These orange and almond shortbread biscuits have a delicious light and crumbly texture. Perfect to enjoy as a morning or afternoon treat, they also make fabulous biscuits to serve with creamy desserts.
When I posted my Blood Orange Posset recipe a little while back I promised I would also share my recipe for the pretty heart-shaped biscuits that I served with them. So true to my word, here is my recipe for orange and almond shortbread biscuits. They are simple to make, based on a traditional shortbread biscuit, but I have substituted some of the flour with ground almonds and flavoured the dough with some orange zest. Lemon zest can be used for a delicious variation.
In some shortbread recipes, you rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, but I have found that by creaming the butter and sugar together first then mixing in the flour and almonds you get a dough that is easier to roll out. Once rolled the biscuits are cut out with a cookie cutter. You can use any shape or size for that matter, which will determine the total number of biscuits you get. As a guide I get 10-12 5cm (2in) biscuits.
In addition to the heart shape cookies I made to go with the posset, I made some pretty flower shape cookies, as well as these ones with a standard fluted cutter. (I couldn't resist taking this overhead shot to try out my new tripod a pressent from Mr B. ) I think they all look pretty. A light dusting of icing sugar is entirely optional.
Orange and Almond Shortbread
- 100 g butter softened
- 50 g caster sugar
- 1 orange , finely grated zest
- 100 g plain flour (all purpose)
- 50 g ground almonds
- icing sugar, to sprinkle , optional
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the orange zest.
- Add the flour and ground almonds and mix to a soft dough. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Roll out the dough to about 3mm (⅛th in) thick and cut out the biscuits. Carefully transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Chill for another 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170℃ (160℃ fan)/375°F/gas mark 4.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 12-15 minutes until pale golden. Allow to cool and harden for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dust with icing sugar if desired.
- Lightly flour the work surface before rolling but try not to use too much.
- Handle the dough gently when rolling out to prevent the dough from stretching.
- Trimmings can be gently kneaded into a ball for re-rolling again handle gently or the biscuits will become tough.
- Chill the dough if it becomes too soft to roll.
- Chilling the biscuits before baking will help them to keep their shape during baking.