Brazil Nut & Toffee Stars

Crisp buttery biscuits studded with chunks of brazil nut and sticky toffee, dipped in bittersweet dark chocolate. 

thumb_DSC06117_1024

Brazil nuts are one of the foods that only seem to come out at Christmas, even though they are an absolutely delicious nut!

I wanted to make some Christmas biscuits, so I thought Brazil nuts would be a great festive flavour to include, and I decided they would go really well with toffee and dark chocolate!

These biscuits turned out really well, and they made an excellent festive treat, to get you in the mood for Christmas!

thumb_DSC06114_1024

Variations: You could leave out the toffee and add dark chocolate chunks to the biscuits instead.

Ingredients: Makes 24 biscuits

The Toffee:

  • 75g butter
  • 75g granulated sugar

The Biscuits:

  • 100g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200g flour
  • 1/2 tsp butter cream
  • 75g brazil nuts, coarsely chopped.

 

thumb_DSC06121_1024

 

To Make:

The Toffee:

Line a baking tray with greased greaseproof paper.

Combine the butter and sugar in a small pan, and cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling away and has turned a deep golden brown colour.

pour out onto the lined baking tray and smooth out into a thin layer. Leave to cool completely before smashing into tiny pieces with a toffee hammer.

thumb_IMAG0224_1024

The Biscuits:

Grease a few baking trays and preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together for a few minutes until smooth and creamy.

Slowly mix in the flour, brazil nut pieces and toffee until the mixture forms a stiff dough, and the pieces and evenly distributed.

Turn out onto a clean work surface and roll out to a thickness of about 1cm. Then use a star shaped cutter, to cut out the biscuits.

 

thumb_IMAG0225_1024

thumb_IMAG0226_1024

Transfer to the prepared baking trays, spaced out by a few cm to give them room to grow in the oven.

Place in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Leave to cool completely on a wire rack, then dip the biscuits in some melted dark chocolate if desired. Serve and enjoy!

thumb_DSC06113_1024

 

 

Biscotti di Mandorla

Sweet, chewy almond biscuits, coated in sesame seeds, flaked almonds, or filled with a drop of raspberry jam.

thumb_DSC06006_1024

This the the second recipe I have tried out from sicillian desert cookbook. I chose to make these little biscuits because the recipe was so simple and I love almonds so I knew they would be delicious.

The biscuits turned out really nicely, although I think I probably should have made them about half the size as they are supposed to be tiny little mouthfulls, whereas mine are slightly gargantuan!

thumb_DSC06013_1024

I really like the way you can change how the biscuits taste and look just by rolling them in a different topping or adding a tiny little bit of jam. I will definitely be making them again to try out a few different variations.

I know it’s a bit early to be talking about Christmas, but when I made these I couldn’t help but think about how lovely they would be as a small Christmas gift, if you wrapped then up nicely.

thumb_DSC06008_1024

I will be bringing these along to Fiesta Friday#90 this week, hosted by Angie, and co-hosted by Effie @ Food Daydreaming and Lindy @ Lindy Mechefske. Happy Friday everyone!

Variations: Any kind of nut would work as the coating, I might try pistachios next time. I also think dipping a few in chocolate would be delicious!

Ingredients: Makes 20 Biscuits

  • 300g ground almonds
  • 100g plain flour
  • 4 egg whites
  • vanilla
  • zest of one lemon

Optional:

  • flaked almonds
  • sesame seeds
  • crushed pistachios
  • raspberry jam

thumb_DSC06014_1024

To Make:

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a few baking trays.

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in a large mixing bowl and beat until it forms a smooth, stiff dough.

Coat your hands in flour, take small pieces of dough, and roll into balls. Then roll in the coating of your choice and transfer to the prepared baking trays. Making sure the biscuits are a few cm apart, allowing them to expand slightly.

To make the jam filled biscuits, take small pieces of dough, roll into balls and place on the baking tray. Use your thumb to press a dent in the top of the ball, and fill with 1/2 a tsp of jam.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until cooked though and golden brown. Transfer to a wire ack and leave to cool. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve!

thumb_DSC06012_1024

Lemon and Thyme Shortbread, Dipped in White Chocolate

Buttery, crumbly shortbread, flavoured with citrus lemon and floral thyme, dipped in sweet, creamy white chocolate. 

DSC04697

Yesterday was the Comic Relief Bake Off at work, and the challenge was biscuits! I couldn’t turn down the excuse to do yet more baking and raise some money for a good cause, so of course, I made a batch of biscuits to give in!

DSC04696

Shortbread is one of my favourite types of biscuit, because I love the buttery and crumbly texture it has. But, while it is delicious just in its original form, I wanted to bake something a little bit more exciting for the bake-off.

I decided to use lemon and thyme to flavour my shortbread, because I thought the combination would make a really light and refreshing biscuit. But just to add a little extra indulgence and sweetness, I’ve dipped them in white chocolate.

DSC04693

I don’t make biscuits very often, so I was a little bit worried about how these would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised! The biscuits have a lovely texture, the flavours work well and they really catch peoples interest!

Variations: The Lemon could be swapped for orange or lime, and the thyme could be changed to mint.

DSC04674

Ingredients: Makes 40 Shortbread

  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 200g Butter
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • Zest and Juice of 2 Lemons
  • A Handful of Lemon Thyme Leaves
  • 200g White Chocolate

DSC04689

To Make:

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease some baking trays.

Rub the butter into the flour and sugar, until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Mix in the lemon zest and thyme leaves.

Squeeze in the lemon juice, then mix through, and form into a ball.

Turn out onto a floured work surface, and roll out until 1cm thick.

IMAG0256

Cut out the biscuits in flower and heart shapes (or whatever shaped cutters you have!), and transfer to the prepared baking trays.

IMAG0257

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack.

Melt the white chocolate in a bowl.

Spoon some melted chocolate over one half of each biscuit and smooth out into a thin layer.

Leave the chocolate to set, then serve and enjoy!

DSC04695