by Nigella Lawson
from Feast: Food to Celebrate Life
This recipe isn’t at all Georgian, but since they use walnuts a lot in cooking in Georgia I thought I’d borrow from the local cupboard, as it were, to make a light, melting cookie to dip into some Greek yogurt (or ice cream if you want to go entirely but still pleasurably out of register) drizzled with honey. Otherwise, just make the cookies to eat with coffee, making sure the table is loaded down with luscious red grapes before you end the meal. Or, if you’d rather lighten your load, dispense with the walnut crescents and replace with some walnuts, to be cracked and eaten with the grapes.—Nigella Lawson
1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more to decorate
4 ounces plus 1 tablespoon soft butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
2. Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until they give off a nutty aroma. Pour into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until pulverized.
3. Take the nuts out for the moment, and add the sugar and blitz to remove any lumps. Now add the soft butter and process again, then add the flour and salt and process yet again. Open the lid of the processor, scrape down the sides, then add the nuts and pulse to mix, then tip out.
4. The dough will be sticky but firm enough to mold with your hands; if it is too mushy, put it, wrapped in plastic or in a plastic freezer bag, in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
5. To make the half moons, flour your hands and take scant tablespoons of the dough. Roll them into sausages about 2 1/2 inches long, and then slightly flatten the sausage as you curl it round to form a crescent.
6. Put them on to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cook for about 25 minutes although start checking after 15 minutes; they will still be quite soft but the tops will be firm and beginning to go blondly brown. Let them sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before you transfer them to a cooling rack. Be careful, as they will be very fragile.
7. Dredge them very thickly with confectioners’ sugar pushed through a small sieve and leave to cool.
Recipe © 2004 Nigella Lawson. All rights reserved.