If there was a scale to measure recipes for their ratio between effort and satisfaction, this would be up there in my list. These nutty soft biscuits are fool-proof, ready to bake in no longer than 5 minutes, yet incredibly delicious and satisfying. One of those go-to recipes when you are pressed for time and want to impress your guests. They’re not particularly good looking, resembling small rocks, but the unevenness of shape and colour is part of their charm and appeal. Oh! And the smell is incredibly inviting.
These biscuits are typical from Salas, a small town in the interior of Asturias. They were the specialty (and still are) of ‘La Casa del Profesor” –The Teacher’s House-, a cafe and cake-shop opened in 1918 by Falín, a former music teacher, and also funeral director, and press correspondent. One of his clients, an “indiano” who had returned to Asturias after making fortune in South America, used to ask for these biscuits by saying “give me one of these carajos”-a sort-of rude word that describes anything indefinite-. The name stuck after a while, and became eventually a trademark for the establishment.
250 g Ground Hazelnuts
130 g White Sugar
90 g Egg White (approx. 3 Egg Whites)
1 tsp Vanilla Paste (Optional)
1. Heat oven at 200° C/ 180° Fan
2. Mix all the ingredients
3. Make little balls the size of a teaspoon and place on a tray covered with baking parchment. Leave some space between them as they puff up while cooking.
4. Place tray in the bottom part of the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.
The original biscuits are quite a bit larger than these, but I find the bite-sized version is perfect to accompany a cup of coffee after a meal. And you can always go back for more! However, if you’d rather have a larger biscuit, make sure you adjust the baking time accordingly.