25.12.07

Portuguese Christmas Cakes



My childhood Christmas memories are mostly of people who were and still are part of my life - my family. As I grew up in Alentejo (in south interior Portugal), my Christmas food is, like most Alentejo's cuisine, very simple: cod fish and cabbage, turkey, "filhoses" and "sonhos" (fried Christmas sweets), King-cake and "broas" (honey cakes). Since I remember, 'broas' were my first Christmas food-related memory, first because they were my least favourite, later because I began to enjoy their peculiar taste and more recently when I started a 'new' recipe - based on a North Alentejo's recipe - that became a huge success amongst my family and friends, even those who deeply dislike 'broas'.

This is my Christmas Tradition for lovely Cris' blog From Our Home to Yours.

Broas de Natal
Portuguese Christmas Honey Cakes

Makes about 30

120 grs yellow (or light brown) sugar
120 ml olive oil (low acidity)
4 Tbsp honey
250 ml water
150 grs walnuts, reduced to powder
1/2 tsp anise/fennel seeds powdered
1 tsp cinnamom
200 grs all purpose flour
100 grs cornstarch
extra caster sugar

In a saucepan (use one with a thick bottom), combine sugar, honey, olive oil, and water. When it starts boiling, add walnuts and spices. Mix well and allow to boil again. Mix in the sifted flour mixture, stirring well after each addition. Cook for 5 minutes until pastry folds together. Allow to cool. Make cakes into squares and with a knife mark diagonal crossed lines on top of each cake. Bake at 180ºC for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with caster sugar when cool.

4 comments:

ChichaJo said...

These cookies look lovely :) We have our own cookie called broas over here in the Philippines...very different but nice to know we share a common name :)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Sounds delicious! Good memroies make good food.
Happy Holidays!

MrsPresley said...

those look delicious!

Kat Mooney said...

These are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. Years and years ago in Germany, Portuguese friends would always gift us these amazing cookies for Christmas and I haven't had them in decades. So insanely happy to have found your blog!!!!