I must confess that everything about Valentine’s Day makes me recoil from it with great speed – it’s so cynically marketed and, if you love someone, why do you need to be told to demonstrate it on a particular day? Why not every day?
For the biscuits:
225g unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature
100g caster sugar
200g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
100g ground almonds
To sandwich (optional): nutella or raspberry jam. I suspect any jam or curd would work well.
How to make:
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until a dough just starts to form.
- Knead the dough into a ball and then wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 2 hours minimum (it’s a very soft dough so needs this long).
- Preheat the oven to 140°C/fan oven 120°C/275°F/Gas mark 1.
- Line two large baking sheets with baking or greaseproof paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and knead until it has softened. If it is still sticky add some more flour and knead this in. I added about a further 2-3 tablespoons.
- Cut the dough in half and roll one half out between two sheets of generously floured baking paper. Normally I wouldn’t flour baking paper but this dough needed it – use your judgement.
- Roll it out to 1/2cm thick and then cut out using your chosen cutter. If you’re planning to sandwich the biscuits take a smaller cutter and cut the centre out of half the biscuits.
- Place the biscuits and the cut out middles onto a baking sheet leaving about 1-2cm gap between them as they expand on baking.
- Repeat with the second ball of dough.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the biscuits are a pale golden brown. I was sceptical at a long bake at a low temperature but loved the effect – the biscuit had a much more delicate texture to it. Mine actually took a little over 40 minutes but it’s worth it. Check after 20 minutes in case the trays need turning to ensure an even bake.
- Place the trays on a cooling rack and let the biscuits cool. Don’t even think about moving them until they are cold as they are too fragile and will break.
- Store in an airtight container until you wish to serve, then sandwich with nutella or jam. Of course, you can leave them plain and enjoy the buttery almond taste on its own!
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.