- 75 minutes
- For 10 people
- 0.6 € / person
If you have not tried the Greek cookies filled with apple you are going to hallucinate. Although in the difficulty of elaboration I have indicated average, it is more for the time, than for the difficulty that its preparation presents. This sweet is one of those that invites your neighbors to enter the house, its flavor and the smells that the spices give off in its preparation, everything is worth mentioning. When I was cooking them, my whole house smelled like cinnamon and apple, what a treat!
These cookies are very famous in the Greek cuisine in Lenten time, Μηλοπιτάκια νηστίσιμα , you can find them in almost all the houses in central and northern Greece, around the town of Zagora on the slopes of Mount Pelion or Pilio and in the vicinity of the city of Kastoria in Macedonia. Pastry shops fill with the aroma given off by cookies or apple cakes , with that soft flavor of the filling that when cooked becomes more intense and sweet, which mixed with cinnamon makes it delicious. You could not miss this dessert on the blog and here you have it to cheer you up with it, a very simple and cheap dessert.
The spices I have used combine perfectly with the apple, which must be cooked slowly until the liquid evaporates. Although in other recipes they add clove powder, I like to add the whole clove while the filling is cooking. The aroma is impregnated in the apple, intensifying its flavor on our palates. In addition to cloves, I have incorporated cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, all of which are spices that I always use when making apple jam. They perfectly combine and enhance the sweetness of the apple. In any case, you can add or remove spices according to your preferences.
As for the dough , you will see that it is very easy to prepare. It does not require much manipulation and what must be taken into account, at all times, is that the butter must be very cold to incorporate it into the flour. I dice it and put it in the freezer. The objective is that when mixing these two ingredients the butter does not become oily. These cookies are worth their weight in gold and although it takes a little longer to cook than other sweets, I guarantee it is worth it. You will tell me what you think!
Preparing the cookie dough
- As always, first, we will sift the flour.
- Add the butter. At this point I want to insist a lot that the butter must be very cold, just taken out of the freezer. You can dice it before you start and put it in the freezer until you have to use it (about 10-15 minutes). Let’s work the dough. Instead of using the hands, we are going to start mixing with two knives, to prevent the butter from melting on contact with our hands. We will put the butter cubes in the flour bowl and we will mix them by cutting them with two knives, crossing and separating the leaves repeatedly. While we are cutting the dice we must observe that they are well mixed with the flour.
- We will finish working the dough with the tips of our fingers, taking care that the butter does not get too hot. We must get the mixture to take the form of breadcrumbs.
- Add the yogurt to the crumbs and mix it with a wooden spoon. With our hands we will join the dough and compress it to form a lumpy looking ball. Since we have not worked the dough much, there should not be a smooth ball.
- We wrap the dough and keep it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Preparation of the cookie filling
- Grate the apples (coarse zest). Incorporate the grated apples, the tablespoons of lemon juice, the sugar and the cloves in a small saucepan. We let it cook at low temperature, until we see that the liquid has evaporated. Stir this mixture very often, to prevent it from sticking.
- When it has acquired the appearance of compote, as shown in the photo, we remove it from the fire and remove the cloves that will have given off their aroma during the cooking process. Add all the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger) and chopped walnuts. Mix, without crushing and allow to temper.
- We take the dough out of the fridge and we are going to fill the cookies.
- We preheat the oven to 180 ° C and line an oven tray with vegetable paper, where we will leave the cookies to bake.
- We will make balls with the dough of about 30 g. We shape it into a bowl and fill it with the apple. Look at the images to see how I closed them. We will join the ends and seal the base with our fingers. We will leave the sealed part down, so that the most beautiful part is visible.
- We are leaving them on the baking sheet and crushing them slightly with the hand, so that they do not look like a ball, but rather like a thick cookie.
- We put in the oven in the middle tray of the oven. The cooking time will be approximately 30 to 35 minutes. When it takes 15 minutes in the oven (you will see that it already has a nice golden color) we put a little bit of aluminum foil to cover the surface and prevent them from burning. The last 5 minutes we leave it uncovered so that it gets color.
- After time we take them out and let cool. Sprinkle with icing sugar and cinnamon to taste.
Cheer up, because the experience both in the kitchen and on the palate is worth it. Whoever tests them repeats!