post which earned me most compliments and interest was Hot Strawberry Sauce. It is my all-time favourite hot sauce and I was positively surprised it appealed to so many readers.
6. The post that didn’t get the attention it deserved.
Actually I will bend here the rules and talk about two posts, both featuring Gochujang, sweet and hot chili paste, the only Korean ingredient I cannot live without.
Black Pudding and Gochujang Toast is the French (or rather European) and Korean fusion snack I would love everyone to try one day. Every time I make it I think how simple it is and how perfect for someone who is fond of gochujang and who adores good black pudding (aka blood sausage).
Scallops with Gochujang are one of the simplest and quickest meals or snacks I can imagine and I would love everyone to taste this combination one day. They go surprisingly well with… sour cream and when scallops are in season I prepare this dish quite often.
7. The post I am most proud of.
I wouldn’t really say here “the post” since the photo isn’t great. Fat Liver Terrine with Port (Foie gras au porto) is rather the culinary accomplishment I still am very proud of.
Duck Fat Liver Terrine is one of my top 5 dishes and usually the most expensive item on the restaurants’ menu. Even though raw fat liver does not cost a fortune and is easy to order from every butcher in France, very few – even French – house cooks ever try preparing it. There is a kind of mystery surrounding its long and a bit complicated preparation. Since there is someone in my family who does it divinely well, I decided to experiment one day on my own and was surprised how fabulous even a less-than-perfect looking home-made terrine is. Since I started making it on my own I have also become very critical to what is served in restaurants and often is simply awful.
It wasn’t easy at all! Now the invitation part! The rule is to choose 5 blogs to continue this game. I bent the rules once more and have chosen three “group” websites created and written by friends, couples or families. I wonder if they easily agree on the seven links’ choice… Hereby, I would like to invite the following bloggers to participate in this challenge:
-Shilpa and Jenny from Baking Devils
-Katherine and Greg from Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide
-Sara and her sisters, hiding under the pseudos kclever and mclevering, from Three Clever Sisters.
If you want to take part in this links challenge, you are more than welcome!
(I would also have tagged of course Nami and Shen from Just One Cookbook, but Nami already took part in this challenge.)
Now back to the Hazelnut Cookies recipe! These cookies can be baked in any moulds (or even without moulds). This time I used mini-muffin ones to make them really tiny. The recipe calls for matzo bread, but leftover biscuits (even slightly savoury crackers) can be used here too.
Preparation: 1 hour+ 1 h 30 min in the fridge
Ingredients (about 40 mini cookies):
100 g butter, melted
90 g ground hazelnuts
45 g matzo bread or biscuits (sweet or slightly salty)
1/4 teaspoon salt
130 g confectioners’ sugar (or less if using very sweet biscuits instead of matzo bread)
half a 300 ml jar of thick jam
Mix everything in a food processor (apart from jam). Put into the fridge for at least 1 hour to become firm.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Fill in the greased mini-muffin – or other – forms with a 2 cm thick layer of the dough. (You can also form circles and put them simply on a baking sheet, but in my case the cookies spread around them and became flat).
With your thumb (or another similarly shaped tool) make a small indentation in the middle of each cookie. Put once more into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Take the cookies out from the fridge and fill the indentations with jam.
Bake around 10-20 minutes till they become slightly golden (check if the bottoms are well cooked).
Take them out of the oven and take out of the forms when they are cold.
They keep for several days covered with a plastic film.