Apricot Jam Cookies (Pasta Flora)

4/5 (it takes some time to braid the top layer)
1 hour
35 to 40 minutes
54 small cookies

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of baking soda dissolved in 1 tsp lemon juice
4 egg yolks
1 cup butter unsalted
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbs cognac
1 tsp vanilla extract
500 ml (about 1 1/2 cups) apricot jam

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Beat the sugar with butter until fluffy. Then add the egg yolks one at a time, beating the mix well after each egg yolk. Add the lemon, cognac and the vanilla. Then, by hand, add the flour, baking powder until a nice soft dough is formed.

3. I like to make the pasta flora quite thin and into cookies. Divide the dough in half. Press half of the dough flat into the bottom of the pan (15 inches by 10 inches). Spread the jam on top. Take the remaining dough and roll a long thin roll and place it on top of the jam so it follows the outer edge of the rectangular pan.

4. Make more rolls and place them diagonally over the jam to create a diamond pattern, as in the pattern above. If you wish, then place small roasted almond pieces in each diamond pattern. Place in the oven and cook for about 35 to 40 minutes., until the dough is golden brown in colour. Remove from oven and let cool.

5. Once cool, cut into as many bite size squares as you wish.

(Hi, I posted this recipe last year, but because it is Christmas and one of my favourites I thought I would re-share on the front page. So I’m wishing you a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. I’m back on the West Coast now, indulging in cooler weather and Christmas trees, long coastline drives and hopefully a trip up to a snowy mountain. And of course some west coast food. I am obsessed with ramen and intend to eat out A LOT when I go to Vancouver next week. Enjoy the holidays and precious time with your families and friends, and see you next week.) We have just launched the Aφrodite’s Kitchen website, twitter and facebook pages. It is exciting. And a little scary. But much more exciting! Overall, it feels good to be officially embarking on this Cyprus food project.  We are off to a great start too: with many people from Canada, England, the United States and, (of course!), Cyprus taking an interest. To celebrate I thought I would make some yummy “pasta flora” cookies to share with you. Thank-you for your interest!

Once upon a time a Cypriot cooking genius invented “pasta flora”. “Pasta flora” are sold in most bakeries and large supermarkets in Cyprus. I always have to turn and run down another aisle before I end up filling my trolley with them. This recipe makes very light and delicate “pasta flora”, the type that perfectly compliment an afternoon tea or coffee.

“Pasta Flora” are pretty cookies. The cookie is soft and a little crumbly with the hint of vanilla and cognac. They are also a little chewy in the middle due to the apricot jam. You can also use other types of jam if you wish, but my favourite is apricot jam. Apricot jam is what is traditionally used. I always seem to have a lot of apricot jam too since my family and friends always give me their delicious home-made ones.

So thank-you again for taking an interest in Aφrodite’s Kitchen. We are off to a great start and we look forward to sharing more recipes, cooking news and food talk with you in future!

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Cyprus Cuisine

“Cyprus Cuisine”, published by Whitecap Books in 2021, is now available for purchase. Christina Loucas shares over 80 recipes that showcase the very best of Cypriot cooking.

Cyprus Cuisine