Today we were invited to a dinner with “nistisima”, i.e., food that’s good for those who are fasting for Greek Easter. So, this weekend’s treat for the family is “skaltsounia”, a “nistisimo” treat that we offered to our hosts as a gift. Once more, I got inspired from Vicky who recently posted a recipe for “skaltsounia” with “loukoumia” and walnuts. (Wow, lots of Greek words today… are you still following?). The walnuts and other nuts are avoided in our family so, no surprise, I made nut-free “skaltsounia”. Or, better yet, sugar biscuits as my kids decided to name them… and they loved them! They are easy and fairly quick to make, especially if you have loukoumia around and you don’t have to make them in real “skaltsounia” time. If you don’t have loukoumia handy, use marmalade or other jelly.
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- about 20 small loukoumia or bigger sliced
- some rosewater or “anthonero” (or just water but I actual had “anthonero” that I’d recently brought from Greece)
- confectioner’s sugar
How to make: Using a hand whisk beat the oil with the wine, vanilla extract, and sugar until well mixed and slightly. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the flour and baking soda. The dough should be soft and easy to work with. Make approximately 20-25 dough balls, flatten each ball of dough in your open fist, put a piece of loukoumi in the center, fold the loukoumi in, pat the “skaltsouni” flat and lay it in a cooking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in pre-heated 180C/360 F oven for about half an hour, until they are lightly golden. When the “skaltsounia” have cooled, sprinkle generously with confectioner’s sugar. Indeed, I filled up a bowl with confectioner’s sugar, turning around until fully covered with sugar and let them in there until I was ready to package them as a gift to our hosts.
Notes and tips: Next time, I would probably use less oil and more wine so the biscuits come out drier and do not absorb the confectioner’s sugar.