Biscuit, Sweet

The best biscuits in the world: Chocolate, Almond and Marzipan

…in my opinion anyway!

Australians Womens Weekly
The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits – A nice bit of alliteration from the Australian Women’s Weekly.

This week I have finally managed to get around to doing a little bit of baking. I did this by waiting till the little-ist baker was asleep and then rushed to the kitchen and started grabbing out ingredients and then seeing what I could make.

I made some chocolate muffins the other day and I didn’t fancy anything as time consuming as decorating pretty cupcakes so I decided to make some biscuits (cookies to Americans).
I was going to just make some very basic shortbread but I wanted something a little more interesting, then I remembered a recipe in my Australian Women’s Weekly “The big book of beautiful biscuits” that I made for my mom on mother’s day. These used ground almonds and egg yolks, which you would think would make them very cakey in texture, but they are actually quite short.

The recipe in the book is nothing like how my biscuits came out because I only used the base for them. If you have this cookbook then they are on page 4 titled Almond Maraschino Biscuits!

I’m sorry for anyone in the uk that this recipe is going to be in cups; as this is what was used in the book I used them to as I couldn’t be bothered to work out the weight into pounds and ounces or grams.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did?


Chocolate, Almond and Marzipan biscuits

1 1/4 cup Plain Flour

Chocolate Marzipan cookies

1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Ground Almonds
1/2 cup Sugar
4oz Butter
2 Egg Yolk
Two big splashes of Amaretto Liqueur
About a large piece of Marzipan cut into very small squares (think the size of chocolate chips)

Pre-heat the oven to 180oC

In a bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds and sugar.
Rub the butter into the mix until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the 2 egg yolks and Amaretto liqueur and combine with your hands till it just starts to come together.
Mix in the Marzipan till it is roughly distributed in the dough. Try not to overwork the dough at this point.
On a floured surface roll out the dough till it is about an inch thick and cut out whatever shapes you like. I used a round cutter with scalloped edges.
Position onto a baking try and bake in the oven till they feel just soft in the middle – this will take about 12-15 minutes. It is difficult to see whether the edges have turned a little brown because of them being chocolate.

Once baked, take out of the oven and allow to cool. If you want to you can decorate them with icing sugar or icing or just be like me and eat them with a cuppa tea.

Food Ramblings

Finally feeding my Christmas cake

After my first Christmas cake attempt that went completely wrong, I have finally made my Christmas cake (big yay) and I am now trying to squeeze as much alcohol into it as I can before the time comes to decorate it.
This year I think the alcohol is going to be a mix of whatever we have sitting in our drinks cupboard.  So far my cake has enjoyed the remains of a bottle of dark rum and a splash of Amaretto.  My husband has informed me that one area of the cake is going to have extra alcohol in it as he tried to feed the cake and ended up dropping the bottle cap – guess it will be a lucky dip cake.

Fingers crossed that this cake will taste as good as my previous years but I have complete faith in the recipe as it is a classic Delia Smith one which can be found here – Delia’s Recipe.  There are a 2 certainties in life, everyone will die at some point and if you follow a Delia Smith recipe to the letter it will work.
Now, Delia isn’t my favourite chef and a lot of her recipes I find quite dated but when it comes to a classic like this, you really can’t go wrong.

If you’ve been making your Christmas cake then let me know how you’re getting on with it. Only 2 1/2 weeks to go till we get to try them!

Sweet, Traybake

Accidental crunchy dark chocolate and amaretto flapjack

Last night I made some dark chocolate and amaretto flapjack for my husband… but this time I was disappointed with it!

I have made it so often and never had a problem with it before so I don’t know if it is because I used a different brand of porridge oats or because I cooked it in the oven for 3 minutes longer but they weren’t the nice chewy flapjack they usually are… I made crunchy flapjack.

I think there has long been a debate over people who like their flapjack crunchy and those who like it chewy but in our household it is chewy which always win.

The difference usually between chewy and crunchy is in the amount of butter or syrup that is put into it and the length of cooking time, so the flavour is always the same; it is just the texture which changed.

Flapjack is so easy to make but it is difficult to get it absolutely perfect every time.
Usually I use the cheapest porridge oats I can buy from our supermarket (I don’t know why but I have always found that these work the best), margarine, brown sugar and golden syrup. It does have the advantage of making them very cheap to make as well as easy.

Unfortunately this time I had to use the premium brand oats as they had sold out of my cheap ones.

So this is the recipe which makes a crunchy flapjack.
Next time I will try it again with my usual oats and another tablespoon of syrup to make them chewy… and I would also add a bit more amaretto.


Crunchy dark chocolate and amaretto flapjack

500g premium porridge oats
200g margarine
160g light brown sugar
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
2-3 tbsp amaretto liquor (or a few drop of almond essence if you don’t want any alcohol)
80g dark chocolate

Pre-heat the oven to 200c
In a large pan gently melt the margarine, brown sugar and golden syrup till it combines together into a nice dark mixture with no sugar crystals left. You don’t need to get this too hot, just hot enough to melt everything.
Then add the amaretto liquor.
Take it off the heat and mix in the porridge oats.

Whilst the mix is cooling a little take a 100g bar of dark chocolate and use a large knife to cut 80g into chunks. I say to use a 100g bar because then it leave a few squares of chocolate to eat yourself afterwards.
You can use dark chocolate chips if you want instead.

Mix these quickly into the flapjack and then put it all into a smallish rectangle baking tray.
Pat it down firmly with your hands making sure it is all pressed to the edges.

Bake in the oven for 28-30 minutes until brown all over.

Once it comes out of the oven and is still warm, use a palate knife to cut the mixture into squares.

Cover with a piece of kitchen roll or a tea towel and leave it in the tray for 3-4 hours or overnight till it has cooled. Then you can store the flapjack in an airtight container till it has all been eaten.