from one generation to the next
During the pre Christmas madness I hastily saved a number of recipes from blogs I follow. Each had something that tempted me and with this recipe it was walnuts. It’s no secret that I love walnuts.
The originator of this delicious sweet treat is a blogger friend of long standing, Debi from “My Kitchen Witch.” Debi transplanted her life from the north of England to Athens for a little over 12 months ago and the influence of her new Greek kitchen is discernible in the recipes she posts. I think the filling for these pastries would be equally at home wrapped in crispy filo, but I felt it best to honour Debi’s intentions so I made a tummy friendly sweet spelt and walnut meal shortcrust in lieu of the pasta frolla she recommended.
I began the day after the recipe was published but I was not destined to see it through so the pastry ended up in the freezer. Out of sight really does mean out of mind, I totally forgot about it until it turned up under a loaf of bread, then it haunted me until I finally found the time to finish what I’d begun a month previously.
Debi’s Walnuts Bites were a big hit. We loved the hint of spice, we loved the subtle sweetness, but really it was the walnuts that had us addictively popping these pastries into our mouths. Despite having to substitute the honey originally used to sweeten the nut filling, I loved the flavour so much I could have eaten it with a spoon.
Debi, thanks for your inspiration, this idea and the recipe, it’s a beauty….
Debi’s Walnut Bites makes about 70 pieces
spelt flour and walnut sweet shortcrust:
250 g white spelt flour
125g cold butter cubed
100g castor sugar
70g walnut meal
1 egg, lightly beaten
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fresh breadcrumbs.
Stir in the sugar and walnuts.
Add the egg and mix until just incorporated.
Bring the pastry together with a scraper and form into a ball. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
375 g walnut pieces
140g maples syrup
40g brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 180C and line two oven trays with baking paper.
Divide the pastry equally into four then remove only one piece from the refrigerator at a time.
Generously dust the bench with spelt flour, then roll a portion of the pastry into an oblong about 16cm square.
Use a spatula or pastry scraper and nudge the edges into shape.
Cut the pastry in half then spoon nut filling into a roll about 2cm in diameter along one edge of each piece.
Using a pastry scraper as an aid, roll each piece over so the pastry encloses the nut filling. The buttery pastry will self seal.
Cut each roll into slices about 3cm wide.
Transfer to the paper lined oven tray. The pieces can be reasonably close together as they won’t spread in the oven.
Continue rolling, filling, folding, and cutting until all the pastry and nut filling are used.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Transfer to a wire tray to cool then dust with icing sugar.
Store in an airtight container.
Delicious with coffee.
These delicious pastries freeze beautifully once cooked. Once thawed, no one would ever know.