My big weekly indulgence is ‘Great British Bake-Off’. I’m in awe of the amazing range of skills that all the contestants demonstrate – all of them. So I’ve been inspired to try to conquer my fear of the cut-out biscuit.
Last month, I did a trial run of some chocolate and vanilla cut-out cookies. Malcolm condemned them as ‘inedible’. Oops. This month’s effort did better: he’s rated them as ‘OK but not to my taste’. So in case an almondy biscuit filled with plain chocolate is to your taste, here we go.
Personally, I found these quite tricky. But that may be because I’m still such a novice at roll-and-cut biscuits. If you’re less of a numpty than I am at biscuits then they are easy.
I adapted this recipe from “The Great British Bake Off: How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers” by Linda Collister. This was the spin-off book from the 2012 series.
Pastry board or similar flat surface
Baking sheets (I used two)
Larger cookie cutter
Small cookie cutter
Microwave (for melting chocolate; you can put the bowl above a saucepan of simmering water if you prefer)
Ground almonds – 100g
Plain flour – 200g
Pinch of salt
Icing sugar – 80g
Unsalted butter – 125g (cold from the fridge)
Egg yolks – 3 large free-range
Plain chocolate – 150g
- Put ground almonds, flour, salt and icing sugar into the bowl of your food processor.
- Add the cold butter cut into small chunks.
- Process until the mixture looks like sand.
- Add the egg yolks and process until the mixture forms into a ball.
- Wrap the ball in cling film and chill for at least 15 minutes. I left it overnight.
- Heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 160 degrees for a fan oven.
- Line the pastry board with cling film.
- Squash the ball of dough onto the board to make an approximate rectangle.
- Cover the dough with another sheet of cling film.
- Roll out the dough until it’s about the thickness of a pound coin (3mm) for fairly chunky biscuits, or a bit thinner (2mm) for more elegant ones. (I’m not very good at rolling out so I got a bit of a mixture of thicknesses).
- Cut out biscuits using your larger cutter. Use the smaller cutter to cut shapes out from half of them to get half with holes and half without.
- Bake until just slightly browned at the edges, about 10 minutes.
- Leave to cool.
- Melt the plain chocolate gently. I do this by sticking it into the microwave, giving it 1 minute on full power, stirring hard, and then giving it 10 second bursts alternating with stirring until it’s melted.
- Sandwich pairs of biscuits, one with a hole and one without.
If you get 25 cookies out of this recipe, they come out to about 140 calories each.
I’m sending this to Alphabakes as the letter of the month is ‘C’. Which is why I’ve called these biscuits ‘cookies’. Thanks to Caroline of Caroline Makes for being this month’s host of the challenge.