This recipe is very special to me and I dedicate it to the type of people I recently knew nothing about – the breastfeeding moms of allergic to cow’s milk protein infants.
Their everyday life is everything but easy – they have to keep a well balanced diet, strictly avoiding a long list of foods such as diary, eggs, nuts, pulses, soy products, citrus fruits, fish to name a few, you get the idea. And usually this diet has to be followed for really long periods.
Yes, this is our case too, and one of the main reasons why I’m not cooking and posting as regularly as I wish to. I’ve been following a very restricting diet for about 9 mounts now, since we discovered Sophie is allergic to cow’s milk protein.
We don’t buy any processed food now and we make at home everything we eat. It’s been a long, long time with no chocolate at all! And yes, you guessed it – dining out is a completely different story now, and it’s not because of the baby but because of the hundreds of questions I need to have answered before ordering. The feeling is that most of the waiters start hating me well before the dessert. And I had to learn to get over this one as well.
So, it will not be much exaggerated to say that these little tender, melt-in-your-mouth sweets have saved my mental health many times. Lots of my friends (even the ones that do not follow any type of diet) love them too. They are also relatively easy to make and keep well for several days.
Makes about 80 small rolls
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 25-30 minutes
150ml extra virgin olive oil 125ml white wine 4 tbsp powdered sugar (+ more for dusting) 10 g baking powder 400 g all purpose white flour
Around 300 g Turkish delight (Lokum)
You need the Turkish delight to be cut in small sticks, about 2.5 cm (1 inch) long (see the photo). This can be made well in advance. Turkish delight has really long live, when kept in cool dry place, so I usually cut at once the quantity needed for 3 or 4 batches. I only need a sharp knife and cutting board, and a spoon or two of powdered sugar, as it is a really sticky thing.
Prepare two baking sheets covering them with baking paper.
In a big bowl mix the olive oil and vine. Sift in the powdered sugar and stir. Start sifting the flour (mix in the baking powder previously, if using regular white flour) over the mixture, ½ cup at a time. Stir using a fork at every addition. Incorporate the last part of the flour by kneading the dough briefly. The ready dough has to be smooth, not very soft, but very elastic. Divide the dough in 10 equal balls.
My best results with this recipe were when I managed to roll the sweets and bake them right after the dough was ready. It is not advisable to leave the dough in the fridge as with other kinds of doughs as the oil tends to separate quickly. Because it is very elastic, once one of the dough balls is rolled up and cut, it shrinks really fast, so you need to be rather quick.
Using a rolling pin roll up each ball into a thin circle. There is no need to flour the surface for rolling, but try making it as circular as possible. Cut the dough into 8 triangles (or 12). Place a piece of Turkish delight at the large end and roll with the palm of your hand into a crescent shape.
Arrange the little crescent rolls over the baking sheets allowing some distance, as they slightly puff. Bake in a preheated to 180C oven for about 12-15 minutes, changing the two baking sheets places in the middle of the baking. Be careful not to over bake your Turkish delight sweets – they can turn brown really fast.
When ready, take them out of the baking sheets together with the baking paper and leave to cool slightly. Be careful and wait few minutes before testing – the Turkish delight is as burning hot as hot caramel.
If you don’t mind the generous quantities of sugar you can follow the tradition and give them a dust of powdered sugar. Place them while still hot in a big bowl and toss them really gently, sifting over the powdered sugar. The sweets tend to absorb lots of powdered sugar, so they can become too sweet. I often save this step and eat them right as they come out of the oven.