Diamond shaped treats.


  • 300 g ground almonds
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 25 g candied orange peel (very finely chopped)
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 50 g vanilla-flavoured sugar
  • pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 egg white (lightly beaten)


  • You'll need 3 baking sheets, covered with rice paper or baking parchment.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the ground almonds, 150g/5oz of the caster sugar and the candied orange peel.
  • Put the remaining caster sugar and 100ml/4fl oz water in a small saucepan and dissolve the sugar over a low heat without stirring.
  • Bring to the boil and, after a few minutes, test if the syrup has reached the correct 'soft ball' stage by dropping a little of it into cold water with a spoon – it should form a soft ball when rolled between forefinger and thumb.
  • Pour the syrup onto the ground almond mixture, adding 1 tablespoon icing sugar and 1 tablespoon flour.
  • Mix it well to form a soft dough.
  • Put in a bowl, cover with a clean, damp teatowel and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F – Gas 4). In a small bowl, mix together 15g/.5oz of the vanilla-flavoured sugar, a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, 25g/1oz of the flour and 25g/1oz of the icing sugar.
  • Mix into the dough with half the egg white and knead until smooth.
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a large 1cm/half inch thick square.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut horizontal lines spaced 5cm/2 inches apart, across the square.
  • Cut diagonal lines in the opposite direction across the square to form diamonds.
  • Knead together the trimmings, roll out and cut more diamonds.
  • Put the diamonds on the paper-covered baking sheets and dust the biscuits with the remaining vanilla-flavoured sugar.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until lightly coloured.
  • Leave the biscuits to cool completely before removing them from the paper.
  • Dust them with the remaining icing sugar before serving.

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