It is a universal phenomenon that the moment you’re in a serious relationship people feel the need to ask you when you’re getting engaged. Once you’re engaged those very same people now change their line of questioning to ‘so when are you getting married?’ and then the day you get married you fall into a naive sense of security thinking that the questioning is over, you can now enjoy and live your happily married life in peace...that’s until the next question comes along...’When are you going to have a baby’. My mother couldn’t even make it through the wedding reception without hinting; in fact she finished her mother of the bride speech by declaring ‘Bring on the grandbabies’. Thanks mum, thanks a lot. And she didn’t stop there, she’s even gone as far as making a ‘baby room’ at ‘nanna’s house’ and has started to collect dolls house furniture for her granddaughter. It just makes me laugh, Mum we’re not even pregnant and when we are there is fifty percent chance the baby will be a boy, which means your doll house days are over before they even started. Just between you and me I think she secretly bought the doll house for herself, but that’s another blog post.
Although Rob and I aren't quite ready (just yet) to embark on our baby journey...I would say that by looking at these biscuits I am certainly on my way to being ‘clucky’...I mean just seeing these darling almond biscuits on the pages of this month’s Gourmet Traveller sent me into a clucky cutesy spin, ‘oh how cute’ I proclaimed stopping myself mid thought to question what had happened to me to wind up thinking a biscuit could be ‘cute’ and not just cute but adorable, sweet, lovely, delectable, pretty, wonderful and oooww so little. Well mum, I hope you’re happy; it seems I am well on my way to being clucky...please send help if I start to crochet.
Other than being totally cute, these almond biscuits are SO tasty! The almond meal provides the biscuit with the most gorgeous texture and flavour and the amount of sugar is perfect, not too sweet but just sweet enough to accompany your afternoon coffee. And when baked the biscuits go golden, crispy and cracked on the outside but remain soft and chewy in the middle and the lemon zest really comes through giving a zesty zingy flavour that somehow complements the vanilla essence gorgeously. And the smell of the biscuits baking are just divine, they beat any candle any day! Whether you’re hungry, in the mood for baking or clucky these almond biscuits are for you! Happy Baking! K xxx
Adapted from Gourmet Traveller October 2011
1 ¾ cup almond meal
1 ½ cups of icing sugar (1/2 cup for biscuit mixture, 1 cup for dusting)
2 eggwhites, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon lemon rind, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Butter for greasing hands
Preheat oven to 160°C and line oven tray with baking paper.
Combine almond meal, ½ cup icing sugar, egg whites, lemon rind and vanilla in a bowl and mix to form a firm dough (if mixture is too sticky, add extra almond meal).
Rub your hands with a little butter to stop the dough from sticking to them. Break off small pieces (1 rounded teaspoon) of dough and form into pear shapes. Insert a clove into the top of each biscuit and place upright on the oven tray. Bake until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, sift remaining icing sugar into a bowl. Dip hot biscuits into icing sugar to coat and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve with a strong espresso.