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The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

24th December 2021

These are called star biscuits for many reasons, firstly and obviously because of their shape, but they are also stars in the kitchen because of the way in which you can handle them says Jo Pratt.

The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

24th December 2021

The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

24th December 2021

The biscuit dough is very robust as once made, you can’t over-knead it. You can re-roll it as many times as required, which is particularly handy when kids are involved in helping! The dough can be stored in the fridge or freezer once made and then cooked on demand.

Time taken 25 minutes + 30 minutes resting / Makes about 20

  • 140g ground almonds
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • finely grated zest of ½ orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 1 egg white
  1. Put the almonds, sugar, orange zest and vanilla in a large bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder and icing sugar and mix together to combine.
  2. Add the egg white and mix well until you have a smooth dough. Turn onto the worktop and knead lightly for a minute until smooth. Shape into a disk, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge to rest for about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas 5 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  4. Once rested, roll the dough between 2 pieces of baking parchment, to about 5mm thick. Use a 4–5cm star cookie cutter, or in fact any shape you fancy, to cut out the dough shapes.
  5. Bring together the trimmings, re-roll and continue until all of the dough is used.
  6. Sit the cookies on the lined baking tray. They won’t spread when cooking so you should get them all on the same tray. Bake for 12–14 minutes, until the bases are slightly crisp but the middles remain just a little soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. As they cool they will firm up even more. Store in an airtight container. They should stay crisp for up to 2 weeks.

FLEXIBLE

VEGAN/EGG-FREE: swap the egg white for 1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water. Leave to thicken for 10 minutes before mixing into the dry ingredients. The biscuits will probably need a further 1–2 minutes of cooking time until they are firm on the base with the middle still a little soft. They will firm up more when cooling.

FLAVOUR SWAP: add ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves to the dry mixture, either with or without the orange zest.

GET AHEAD: once the dough has been made and wrapped up, it can sit in the fridge for up to 1 week (just check the use-by date on your eggs first). You can also freeze the dough once cut into shapes. If baking from frozen, add on a couple more minutes to the cooking time.

MORE INSPIRATION

READ The Flexible Family Cookbook by Jo Pratt, £20 Frances Lincoln. Photography Malou Burger.

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