SPICED ALMOND BISCUITS
These are based on the traditional South African Soetkoekie – but I am not fond of rolling out biscuit dough and fiddling around with cookie cutters, the way those are made!
500g cake flour I teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt 200g butter/margarine
½ teaspoon ground cloves 200ml ground almonds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon ground ginger 70ml red wine
375ml sugar halved almonds - optional
About 125ml Castor sugar for dusting
Sift dry ingredients together and rub in the butter. You can do this in the food processor. Then add the ground almonds and pulse a few times to mix.
Tip the mixture into a bowl and add the wine and egg. Using your hands, work to stiff dough. Divide the dough into four portions and roll each into a ‘sausage’ about 4cm in diameter. Cover with cling film and leave to stand for several hours. (Or wrap well and freeze to bake later).
Cut each roll into 3mm slices. Place on a greased baking sheet, allowing a little space for spreading. This is when you can top the biscuits with a halved almond if you want to. Bake for 10 minutes.
While still warm, dip the upper side of each biscuit in castor sugar. Brush off the excess.
Store the biscuits in an airtight container when cool.