Thursday, October 20, 2011

Greece is the word.


I didn't want to do the thing that EVERYONE mentioned. Spanakopita. I wanted to try something different; something I've never had. I think I found it in these cookies.

They go perfectly with a glass of sweet white wine, or a cup of citrusy tea. They're a bit dry, so a beverage is a must. This would be perfect to serve at a shower or other hen party, where dainty cookies are usually called for.

finikias 002

Vegan Finikia
Makes about 2 dozen cookies*

1 stick Earth Balance, softened (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup superfine sugar (I just put regular crystal sugar in the Vitamix for a few seconds)
grated zest of one organic orange
1/2 cup corn oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semolina
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup orange juice

1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup Just Like Honey or other honey alternative
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, sesame seeds, or caster sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, superfine sugar and orange zest. Gradually mix in the oil and beat until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, semolina, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves; beat into the fluffy mixture alternately with the orange juice. As the mixture thickens, turn out onto a floured board and knead into a firm dough. Pinch off tablespoonfuls of dough and form them into balls or ovals. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Cool on baking sheets until room temperature.

To make the syrup: In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water, white sugar, honey alternative, cinnamon stick and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick. While the mixture is boiling hot, dip the cookies in one at a time, making sure to cover them completely. Place them on a wire rack to dry and sprinkle with walnuts, sesame seeds, or sugar. Place paper under the rack to catch the drips. Keep finished cookies in a sealed container at room temperature.

*The recipe I veganized says 5 dozen, but I made mine a little bigger.