I have learned so much about cooking, and baking, in particular, since I started this blog. One of the things that I particularly enjoy about food blogging is that it forces me to be more creative and to seek out recipes that use ingredients in a way that is new to me. This is one of those recipes that intrigued me enough to give it a try.
While I more commonly associate semolina flour with pasta-making, I have discovered that it may be used for baking as well. When used to make cookies, semolina imparts a light, crumbly, almost sandy texture. These shortbread-like cookies are a wonderful accompaniment to tea or coffee. The addition of the orange zest adds a wonderful hint of citrus flavor. For an extra special treat, replace the honey with a layer of chocolate ganache. I will definitely find a place for these cookies the next time I serve afternoon tea.
Orange Semolina Cookies
Yields approximately 18-24 cookies, depending on size
zest of one orange
6 1/2 tablespoon sugar
8 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon of juice from orange
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoon fine semolina
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons honey for brushing the cookies
Chocolate ganache, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the orange zest and sugar. (Optional – I usually process the zest and sugar in a mini food processor to infuse the sugar with the oil of the zest.) In a bowl,cream the butter and orange sugar until creamy in texture, about 30 seconds. Add the egg, orange juice, and vanilla. Beat for two minutes. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour with baking powder and salt. Add the semolina and set aside.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stir only until well combined. Do not overmix.
Take one spoon from the mixture and shape cookie as desired. I made a bigger cookie by shaping the dough into a log about 3″ long. Place it on the baking tray leaving around two inch space between each cookie as it spreads a little. Use a fork to create indentations on each cookie.
Bake on middle rack for 8 – 10 minutes. Immediately after removing from the oven, brush each cookie with honey.
Let cool completely on a wire rack.
(Optional – On some of the cookies, I replaced the honey with chocolate ganache. I melted together 1 ounce of chocolate with 1 ounce of heavy cream and a 1/2 tablespoon of butter to make a ganache. Let cookies cool completely and then take the ganache and frost the top of each cookie.)
Adapted from MunatyCooking