{cookies} by Leelou

lemon cookies

choco cookies

The idea was to make quick chocolate cookies from one of my recipe books; the choice fell on “how to be a domestic Goddess” by Nigella Lawson the great cake maker. I found a recipe that involved less than 5 ingredients, took 30 minutes to make including the baking, and less than 10 minutes to eat!

I then figured that such a recipe could be amended a bit, which is where my Leelou creative instinct gets a kick! what if I substituted the cocoa with a totally different flavor? I couldn’t go that wrong, especially that the base was proven to be good.

So here is the original recipe from Nigella Lawson, and next my adaptation;

You need:

2 cups self rising flour (if you have normal flour, then add 1 tsp Baking powder)

2 Tablespoon Cocoa powder

1 cup + 2 tbsp soft butter

7  tbsp sugar

a pinch of salt (I added this to give it an extra punch!)

  • Heat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Mix flour, cocoa & salt together and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar (either with a mixer, or the old fashion way; by cutting the butter in tiny bits in the sugar, then working it with a wooden spoon until it gets creamy ) add the flour mix to it and work the dough into a ball.  Make small balls out of the dough (walnut size) and place on a baking sheet. Then with the back of a fork press down the balls a bit; it will give them a flatter look and stripy design once baked.
  • Bake for 10-15  minutes. Cocoa cookies become very dark, and it can sometimes be difficult to see if they are done;that is why  I always take one out of the oven, let it rest for a minute on a cold surface and taste the consistency before removing the rest of the cookies. Place the cookies on a cold surface to cool down before indulging them!
  • Keep in an air tight container (preferably metal box; it keeps them crunchy).

Lemon and ginger version:

  • Substitute the cocoa powder with zest of a whole lemon and 2 cm grated fresh ginger.
  • If you do not find fresh ginger, use dry ginger instead; 1 tsp will do. Follow the recipe as above.

I am sure those of you who are venturous would like to try this recipe with other flavors; cinnamon spices, licorice, coffee are among interesting ones. The base of the recipe is so easy, even a child can make it. Try to be bold and let me know how it turns out!

Happy baking!


Aubergine (eggplant) lemon garlic salad

lovely aubergines from lebanon

I love aubergines… especially when you need to cook them directly on the fire as they do in Lebanon, the smell is amazing, smoky. Aubergine can be sophisticated when served in a salad with sparks of lemon and basilica.

Try this recipe, it is quite easy to make, and the result is fabulous. Guests are always asking what the ingredients are!


1 aubergine, diced or cut into finger- long pieces

2 cups cherry tomatoes (cut into halves)

1 zest of a lemon

4 garlic, shopped

1 cup of fresh basil, chopped

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt and pepper

How to

Prepare the aubergine an hour before; mix the dices with some salt and let it rest for ½ hour, then rinse the salt away and tap dry with a towel. Place the aubergine in an oven-proof pan and mix with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the pan in a preheated oven (180degrees Celsius). Cook until golden and soft (approx. ½ hour).

In a nice big serving plate, place half of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with balsamico. Add the aubergine, then another layer of tomatoes.

Mix the lemon zest with the chopped garlic and the chopped basil. Spread the mix on top of the tomato-aubergine salad.

Serve immediately.  You can always add some olive oil to the salad…