Now that the weather's cooling down, it's time for some autumn/winter foods. I saw this recipe in the German magazine Frau von Heute's Christmas issue. There are a lot of delicious desserts in this issue but a lot of ingredients can only be purchased in Germany. Fruit wines, for instance, which are often used in European recipes, can be purchased in China, but not easily, and usually not cheaply. American recipes don't use wine that often but have an incredibly high portion of sugar and fats like shortening and butter.
Most of my cookie cutters are ordered from Taobao. Sabrina's has a very limited selection, and Ito Yokado's import section sometimes carries cute ones, too. Or, if you're patient enough, you could cut the shapes manually with a knife.
For the liqueurs, I guess you have to buy them online. The recipe actually calls for walnut liqueur but as I didn't have this I used some Amaretto that a French friend had given to me. But, actually it just adds a very slight flavor, so I think perhaps you could substitute it with brandy, which is cheap and available in even small supermarkets.
Yields 60 pieces
100 g walnuts
150 g flour
120 g butter or margarine, softened
80 g powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp liqueur
1. Crush the walnuts; the finer, the better. It should be close to a powder, otherwise the cookies will look crunchy like mine.
2. Soften the butter to room temperature. Cream with powdered sugar, mix well. Add flour and walnut.
3. Form the dough into a ball and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Roll the ball into a thin, flat piece. Cut with heart-shaped cookie cutter.
5. Bake at 180C for 10 minutes.
Make sure you handle the dough at a low temperature, otherwise it's difficult to keep it in form—that's where I failed. T_T Also, I forgot to check the time and baked it three minutes longer than I was supposed to, so it looks a bit burnt. It's supposed to be a bit lighter.
Sichuanese native and Chengdu resident Annie blogs about her adventures in cooking vegetarian meals, adapting recipes from around the world. Recently she has translated some of her favorite posts into English for GoChengdoo readers to enjoy. The original, Chinese-language version of this post can be viewed here. Photo by Annie Chen.
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