Ricotta and cardamom spelt cookies

Very soon we will be travelling across the world to visit our family and friends. Now that we are so close to packing and leaving I can’t stop thinking about all the important and maybe not so important but inevitable things that I need to organise before the departure. Who is going to water our plants? The Christmas tree needs to survive because we will be back by then and we are going to need it and the blinds need to be fixed…but I better stop before you lose all interest.

Instead, let’s talk about things that we like to do or make, for people we love. Lately I am more for doing and making as opposed to buying, when it comes to showing emotions or gratitude. Maybe that is because I am in a very creative phase of my life but I have grown to like the idea so much that I might stick with it for a while. Creating a gift for someone is like giving away a bundle of feelings, more that anything else, and I find that absolutely precious. Raising a child has actually helped quite a bit with developing this idea. For example, Maksim’s last birthday party was done exactly the way he wanted, I just followed all his steps. Interestingly enough that didn’t include any presents from our side, instead he wanted us to make a 7 layered cake (most wedding cakes that I’ve seen would have been smaller) and we needed to add all the decorations he wanted and mostly, created himself. So we rolled up our sleeves, baked together, got dusty with flour and sugar, ended up covered in food colouring and most importantly, had heaps of fun. We had a special time for ourselves, created something magical and gave it away to the people who joined us at the party. I call that – a circle of happiness!

The clown/magician that entertained the kids was an extra treat and produced a lot of laughter so I would call it a good investment in happiness. A dear friend gave away a bicycle that her son is not going to use any more and that covered the gift idea that we secretly had in our minds but the biggest gift to all of us and something we are going to remember forever, was the time we spent together preparing the party and celebrating our time together!

So while I was in such a festive spirit, I created some cookies that very much reflect my feelings towards the people that I am going to see soon. Spelt flour is always a good choice, and cardamon is such a fantastic pairing. Add a thin layer of icing on top, and you get such a lovely delight in a small portion. I love them but I love even more the idea of giving them away to the people I love.

Ricotta and Cardamom spelt cookies

120 gr wholemeal spelt flour

100 gr plain flour

100 gr raw sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

100 gr sea salty butter

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

3 cardamom pods grind in the mortar

1 lemon zest

60 gr ricotta cheese (if not dry squeeze well before use)

30 ml full cream

1 egg


200 gr powdered sugar

1 tablespoon orange juice

grounded cardamom

Heat the oven to 160C and line baking tray with baking paper.

In a medium size bowl mix the flours, baking powder, sugar, cardamom and sea salt. Add butter and work with your fingers until crumbly. In a different bowl whisk the egg, add full cream, vanilla paste, lemon zest and ricotta cheese. Make a small well in the middle of the flour/butter mixture then add the egg mixture and work on the dough until well combined and smooth.

Roll the dough to a 5 mm thickness and cut into a 6 cm round shape. Line onto the tray, keeping a distance between the cookies and bake for 12-14 min or until they get a golden colour. Cool onto a cooling and top with icing. I have found that the taste improves every day, but it is hard to resist them freshly baked as well.

spelt chocolate chip cookies

spelt chocolate chip cookies

We met a while ago, chocolate chip cookies and me, at one of our family gatherings on the Mediterranean seaside at my sister’s holiday house. The days were relaxing as they can be on holidays and we were busy only at dinner time. The adults used to make the dinner and the kids were in charge of the desserts. Although we were quite often treated with the ice cream from the gelateria just meters away from the house, a very special treat was – chocolate chip cookies! My nieces use to bake them for all of us, but I remember them disappearing quickly, without us having a chance to taste them. Turns out that my nephew was the main culprit. They were his favourite then and from what I hear, they still are. Actually, kids sharing the sweets between them was a good thing, especially with these kinds of treats! After all they are more a kids treat anyway.

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raspberry spelt loaf

spelt and raspberry loaf

We rush – almost run through our lives. We have daily lists of things that need to be done and most of them can’t be transferred to  the next day – because a new day has a new list! Sometimes weeks can pass by without pressing pause! To stop for a moment, to think, to wish – to daydream. I am completely aware of this and I don’t waste time when I see an opportunity.

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baking with spelt flour

Spelt flour tart

When it comes to a choice of flour I would always choose dark or wholegrain. I find their unique flavour and texture more inspiring. I have just realised and it’s actually quite satisfying, that, when it comes to baking, the choice of ingredients are entirely up to me. But, as I said before, I made my preferences years ago. At first, I was slightly obsessed with  Rye flour. And I baked a lot. Mainly bread at that stage. (Luckily there wasn’t a need for bread more then a couple of times per week). Then along came Buckwheat flour. Bread, pastry you name it, all made with Buckwheat flour. Lately my flour of choice is – Spelt! Wholemeal more often then white spelt flour but equally loved in our household.

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