Nantais Biscuits

Sweet biscuits made crunchy with a sugar and nut topping, Nantais Biscuits are delicious served with or coffee. They will keep well if stored in an airtight tin.

4 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter, softened

1 lb. flour

2 teaspoon salt

6 oz. ground almonds

14 oz. plus

4 tablespoons castor sugar

3 eggs

2 fl. oz. kirsch

2 oz. cup blanched almonds, finely chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

With the teaspoon of butter, lightly grease a large baking sheet. Set aside.

Sift the flour and salt together into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir in the ground almonds. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter and the 14 ounces of sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the kirsch.

Continue beating the mixture until it is smooth. Using a metal spoon, fold in the flour mixture and stir the mixture until it forms a soft dough. Knead the dough lightly and wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375°F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator. Turn it out on to a lightly floured working surface and roll it out to a circle approximately J-inch thick. Using a 3-inch pastry cutter, cut out circles of dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, mix the 4 tablespoons of sugar and the chopped almonds to-gether. Using a pastry brush, brush the dough circles with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the sugar and nut mixture.

Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the biscuits cool slightly on the baking sheet. Carefully transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

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