Who can resist a little morsel of sweetness with their afternoon coffee? When its tinged with the flavour of my European travels then I’m even more of a sucker. This biscuit is reminiscent of shortbread, but not quite so crumbly. The addition of lemon zest and vanilla essence to the blend of almond and flour mixture is what instantly makes me think of Italian biscuit flavours. Rather than being sugary sweet, they have a slight savoury tone to them which I love. The chocolate that acts as the glue adds another dimension without dominating the flavour in any way. I think next time I make them I would use a darker chocolate (70%) to bring out the flavour a little. This version is by no means compromised by the chocolate (about 40%) that I used but I do like that extra zing dark chocolate can bring to a sweet treat.
These biscuits were super easy to make and in fact would be equally tasty without the extra step of the chocolate if you prefer. The mixture made approx 30 biscuits once paired up. For those on restricted diets these can easily be dairy free and are naturally egg free.
This recipe is sourced from The Italian Baker by Carol Field, which is our book of choice for The Cookbook Guru for this month. If you love Italian baked goods of the bread and sweet variety then make sure you pop over to the blog to check out what other goodies are being shared by our cookbook book club.
- 125g plain flour
- 125g castor sugar
- 125 g almond meal
- 3/4 tsp lemon zest
- 130g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 tsp vanilla essence concentrate
- pinch of salt
- 115g approx dark chocolate
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, almond meal and vanilla essence and beat again until well combined. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold through to form a soft dough. At this stage you can choose to refrigerate the dough to make it easier to work with or can form and bake immediately. To bake, preheat your oven to 180c. Roll the dough into balls of approximately the size of a cherry. flatten slightly with a spoon or fork. Allow space for the biscuits to almost double in size when they bake. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden in colour. Cool on racks before sandwiching with the chocolate. To complete, melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. spoon the chocolate onto one biscuit and then place the second one on top so that they kiss each. These should only take a few minutes to set.
The biscuits will keep well in an airtight container for up to a week.
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