Monday, 22 August 2011

Summery Ricciarelli

Inspired by the beautiful morning I thought I'd have a go at some biscuits I read about in the Observer this weekend. Ricciarelli are traditional Tuscan biscuits, soft, chewy and great with a cup of coffee! The Observer recipe called for bitter almonds which I couldn't find so instead I used a Mark Hix recipe pinched from The Independent.

Prep Time: 15 Mins
Baking Time: 20-30 Mins
300g whole almonds
225g caster sugar
The zest of half a lemon
2 large egg whites
A few drops of vanilla extract
A few drops of almond extract
Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Spread the almonds out on a tray and roast them for about 15 minutes or so, turning them every so often, until they are golden but not too brown (Keep checking so they don't burn!). Leave to cool, then put them in a small food processor with half of the caster sugar and the lemon zest and blend as finely as you can get them.

In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until they are stiff, then add the remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff again. Fold in the ground almond mixture with the vanilla extract and almond extract. Dampen your hands with a little water then take about half a dessertspoon of the mixture and roll into balls. Flatten them out lightly until they are about 1-1cm thick. Place the biscuits on the baking tray lined with baking parchment about 3cm apart and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Allow to cool on the tray, then remove and dust with icing sugar. Yum.

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