Sweet Spot (Issue 155)
Dixie Elliott makes festive biscuits to gift to others or enjoy yourself.by Dixie Elliott | Cuisine issue #155 | Monday, 3 December, 2012
Lemon shortbread stars
Makes about 18 (pictured above)
If you’d like to make lots of star biscuits, this recipe can be successfully doubled or tripled.
125g butter, softened
1⁄2 cup icing sugar, sifted
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup flour, sifted
1⁄4 cup cornflour
silver cachous to decorate
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, icing sugar and lemon zest until light and creamy. Stir in the flour and cornflour until well combined and a soft dough forms.
Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick.
Using a star-shaped cutter, cut 18 stars from the dough (re-roll the offcuts out). Transfer the stars to the prepared baking trays then put a cachou at the tip of each star point then bake for 15-20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.
Makes about 32
3⁄4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
110g natural almonds
100g glace cherries, halved
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale and thick.
Sift the flour and baking powder over the egg mixture. Gently stir until just combined. Add the almonds and cherries and stir until combined. Turn the mixture on to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide the mixture in half and form into 2 x 25cm-long x 5cm-wide logs.
Transfer the logs to the prepared baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 140°C. Using a sharp knife, cut the logs into thin diagonal slices. Arrange on the baking tray side by side then bake for 10 minutes. Turn and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the biscotti are dry and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.
The biscotti will keep stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Cranberry & pistachio mendiants
Makes about 24
100g good-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
100g good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 cup craisins
1⁄3 cup pistachio kernels, coarsely chopped
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Put the white and dark chocolate in separate heatproof bowls and place each bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove the bowls from the heat and stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
Spoon tablespoons of chocolate on to the prepared baking trays, spreading each out to form a 5cm-diameter round. Top each round with craisins and pistachios before the chocolate sets. Stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or until set then serve.
You can store the mendiants in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days, layered with baking paper to prevent them from sticking together.
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