Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Butter sugar love


There's nothing more exciting than plotting what cakes and biscuits to bake for Christmas. For me anyway. The moment December descends, I'm almost always seized by a certain madness involving butter, sugar, flour, eggs and generous lashings of vanilla.


The 2014 plan was for the traditional Christmas Cake, Pineapple Jam Tarts, Chocolate Biscuits, Cashew Nut Biscuits and the super easy Sugee Biscuits. Then, a week before Christmas I fell ill. As I usually put off Christmas baking until the last week leading up to the day it was very frustrating. The only good news I had was that the all-important Cake was made and sitting quietly in a cool, dark place.


I baked anyway. A biscuit a day. Starting with the Chocolate Biscuits and ending with the Pineapple Jam Tarts. I would have liked to make at least one more type of biscuit but the Tarts took me almost six hours to make and completely did me in. I was so tired, I decided enough was enough. No more baking until I was well again.


The new kids on the block were the Cashew Nut Biscuits. The recipe I used was adapted from here. It turned out to be a most delicious biscuit. Most people loved it, the exceptions being the die-hard Pineapple Jam Tart fans.

Cashew Nut Biscuits
Adapted from KitchenTigress

150g Butter, softened
180g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
1 Egg
1/4 teaspoon Salt
200g Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
200g Cashew Nuts, toasted, cooled and ground into a powder
130g raw Cashew Nuts, split into halves
2 Egg Yolks, beaten

Preheat the oven to 140 Celsius. Sift the Flour and Baking Powder together. Set aside. Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper. Set aside.

Cream Butter and Sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in Egg, Vanilla Essence and Salt. Mix again. Gently fold in the Flour and Baking Powder. Then fold in the Ground Cashew Nuts. If the dough is sticky, add in a little Flour at a time until it leaves the sides of the bowl cleanly. Divide dough into 8 pieces and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Dust a flat surface lightly with Flour. Roll out a piece of dough at a time and cut into shapes just slightly larger than a cashew nut. Place shapes on the prepared baking tray. Roll and cut shapes until all the dough is used up.

Brush with Egg Yolk and press a raw Cashew Nut half on each biscuit flat side down. Brush again with Egg Yolk.

Bake at 150 Celsius until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and cool completely on the baking tray. Store in an airtight container.




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