Creme de Cassis Biscuits & Perfect Paris

Dec 13, 2011

A few years ago my husband and I took a perfect trip to Paris.  Don’t sigh.  Put away your berets and baguettes.  It was terrible.

How can PARIS be horrible you ask?

Because magic happens between people and places and not always where we think it will.  Suffice it to say, we knew it was time to pack up and come home when we – the only Americans in my carefully researched off-the-beaten-path authentic homestyle cuisine restaurant – were so busy arguing and defending, so focused on parry and thrust (and not the fun kind) that we ordered….caramelized pig’s feet stuffed with tripe.

And this was meant to be our one “splurge” dinner.

What I learned from that trip was this: not every holiday can be the one you dream of as you plan or as you drift off to sleep imagining meandering hand in hand through the bric-a-brac while crepe vendors hand you treats simply because you are SO IN LOVE.

Sometimes, marriage is a breeze.  Other times, it takes work – pulling back the sabres and methodically chewing through each and every bite of revolting pig’s feet…together.

I also learned that all of the weird little items I bring back in my case add up to more than a single larger purchase.

The ridiculously heavy plain white baking dish? We use it all the time – from oven to table and had fun in that kitchen shop even if afterwards we wanted to shove each other off of the bridge into the Seine.  The tiny and perfect lavender buds dipped in sugar?  They topped many a cupcake and tea cake slice and even landed on each child’s tongue, mama-bird style.

And the Creme de Cassis bottle?  Just opened it now for Kir Royales.

Lovely and sweet, the way memories can become after the mistakes have faded.

Creme de Cassis Biscuits

These little biscuits compliment port or wine or a cup of tea. The sugar used is Italian coarse grain, but you can sub in any larger grain as I also show. The kids enjoyed these, too, though they only tried one. The rest are grown-ups treats and packed into jars for gifts. In general, people prefer cookies to pig's feet.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup rice flour (if you prefer, use all rice for Gluten-Free or all regular for...regular)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

6 tbsp butter

2 medium eggs

1/3 cup Creme de Cassis (if you live in the UK or Australia, you can use Ribena if you like or use port)

1/4 cup coarse sugar for topping

Oven to 350. Mix the flours, powder, and salt. In another bowl, cream the sugars and butter. Add in the eggs and beat well until smooth. Add in the flour mixture and mix until crumblike. Add in the cassis and mix until combined. Wrap dough and place in fridge for at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle sugar onto plate. When dough is chilled, roll flat (about 1/4"). Pinch off bits and roll into 1-2" balls. Press balls into sugar and place onto parchment-lined sheet. Bake about 13-15 minutes or until just browning at edges and cooked through. Let cool 5 minutes on sheet before transferring.