So. It’s the 17th of October and it’s snowing.
That’s pretty much all I should probably say about weather but the snow has just bummed me out so much today that I will go on with the weather subject for just a little while.
There are usually 3 unquestionable signals indicating that the winter is coming to Moscow. Luckily, not the Game of Thrones kind of ‘Winter Is Coming’ with all the ‘white walkers and direwolves and constant massacre or whatever happens in the 9th episode of each season’ kind of stuff (yeah, I loooove the series, but can you blame me?). The 3 things that every winter starts with here in Moscow are (1) enormous traffic jams, (2) snowplow trucks that make the traffic even worse and (3) massive queues of people trying to change their tyres to snow ones (does anybody do that tyre-change twice a year except for Russians?). Well, there’s one more 100% indicator: women wearing fur, loooots of fur, but that’s kind of obvious, I guess. To cut a long story short – today I’ve witnessed all of the 3 main signals + some chicas in their ‘shubas’ (that’s how we call fur coats). So I can bindingly confirm that the winter has come to Moscow today. Wow. Kinda early, don’t you think?
Anyways, yesterday, being still unaware of the coming winter I made some incredible, gingery-chocolate-orange cookies (which was, a great idea by the way, as I wouldn’t have made it today without the cookies).
The recipe is pretty much basic but it’s the combination of ginger, chocolate, orange and (!) mint-and-basil infused butter that makes the cookies so unusual and spicy and soft and so tremendously good.
To make these you will need:
- 150 g all-purpose flour
- 80 g rye-flour (you can stick to AP flour, this one just gives more texture)
- 1 egg
- 100 g brown sugar
- 50 g white sugar (add 2-3 tbsp more if you prefer the cookies to be more sweet)
- 4 tbsp chocolate drops
- 140 g butter
- juice of 1/2 orange
- a pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- some fresh mint and basil
First prepare the mint-and-basil infused butter. In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat, then add basil and mint leaves in and heat the butter until it boils. Boil the butter with the herbs for 30 sec, stirring constantly. Take it off the heat, let it cool for 5-7 min and that take the mint and basil leaves out of the butter.
In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, nutmeg and sugar. Pour in the butter and stir well until the mix looks like small crumbs. Mix in the egg and then orange juice until the batter is smooth and a bit gloopy. Then mix in chocolate drops and orange zest until they are well distributed through the batter.
Cover a baking tray with a baking sheet. Form mid-size cookies (4-5 cm over) and place them on the tray, spacing each cookie 2-3 cm apart. Cover with a food wrap and put the cookies in a fridge for at least an hour (the batter would last for up to a week in your fridge). When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 200ºC and transfer the tray with the cookies right from the fridge to your oven. Bake for 12-15 mins until slightly browned.