Apple-Filled Biscuits (Milopitakia)

by thomandaimee

Truthfully, it is quite a tedious process for which recipe to feature. It involves stacks of cookbooks, plenty of discussions (or debates) and the brutal elimination of recipes. One of the many reasons why we decided with Vefa Alexiadou’s Apple-filled Cookies was because we wanted to try our hand at Mediterranean bakes. Yes, we are going exotic this week…

Getting the fillings neatly into balls was quite difficult as the dough crumbles a little too much. (Are we doing it wrongly?) But much to N’s frustrations (and my constant anal nagging that ‘they are cookies not tarts’), she managed into morph them into Vefa’s little biscuits.

They taste very much like Chinese almond cookies with the melt-in-your-mouth outer layer. We won’t be making this too often (N will scream), but do give it a try and who knows, maybe yours will turn out better than ours.

Apple-Filled Biscuits (Milopitakia)
By Vefa Alexiadou

Makes 30 cookies

For the dough

400g self-rising flour
225g butter, chilled and diced
4 to 5 tablespoons plain yoghurt
Butter, for greasing
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Cinnamon, for dusting

For the filling
4 large apples, peeled and coarsely grated
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
120g walnuts, coarsely chopped

Directions


Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the diced butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Lightly stir in the yoghurt and mix until the dough just begins to come together.

It should feel crumbly. Do not knead; just gather all the crumbs from the side of the bowl into a ball, pressing them together with your hands. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling.

Put the apples, lemon juice, and sugar into a small pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and stir in the spices and walnuts.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease 1 or 2 large cookie sheets (baking trays) with butter. Divide the dough into 30 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then press your thumb into the ball to form a large hollow. Spoon the filling into the hollows and press the dough over it to seal. Pat them down very gently. Put the balls, seam side down, on the prepared cookie sheets and bake for about 35 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Remove from the oven and sift a little confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon on top, then let cool. They can be kept for 2 to 3 days at room temperature and for several months in the freezer.

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