Marguerite Patten's (OBE) Almond Shortbreads

As Jeans for Genes Day is a day of fun and frivolity, I felt people would like a recipe that could be prepared ahead.

Method

*Note - instead of self raining flour, you could replace with plain flour with 1 level teaspoon of baking powder

1- Preheat the oven to 160º /fan oven 140º to 150º /325º F or Gas Mark 3

2- Cover two large flat baking sheets with baking parchment or lightly greased greaseproof paper.

3- Put the butter, sugar and almond extract into a mixing bowl and beat until they are soft. There is no need to beat air into the mixture as you would a sponge. The easiest way to add the almond extract is to dip a skewer into the bottle and allow the required number of drops to fall into the bowl.

4- Sift the flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture together with the ground almonds and mix together. If the mixture seems a little too soft, chill it in the fridge for about 20 minutes. If, on the other hand, it feels rather firm, gather it together with your fingers and knead it.

5- Divide the dough into approximately 14-16 portions and roll into balls (the children will enjoy doing this!) Arrange on the prepared trays allowing plenty of space between the balls as they crack and spread during cooking.

6- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are a very pale golden colour. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking trays then lift onto a wire cooling tray.
When they're absolutely cold, put them in your container and enjoy!

Ingredients

Self Raising Flour 2 ½ oz
Almond Extract (see Stage 3) About 4 drops
Caster Sugar 2oz
Butter 3oz
Baking Powder ½ level tsp
Ground Almonds 2oz

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