To escape from the reality of the cold and rains during fall, I used some very Spanish ingredients for my take on the classic South African soetkoekie. Although the pine kernels are from the north of Spain, the saffron grows in the middle part and the sherry and oranges belong to the south the tastes work very well together. The combination is just as fragrant and special as the original South African soetkoekie but totally different. I felt like playing around with the dough and made my cookies in the shape of little oranges. But they taste just as nice in any other shape.
Soetkoekies from South Africa with saffron, sherry and orange
for about 30 cookies
6 strands of saffron
60 milliliter sherry (Manzanilla)
60 grams of soft unsalted butter
220 grams of white fine sugar
1 large egg
100 grams of pine kernels
zest of 2 oranges
300 grams of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
Crumble the saffron in the sherry and leave to soak for a few minutes. Beat the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer until light and creamy for about 5 min. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Beat in the sherry with the saffron. Chop the pine kernels coarsely. In a large bowl mix the butter mixture with the pine kernels, and the orange zest.
Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt and sieve into the bowl with the butter mixture
Bring together into a ball and press into a disc. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the refrigerator for about 1 hour
Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to about 0,4 cm (0.2 inch) thick.
Use a cookie cutter or a glas with a diameter of about 6 cm (2 inches) to make little rounds. Cut a stem and a leaf for every round. Put the rounds on a cookie sheet and stick/push on the stems and leaves. Use the leftovers for a second batch. Prick little holes in the ‘orange’and make veins in the leaf with a small stick/
Bake the cookies in the middle of the oven for about 17 min. Take them from the oven and leave to cool on the cookie sheet.
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