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Almond Biscuits

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Ingredients:

6 ounces whole blanched almonds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
4 ounces softened unsalted butter
7 ounces granulated sugar
2 beaten eggs
finely grated rind of 1 orange
1 tablespoon grand marnier or other orange liqueur
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces plain white flour
3 oz coarse-grain polenta (ordinary or quick cook)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 F / Gas 3. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes until golden. Allow to cool. Coarsely chop one third of the toasted nuts and mix with the whole ones. Lightly crush the coriander seeds. In a bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until just mixed. Beat in the eggs, orange rind, liqueur, baking powder, and salt. Stir in 10 ounces flour, the polenta, almonds and crushed coriander.

Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth, adding the remaining flour little by little, until the dough is soft but not sticky. It may not be necessary to add all of the flour. Divide the dough into four equal pieces and roll each into a 2 inch wide, 3/4 inch deep, sausage. Place these on 2 greased baking sheets and bake for about 35 minutes until just golden around the edges.

Carefully transfer to a wire rack. Allow to cool of 10 minutes, then cut diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place these slices, cut side down, on the baking sheets and bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight tin for up to 1 week.

Variations:

  1. Replace the almonds with pine nuts.
  2. Replace the almonds with hazelnuts and use 10 ounces plain flour sifted with 2 ounces cocoa powder.
  3. Replace the coriander with aniseed or fennel and use an anise liqueur, such as Pernod.

Makes about 50

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