This biscuit recipe is one of those useful things to know about. I first read the recipe in the Cookstrip section of Observer Food Monthly towards the end of 2018. It was a recipe I had to read twice as . . . it has no butter and no eggs in it. It is thus vegan friendly and also handy if you have some store cupboard basics, but not those two that are required for much other biscuit making. If you have visited our shop on a Saturday you will know that there is invariably a bowl of biscuits for customers to help themselves to, I therefore have a repertoire of biscuit recipes – mostly scoured from Dan Lepard books, but a new, and significantly different one, is always welcome.
Word of warning, if you overbake these they dry out to such an extent that you may fear for the integrity of your teeth and also . . . when the dough is resting in the fridge it looks a bit . . . unfortunate.
I followed the above recipe apart from the shaping of the biscuits and the coating in chocolate. The chocolate coating is certainly a welcome addition, but . . . fiddly. I made a batch before Christmas and “iced” them with a splatter of chocolate from an icing bag . . this uses less chocolate than a full coating.
First make your pisto. I used some long pepper as I had it lying around, but normal black pepper is good too. The recipe says use just 1/2 a teaspoon of the pisto in the mix but I have used the whole amount that the grinding of spices makes (approx 1 1/2 teaspoons) and like the level of spice in the final biscuit.
Next, grind your almonds. You can of course use pre-ground almonds but the differing texture of almond from roughly grinding your own makes for a more interesting texture.
Combine dry ingredients and orange juice and zest and then enough water to just bring the mixture together.
For ease I then shape the mix into 4 sausage shapes and chill for 30 mins in order for them to firm up. This is the stage when the the mix looks a bit suspicious.
Instead of rolling and slicing into diamond shapes I then just slice the sausage into rounds approx 6-7mm thick.
The dough will keep well in the fridge for a week or so you don’t have to slice and bake the lot in one go. Lay the cut rounds on a sheet of baking paper and brush with water. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 13-15 minutes.