Canistrelli (Coriscan shortbread cookies)

I was gifted this lovely little guide book of Paris recently. It’s not your typical guide book of monuments and activities, but a guide book strictly of food places and shops that any avid foodie, like myself, must see while they are in Paris. As you probably know, I’ve been working my way through the many food options that Paris has to offer and I always like to bring this book along with me so I can find a good place to eat no matter what arrondissement I’m in. Clotilde, the author of the book, also has an excellent blog called Chocolate & Zucchini, that I highly recommend taking a look at. 

In addition to the restaurant and bakery reviews, there’s a sampling a different recipes, all within the French cooking tradition. I decided to take a stab at some canistrelli the other day (otherwise known as corsican shortbread cookies).

I was pleased with how simple the recipe look at first – no butter, no eggs – and anything with wine always sounds good to me. I couldn’t find chestnut flour – the flour situation here in France is still taking some getting used to – but I did find almond flour, which I used a substitute. 

As I said, these were super easy to make, but they seemed to be lacking a little something. They were crunchy and and flakey, which I’m sure would go great with an afternoon tea, but I guess I was searching for something above and beyond the basic shortbread that I was used to, and this simply wasn’t it. Needless to say, I served them at dinner the other night and there was not a single one left! I would love to play with these again – maybe adding some different spices and more lemon and definitely will eat them next time with some hot tea! 

CANISTRELLI

(Adapted from Clotilde’s Adventures in Paris)

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups chestnut flour (substitute almond flour)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2) In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking powder, and lemon zest.

3) Form a well in the center and pour in the olive oil and wine. Stir the liquids into the solids, working gently with a fork, until the dough comes together.

4) Turn out onto a clean work surface, and knead gently until the dough comes together into a smooth ball, without overworking it. Add a little more flour or water as necessary to adjust the consistency.

5) Lightly flour the work surface underneath the dough, and use the palm of your hands to pat it into a disk, about 1/2 inch in thickness.

6) Slice the dough into 2.5-cm (1-inch) squares or diamonds with a dough cutter or sharp knife.

7) Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 160°C (325°F) and bake for another 15 minutes, until the canistrelli are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before serving.

8) Enjoy! 

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