Monday, August 04, 2008

Chickpea/Marsalla Cookies

I know what you're thinking, but really-try these cookies. The recipe is from The Best Of Food And Wine 1987 Collection and if nothing else, they will make your home smell wonderful. The recipe called for Pernod-like 1 1/2 teaspoons of it. I wasn't going to buy a bottle of something I don't care for to make cookies-so I used a bit of anise oil to get the flavour. I also used the cheapest, smallest bottle of Marsala I could find.

Basically, these are spice cookies. The scent reminds me of something from waaaay back, but I can't quite pin it down-a neighbour's baking maybe. Anyway, the recipe is fussy, but not so fussy that you can't manage it with a bit of planning. The original recipe suggested blending the chickpeas and milk in a blender for 4-5 minutes. That had to be a typo-it shouldn't take more than 1.

You Will Need:

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sultanas
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup sweet Marsala
1 1/2 tablespoons Pernod
1 19 ounce tin of chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg at room temperature
Confectioner's sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat the marsala, Pernod, orange zest and sultanas to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

In a blender, mix the chickpeas and milk with the vanilla until smooth.

In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter together until light. Beat in the egg. Blend in the raisin mixture and then the dry ingredients.

On a lightly greased (or parchment lined) baking sheet, spoon by heaping teaspoons onto sheet about two inches apart (they will spread). Use centre two racks and rotate pans halfway through baking. Bake 25-30 minutes total, or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on racks completely. Dust with conferctione's sugar.

Makes 3-4 dozen.

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