Sunday, December 6, 2015

Chestnut cookie recipe


In Transylvania Santa comes on December 6th and the Angels pay their visit on Christmas Eve, when baby Jesus was born. They are the ones announcing the good news through their gifts to every little boy and girl. Oh how I love this time of year... 
I am a summer kind of girl, but growing up, December used to be my favorite month of all...

One of my sweetest childhood memories is from the weeks coming up to Christmas. I was born barely a year before the revolution, so growing up in the very first years of the change of regime after the communist era, I was not granted many luxuries; none of us were...
My parents could not afford a VHS, but they inherited a vast collection of wonderful cartoon slides and a very old slide-projector, today very fashionably called a vintage USSR projector, from their families. So my mother used to hang a white bed linen on their bedroom wall, she used to roast chestnuts for this occasion and we would all lay in bed, watching cartoon slides, eating chestnuts and having a rad time!

Happiness does not require much, time well spent together and people who love one another is all it really takes, I find. Simplicity has always been more precious to me than anything. Gifts are absolutely useless if we cannot be there for each other... 

As a gift for the Transylvanian Santa's arrival, I'd like to share with you one of my go-to cookie recipes (well, truth be told, all my cookie recipes are go-to's), which is incredibly simple to do and good for pretty much all occasions; eaten for breakfast with a cup of milk, as a snack with your afternoon coffee or simply for therapeutic purposes when sadness strikes.



Chestnut cookies

250 gr. butter
250 gr. flour
250 gr. chestnut puree
1 tbsp castor sugar
2  tbsp honey
3 eggs
1 tbsp rum
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp baking powder
1,5 tsp winter cookie spice***

I don't think there's anything more simple to bake than cookies. You just need to cream up butter with the sugar, honey and the eggs. Add chestnut puree and mix well. Swift in flour with the baking powder. I personally prefer to mix the dry ingredients in gently by hand (but it can also be done by an electric blender). Add in cookie seasoning, rum and the vanilla.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and add chestnut sized mixture with a spoon. Make sure you leave space between each bump of dough, because it will spread.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 10 min at 180 C (or until the rim has darkened a bit). Transfer the cookies onto a cake rack and let them cool completely.


  • For extra therapeutic effect mix white chocolate chips into the dough, or alternately sprinkle the top of the cookies with sliced almonds.

*** I prefer making my own pumpkin spice (or as I like to call it, winter cookie spice) blend. I mix 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp dry ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 ground cloves, 1/4 cardamom. I nearly never buy ground spices. Instead I look for these ingredients in spice stores, and ground them at home; I find their flavor to be so much more intense and real.

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