Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Orange Blossom Crumiri

Orange Blossom and Saffron were introduced to Italian taste buds by the Moors. As with many exotic ingredients from the east, they are considered aphrodisiac. The commingling of flavors in Crumiri (a classic Italian shortbread cookie) with exotic Orange Blossom and Saffron makes history come to life on the taste buds. One bite of these cookies and you'll agree; history never tasted so good.

Orange Blossom Crumiri
Recipe by Michelle Krell Kydd
Yield: approximately six dozen

·        2 cups Hecker’s® All-Purpose Flour
·        ⅔ cups Arrowhead Mills® Organic Yellow Cornmeal
·        ½ teaspoon non-iodized sea salt
·        ½ cup (plus 5 tablespoons) unsalted Land O’ Lakes® Butter, at room temperature
·        ½ cup (plus 3 tablespoons) organic cane sugar
·        2 large eggs, at room temperature
·        4 drops food grade Neroli (orange blossom) oil*
·        zest of one small organic orange (blood orange if in season)
·        10 threads of saffron bled in a tablespoon of hot water
·        ¼ teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract

·        Divide oven racks into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F.
·        Line two baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.
·        In a medium mixing bowl, sift and combine the flour, cornmeal, and salt. Mix well with a large silicone spatula.
·        Soften butter in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. It should be softened (not warm or transparent) when it is done.
·        Zest one small organic orange using a Microplane® zester.
·        Cream together butter, orange zest, Neroli oil and sugar. In a separate bowl beat the eggs, saffron and vanilla extract.
·        Add the butter mixture to the egg mixture and incorporate.
·        Combine wet ingredients with dry ones. Work the dough with the spatula for two minutes. The dough should be slightly resistant (not too tacky or hard).
·        Shape one teaspoonful of dough at a time by placing it between your hands and rolling it between the centers of your palms, pressing down very slightly. Place onto baking sheet in seven rows of five cookies each.
·        Bake for 15 minutes, turning and reversing trays from top to bottom at 7.5 minutes and continuing to bake for another 7.5 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.
·        Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
·        Store in an airtight container.

Flavor and Fragrance Seduction Tip:

Odin 2 Owari is a refreshing unisex fragrance inspired by citrus. Glass Petal Smoke suggests sharing Orange Blossom Crumiri with someone you love while wearing Odin 2 Owari (the fragrance pays homage to Neroil in it's heart notes). Add two mimosas for imbibing and a memorable flavor and fragrance combination will be yours (among other things).

Neroli and Orange Blossom are one and the same.

*If you don’t have access to food grade Neroli Oil you may use a tablespoon of Cortas® Orange Blossom Water (slightly more to taste if you enjoy the floralcy). Food grade Neroli Oil (which is steam distilled) is available from Enfleurage.

Not all essential oils are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration. Even those that are must be used with caution. They are highly concentrated and may cause damage to the lining of the esophagus and/or composite tooth fillings if used improperly (too high a dose). If you wish to make an extract from a GRAS essential oil you may do so at a ratio of 3% (3 drops of essential oil to 100 drops of high proof vodka). Always consult the FDA GRAS list to make sure you are using safe materials in cooking/baking. The list is currently in section 582.20 of the FDA code.

Absolutes (fragrant materials that aren't cold pressed or steam distilled) are not recommended for consumption as they have traces of the solvent hexane which is used to extract the essence.

Brian Eno, a musician/composer, is a big fan of essential oils. He's dedicated a full-length ambient recording to Neroli which is available for download on i-Tunes.

Orange Blossom fractal art by AZDude.

Cookies for Cancer is a charity that helps raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research. Think about making a donation of time &/or money to this cause; even if you just have milk money.

Glass Petal Smoke's recipe for Bergamot Crumiri can be found here.