I adore these biscuits, a good crunch, delicate flavour and chocolate – I mean, what else do I need!
Perfect to have with a mint tea (1 sugar so its slightly sweet) and imagine you're enjoying them in the Souks with the Arabian sun setting around you.
I've made these in the past with dairy free baking block (such as Stork) and Dark chocolate and a dairy free friend (who is also one of my top taste testers) said they were my favourite bake yet! - I don't think I can ask for a better endorsement than that!
I use pistachios in my dough, and I pulse them in a processor to make them fine enough to use along with the flour. If you don’t have processor you can simply swap them out for ground almonds.
240g plain flour
70g ground pistachios (or ground almonds)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
170g softened unsalted butter or baking block
150g granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons lemon extract
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Roughly chopped pistachios.
Chocolate of choice
For the filling:
500g good quality strawberry jam
1 teaspoon Orange blossom water
1. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl, then mix in the ground pistachios (or almonds if using)
2. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and light in colour, Add the egg yolk, lemon extract and lemon zest and beat on high speed until combined.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix by hand till combined. The dough will be fairly soft but if it feels too ‘wet’ add a tablespoon of flour.
4. Divide into 2 equal parts, wrap and chill for at least an hour in the fridge
5. Once chilled, preheat oven to 175*c and line 2 baking trays.
6. Roll out the dough to about ½ cm thickness and using a cookie cutter cut into your chosen shapes.
Arrange them on the baking tray a few inches apart and pop back in the fridge for an hour or so (or the freezer for about 20 minutes) – the colder your dough is the least chance it has to ‘spreading’ when baking.
7. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Allow them to cool on the tray for a few minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
8. Once cool decorate the biscuits by dipping into melted chocolate and then sprinkling with crushed pistachios!
The cookies will last in an airtight container for 3-4 days (but will have the best crunch on the day of or the day after baking)
As an added bonus - The raw biscuit dough can be frozen raw for up for 2 months, just roll the dough to the right thickness between some layers of baking parchment then wrapped in clingfilm – simply thaw in the fridge and once thawed cut and bake.
Freeze them ready cookie cut on a tray and once completely frozen pop into a bag till you want to bake them and bake from frozen - they may just need a few minutes longer in the oven!