>> Thursday, February 18, 2010
Carnival season is over and I didn't find the time to make these flowers... But the idea of making them had got into my head and it wouldn't let go. So I made them this week, better late than never. And that gives me the chance to use another one of my gazillions of kitchen gadgets that I use every 2 years... more or less: the lovely flower mold. It makes me so happy... It was quite dusty, poor thing. I had to clean it up with one of those baby bottle brushes, that I still keep for this kind of use. So I brandished my gleaming mold and embarked on making these flowers.
What? That you can't find such a mold in your neighborhood? I found out that a very similar device is used in South East Asia for a surprisingly related kind of cookie.
These sweets are typically eaten around Carnival in many regions of Spain. They are deep-fried in oil, which is a very common method of cooking sweets around here. They seem to originate in the region of La Mancha, and imitate the shape of the ancient Order of Calatrava emblem. The recipe I use comes from Segovia, from the book Cocina Segoviana, by Dionisio Duque, out of print (Segovia is a beautiful town, included in the UNESCO World Heritage sites for its old quarter and aqueduct). This Mr. Duque was the owner of a very famous and traditional restaurant in Segovia, Asador Duque, a place I used to frequent with my parents when I was a kid... certainly long ago. The restaurant prides itself on being the oldest one in Segovia. And I'm sure you'll love that the measures are given in spoonfuls and egg shells...
Yields around 25 flowers
Well, my first tweaking is to put more anis liquor and less water... that's very personal.
This is a very crunchy cookie, not oily at all in spite of the frying. They were fantastic... I made them at lunch time and by bedtime there were only four left...