This recipe is from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “Rose’s Christmas Cookies” book. It caught my eye for two reasons: firstly, I haven’t used cashews in a cake or biscuit recipe, and secondly, most of my male relatives are cashew-obsessed!
Making these biscuits really is the work of minutes. They looked so cute all puffy and fresh from the oven, and what a bonus that you get so many of them from one batch (this photo is only one tray from the three that I got)!
The biccies are subtly flavoured – you don’t get the big hit of cashew I anticipated, but the flavour does build in your mouth as you eat. Like anything with nuts they are best made a day in advance to give the nut time to develop its flavours. The biscuits aren’t oily or greasy in texture – my one complaint when eating cashews is that they are a particularly greasy nut - but here, the baking seems to mitigate that.
They keep like a dream in an airtight container and, unusually for biscuits, get better with age. In that respect I wish I was a cashew puffy!
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
190g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120g sour cream
290g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
185g unsalted cashew nuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 190°C /fan oven 170°C /375°F/Gas mark 5.
Line three baking sheets with greaseproof paper – if you don’t have three, don’t panic – just bake the biscuits in batches and then reuse the baking sheet.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and whippy.
Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
Beat in the sour cream and ensure that all the ingredients are well combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cashew nuts and beat – very gently – until just combined.
Take a heaped teaspoon of the dough and place on the baking sheet. Place the next teaspoonful approximately 4-5cm away. Continue until the tray is full.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. I baked for 10 minutes, then turned the tray for any subsequent baking – it guarantees even baking.
Leave the biscuits to cool, still on their tray, on a wire rack.
When they are cool enough (and firm enough) to handle, lift them off and place them directly onto the wire rack to cool.
Store in an airtight tin.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.Eat.