Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Crescent Cookies with Plum Jam


It is quite satisfying to find ways of producing things which have a feeling of both your own cuisine and the cuisine where you chose to live. One of the main reasons is that it makes you realise how successfully you have become part of that place and also how cleverly you managed to integrate your cultural elements with the new ones. Sometimes you end up having to divert from the original recipe just because you have run out of one the ingredients - necessity is the mother of invention! At other times, you feel there is something missing in the recipe - usually the spices people use in Turkey. Thinking so, or realising that I've been doing so since I first came to Sarajevo, I found four 'kiflice' recipes which are slightly different from each other. They were all tested by one of my colleague's mother. Kiflice, by the way, is a traditional treat in the Balkans. If you google it, you may come across several recipes under different names such Serbian rolls, Croatian rolls, Serbian crescents or Croatian crescent cookies. Whatever the name is, it's almost the same thing. Well, I chose two recipes and made those fantastic treats immediately. They came out just perfect! Here you will find the first recipe I tried which uses milk. So now, you might wonder what is it now that I added to this recipe. It's the way I shaped them. When the dough is ready to roll, the recipe tells you to divide the discs into triangles, just as pizza slices and then roll them over. That's it. It lacks the elegance that their mind-blowing taste would make you associate with. That was what I thought, at least, and so I cut a few stripes on one side of each disc which gives each crescent a finer look. Graceful and delicious!

500g plain flour
250g butter, softened
200 ml milk 

2 tablespoons caster sugar
14g baking powder
lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
powdered sugar and ground cinnamon to garnish
Plum jam for filling


1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
2. Combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, zest and milk using an electric mixer.
3. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix until it is well combined.
4. Divide the dough into four disks, cover with cling wrap or baking paper and put into the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
5. Roll each disc into a thin (2mm) circle. Cut out smaller circles using a glass or cup.
6. Dot a small amount of jam at the bottom of each circle.
7. Cut stripes on the other side of the circles using a knife. 

8. Roll each into a mini croissant shape.
9. Place onto a baking paper lined tray and into the oven for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden. 
10. Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with cinnamon and powdered sugar. 

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