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.