Made with Kate on Kythira, these are traditional sweets, a specialty of the island, featuring its legendary honey. They are really more like a biscuit – crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. For a firmer biscuit, after 20 minutes in the oven, reduce the temperature to 160°C and cook for further 10 minutes.
2½ cups (400 g) unskinned almonds, ground but not as fine as almond meal
½ cup (110 g) sugar
⅓ cup (115 g) honey
⅓ cup (60 g) fine semolina
⅓ cup (35 g) dried breadcrumbs
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup (125 ml) hot water
1 cup (250 ml) clear sweet liqueur (e.g. mastica or dessert wine)
1¼ cups (200 g) icing sugar
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.
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Combine almonds, sugar, honey, semolina, breadcrumbs, cloves and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add hot water gradually, mixing until the dough is firm.
Using a dessertspoon, shape dough into oval shaped logs, squeezing well with your hands. Place on prepared baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until firm on the outside. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
Pour the dessert wine into a shallow bowl and place the icing sugar in two separate shallow bowls. Dip the biscuits quickly in dessert wine, toss in icing sugar, shake and then dip into the second bowl of icing sugar and toss until well coated. Set aside before serving for at least 15 minutes to allow the icing sugar to harden.
• Double dipping in icing sugar gives these biscuits a traditional sugary crust. If on the first dipping, the icing sugar is absorbed by the wine, you can wait 15 minutes until you re-dip the biscuits.