Chewy and fragrant, these biscuits are the perfect way to finish a night, and equally good for morning or afternoon tea.
- 550 g (1 lb 3 oz/3½ cups) raw almonds, or 300 g (10½ oz/3 cups) almond meal
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 115 g (4 oz/½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 90 g (3 oz/¾ cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar, plus extra for coating
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 12–15 blanched almonds
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Makes 12-15 biscuits.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- If using raw almonds, blend them in a food processor until coarsely ground; some bigger chunks are fine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest and sugar by rubbing them together with your fingers until the oils from the lemon zest have released and the mixture is fragrant. Add the icing sugar and blended almonds (or almond meal) and mix well to combine.
- In another bowl, beat or whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. Mix in the vanilla, then add the egg whites to the sugar mixture. Gently fold together to form a stiff, firm dough.
- Tip some extra icing sugar into a small bowl.
- Roll the biscuit dough into 12–15 small balls and toss them in the extra icing sugar to coat. Press a blanched almond into each ball, then push them down slightly.
- Spread the balls evenly across the lined baking tray and bake for 12 minutes, or until just beginning to colour. Remove the biscuits from the oven and leave to cool and firm up.
- The biscuits are delicious warm or at room temperature. Store them in an airtight jar or container.
Recipe and images from The Shared Table by Clare Scrine, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99