Recipes

Lemony almond and cardamom cookies

A customer recently came in looking for a biscuit stamp, having seen this recipe on the Hairy Bikers. I’ve put a local potter to the task of making me some individualised stamps, but don’t let the lack of a stamp stop you trying this really easy recipe. You can use a beer bottle, or glass jar, or whisky tumbler, or anything else that comes to hand, like… your fist. My imagination is now running riot: try a slotted spatula for a stripy effect, or potato masher, or an cast iron weight, or a meat tenderiser…. (Goodness, I feel faint with the excitement of all the possibilities.)

Back to reality: the original recipe was for 24 biscuits,which seemed a bit too many for one sitting, so I’ve halved the ingredients to make 12 large (piggy person’s) biscuits, or, better, 16 smaller daintier ones. But because I work in ounces rather than metric, the proportion of almond to flour has slightly changed as I’ve rounded down. I’ve also used more zest, and I think you could get away with more fresh cardamom too.

Ingredients

  • 4oz softened butter
  • 3oz caster sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon (a fine grater like the Microplane is the best tool for this)
  • 4oz plain flour
  • 2oz ground almonds
  • 1–2 teaspoons ground cardamom or half a tsp cardamom seeds, ground in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375F/Gas 5. Line a large baking tray (or two small ones) with baking parchment or reusuable liner.
  2. In a mixer, food processor, or with an electric hand-whisk, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy. (You can do this by hand, but it’s tiresome.) Beat in the flour, almonds and cardamom until the mixture is well combined and forms a stiff dough. Add a small squeeze of lemon if you need a bit of extra moisture, but no more than a teaspoon.
  3. Cut the dough into 12–16 equal-sized pieces and roll into balls. Place on the prepared baking trays, spacing them well. Press each with a stamp or other implement (see above) to flatten and leave decorative indentations.
  4. Bake for 12–14 minutes until the cookies are pale golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. If they don’t all get eaten immediately, the biscuits will store for up to 7 days in an airtight container.

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