Vanilla horns, coconut kisses, Linzer eyes – the classic Christmas biscuits… Do you fancy something different?
Every year in November our kitchen becomes a Christmas Bakery. The most important question is: “what type of biscuits and how many?” The first thought is always the classic Christmas biscuits – vanilla horns, coconut kisses? Our just Linzer eyes? Somehow, this year I fancy something different. The Silent Night chocolates in Wagrain-Kleinarl give me an idea – biscuits made with roasted almonds! Surely, there’s a recipe for them somewhere? After a short period of research, I find a good one. Mmmmmh they look tasty.
Let’s get cracking!
Firstly, I prepare the dough: beat the softened butter for a short while with the sugar, then stir in two eggs. Add the flour and a pinch of salt, form the whole to a ball and put it in the fridge for around 45 minutes.
In the meantime, I prepare the roasted almonds. According to the recipe, just boil water, sugar and cinnamon in a non-stick pan and add the almonds. Is it really that easy? Well, I’ll give it a go.
After a short bout of stirring, the water’s evaporated and the sugar is less crumbly. Strange, is it supposed to be like that? The recipe states “stir until stringy.“ But there are no strings in sight. More heat? Less stirring? Ah, there they are! So, I have done everything right. Surprisingly enough the almonds don’t stick together at all. To cool down, I place the roasted almonds on a cold oven tray, which I’ve already greased with butter. Mhhh, a Christmassy aroma throughout the whole house.
Perfect timing – just at that moment my timer pings that the resting time for the dough is over. I roll out the dough and form the biscuits with a circular cutter. At best, the number should be dividable by two, but if not, my sweet-toothed self can have a taster.
Whilst the biscuits are cooling after baking, I get to work on the filling. I warm the firm nougat over a water bath. You can leave it standing as we’ll need it again later. Meanwhile I chop some of roasted almonds and add them. I then spread the runny nougat over my biscuits and put another biscuit on top. Just like a sandwich. A little tip: if you put the filling on the underside of the biscuit, at the end the nicer side is visible on the outside. In my case irrelevant, as I’m going to dunk them in chocolate anyhow. Alternatively, you could fill them with jam. Let the filling dry out a little, so the biscuit pieces don’t disintegrate when you cover them.
Now it’s time for the chocolate. I melt the dark chocolate coating with a bit of cream over a water bath. It’s important that the chocolate is very runny. That way the biscuits get an even surface. “Dip the biscuits in the chocolate.“ Hmmm… they should be completely covered in chocolate., how am I supposed to achieve that without leaving prints? Oh, it’s even easier than I thought. Lay the biscuits in the chocolate, turn a few times with a fork and then lift out on the underside with a fork and place on a cake rack. I would never have thought it could work out so well. I put a roasted almond on the top, and my masterpiece is complete.
By the way, if any roasted almonds are left over, they make a good gift idea. Simply fill a small jar with roasted almonds, prepare a small label, stick it on and there you have it!
Photo credits: Belina Huttegger