My Mother gave me a Great British Bake Off 2015 Calender for Christmas which was filled with fantastic recipes to make each month. I made it my goal to take just a couple of hours (if that) out of each month and make every single one of them. January’s recipe was these ‘Chewy Apricot Cookies’.
Makes 16 large or 32 small cookies.
Preparation: 15 minutes
Baking: 14-17 minutes
125g Self-Raising Flour
50g Ground Almonds
100g Caster Sugar
100g Unsalted Butter
3-4 drops Almond Essence
20g Flaked Almonds
200g Apricot Conserve or Butter Icing (below)
Icing Sugar for dusting
Butter Icing (this is what I used)
125g Unsalted Butter
400g Icing Sugar
3-4 Tablespoons Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Also… 2 baking trays lined with baking paper
1. Heat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius (325 Fahrenheit, Gas 3). To make the dough by hand, sift the flour, ground almonds and sugar inro a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Beat the egg with the almond essence in a small bowl then add to the mixture (I used vanilla extract as I absolutely hate marzipan). Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon for a few seconds until it is thoroughly combined.
To make the dough in a food processor put the flour, ground almonds and sugar into the processor bowl and pulse 3 or 4 times to combine the ingredients. Add the pieces of butter and process until the mixture looks sandy. Beat the egg and almond essence in a small bowl then add to the food processor through the feed tube whilst the machine is running. Stop the machine as soon as the dough comes together.
2. Tip the dough onto the worktop. Lightly dust your hands with flour, then roll the mixture into 16 walnut sized balls (this mixture made 8 massive cookies/biscuits so I’d advice making 32 smaller balls and cooking the mixture in batches). Arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spaced well apart to allow for spreading (I didn’t spread mine far enough apart). Scatter the flaked almonds on top and press gently into the balls (DO NOT flatten the them, they need to be put into the oven as balls, they will flatten as they bake). Place in the heated oven and bake for 14-17 minutes until golden and firm when gently pressed.
3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets before peeling them off. Use the apricot conserve or butter icing to sandwich pairs of cookies together, then dust with icing sugar. Store in an air tight container and eat within 5 days.
Butter Icing Method
1. Put the soft butter into a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until paler in colour and very creamy.
2. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl. Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until very smooth and thick.
(Recipe courtesy of the Great British Bake Off 2015 Calender)
Please send me photos if you have a go at making these yourself!