Almond Biscuits

This post is for Marlene, who used to make these delicious biscuits for tea when I was visiting. She kindly gave me a folder of recipes she had collected, including this one, which was originally part of a Good Housekeeping menu from 1982 for a September Dinner Party. The biscuits were to accompany a Grand Marnier Bavarois with Raspberry & Blackberry Sauce, which sounds amazing. The rest of the menu featured a starter of Chilled Ratatouille (including leeks & mushrooms – surely inauthentic) and Steak in Whisky served with watercress and Scalloped Potatoes – how tastes have changed!

Being able to give any dinner party seems a distant prospect as we edge back into lockdown, but baking is firmly on the agenda, and these biscuits give a very good effort to return ratio. I made the full quantity, but only shaped and baked half of it, putting the rest of the dough, tightly wrapped, into the butter compartment of the fridge to bake later. The biscuits do keep for a few days in an airtight container, but are particularly nice on the first day. The recipe makes 16 biscuits.

  • 75g soft butter
  • 100g granulated (or caster) sugar
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 1 egg yolk
  • a few drops of almond essence

Heat the oven to 160 C fan/180 C/Gas Mark 4. Beat the butter until soft and gradually beat in the sugar either by hand or in a mixer. Then mix in all the remaining ingredients, and knead lightly until the dough just comes together.

Divide the dough in half and roll each half into eight balls. If you want to keep half for later, wrap it tightly and pop it into the fridge (you could probably put it in the freezer too, though I haven’t tested that). Place well apart on a lined baking sheet and flatten each one with the tines of a fork. I always use a silicone liner as it works out cheaper than greaseproof paper and is wonderfully non-stick.

Bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown. Carefully lift off the baking sheet – a cranked spatula is ideal for this – and cool on a wire rack. As you can see mine came out a bit cracked and wonky, but they were delicious to eat!

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