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Almond Biscuits

To celebrate the early days of autumn, we chose to use a maple leaf cookie cutter for this spectacular biscuit, but any shape you fancy would work. Do note that the cookies consist of two thin layers of dough sandwiched with marzipan, so a cutter that has an overly fussy shape would be hard to work with. That said, these little butter cookies with a surprise almond filling and an orange-scented dusting of sugar are worthy of getting out the rolling pin!

Almond Biscuits

3 oz. butter (6 tbs.), chilled and cut into cubes
4 oz. self-rising flour (scant 1 cup)
3 oz. ground almonds (¾ cup)
4 oz. caster sugar (½ cup plus 1½ tbs.)
2 oz. marzipan (3 tbs.), cut into 20 cubes
pared zest of 2 oranges
2 oz. confectioner’s sugar (½ cup)

Whiz the butter with the flour and almonds in the food processor to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Add  half the caster sugar and whiz until the mixture starts to cling together, then gather the dough in your hands and work lightly into a ball.

Thinly roll out half of the dough and cut out 20 shapes using a 2½-inch cookie cutter. Place them on a buttered or parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten the marzipan into discs and lay in the center. Cut out the remaining dough into 20 more shapes and place on top of the marzipan, pressing gently to seal the edges. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheated the oven to 325°F. Place the orange zest on a baking sheet and bake for 3 minutes, leave to cool. Mix the remaining caster sugar and the confectioner’s sugar and toss in the orange zest.

Bake the cookies for 16-18 minutes then cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with the orange sugar and store in an air-tight tin.

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