A shortbread soaked into a lovely syrup aka hurmasice

We host  dinner parties at our place – quite often. Actually if I want to be honest that is the most common way of socialising lately (and by lately I mean for the last 5 years). It’s easy to make the decision between hiring a babysitter and leaving the house to see friends or staying home, cooking a wonderful dinner and having lots of fun. Staying home wins most of the time, which is absolutely fine if you are a such a keen cook and you have lots of help of course. My husband is more than happy to take care of supplies and the young one beside being a sous chef is into waitering/serving lately. He would even make a menu to look at – hilarious but also time consuming while dinner is getting cold. I guess at times like those we just have to remember that home entertaining dinner time is all about having fun and that applies to all of us!

The very best part of organising a dinner party especially for the friends who are great bakers themselves is that you might get a chance to be indulged with a wonderful present, like I did the other night. A wonderful treat like hurmasice (pronounced hoor-mashi-tseh if you really want to go that way) for example. A lovely dessert from, I would say the shortbread family, enriched with a nice syrup to make it less healthy but much more tasty. So much more tasty!

So, we can call this a guest post as I am about to share a friend’s recipe, who is a gluten free lady and she had to make this traditional recipe from Bosnia into a gluten free version –  because you just have to have recipe like this in your recipe book. I am so lucky to have a friend like this one, aren’t I?

I struggled with translating the name for this dessert. If you are not from the same region, you might never have heard of this one and frankly I still don’t have a clue how to make this easier for you. You might have to think of the name yourself or simply remember them as hurmasice (hoor-mashi-tseh). As I mentioned the dessert is originally from Bosnia, this actual recipe for sure! Then, if you go a little bit to the East the same dessert would be called Urmasice and just a bit further to the South you’ll be struggling with the name again as in Greece the same dessert is called Melomakarona. The only difference is that butter is replaced with olive oil and sugar with honey – which I applaud! I might be making that one – next.

Hurmasice – gluten free

300 gr rice flour

100 gr sorghum flour

250 gr butter (room temperature)

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

100 gr walnuts

For the syrup:

400 gr caster sugar

400 ml water

pinch of nutmeg

1/2 lemon

The only unusual equipment for this dessert is a grater, which is going to be used only to decorate the shortbread before baking.

Heat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

In a medium sized bowl mix the flours with the xanthan gum and leave aside.

In a different bowl mix the butter with the egg and  yolk until it’s creamy, using a hand mixer or a stand mixer if that is easier for you. Add the sour cream at the end and whisk all together.

Fold the flours into the wet ingredients using a spatula and finish it with your hands. The dough should be easy to handle.

Form the balls 2.5 cm in diameter or approximately 40 gr in weight until you have used all the dough. Place half of the walnut in the middle and press/flatten the balls onto the smallest wades to leave a mark.

Arrange the shortbread onto a baking tray leaving the marked size up and bake for 25 minutes or until you get a golden colour.

While the shortbread is in the oven baking you will have time to make the syrup. Pour water into a sauce pan, add the sugar, lemon rind and nutmeg. Cook on a low heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup becomes a bit thicker. This will take approximately 10 minutes. (Cool the syrup for a few minutes before using. I find it quite stressful for the hot dough to be poured with the hot syrup).

Once the shortbreads are baked, take them from the oven and pour half of the syrup over them. The other half cook for another 10 minutes or so, until it becomes thicker. Pour the rest of the syrup over the shortbread and enjoy them after an hour or so. They do improve over time – keep that in mind as well.

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