Today it would have been my Grandma’s 87th birthday, hence I decided to remember her by making her signature dessert: Greek Cookies (Paste Greche).
These almond cookies, so delicate and crunchy, were a MUST during Christmas time. Grandma Rosa use to make them every year, a couple of weeks before Christmas because the more you store them the better. And I remember it was hard for me to wait until I had her permission to eat them, because I was literally looking forward to sample them. They are my favourite cookies.
After all these years I’ve never made them alone, and a few weeks back I had this sudden craving, so I asked my mum to send me a picture of her famous recipe, so I could try to veganise it.
And let me tell you, that was a real challenge. And I’m not referring to the bit of finding the right ingredients and balance for a cruelty free version (I only had to substitute the butter with vegan margarine), but to actually work out what her “measurements” were, for example “1 coffee cup of this”, “1 coffee cup dish of that”. I found it so funny, and it actually made me laugh a lot, bless her!
Anyway, after a couple of trials I managed to get the recipe spot on, so here it goes!
Grandma’s Greek Cookies Recipe
Ingredients (makes 40ish cookies):
370 gr All Purpose Flour
90 gr Almonds
150 gr Vegan Butter (or Margarine)
50 gr Caster Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tbs Almond Syrup (or Milk)
1 Lemon Zest
2 gr Vanilline
Icing Sugar + Vanilline for coating
1. If you’re using skin on almonds, place them in a bowl and pour some boiling water over them, leave them submerged for about 2 minutes. Remove water and peel the almonds by pressing each one between two fingers. Grind almonds in a blender.
2. Melt the butter for 30 seconds at 800W in the microwawe.
3. Add grounded almonds, lemon zest, almond syrup and sugar. Mix until combined. Sieve in flour, baking powder and vanilline.
4. Roughly mix together with a spatula, making sure not to overwork the dough. The dough will and must result pretty crumbly.
5. Preheat the oven at 180° C.
6. Take a portion of dough, place it in the palm of your hand and fist until it holds it shape as shown in the following pictures.
7. Place the cookies on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
8. In a bowl combine icing sugar and vanilline.
9. Once cooked and still hot, toss each cookie in the sugar and vanilla powder and arrange on a grill in order to allow them to cool.
10. Store the cookies in a cookie box up to 2 months (if they survive that long!).
Note: it is 100% true that they taste better the more you store them, believe it or not my grandma was right!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you did, take a look to these delicious Vegan Whipped Cookies!