Nut and Date Biscuits

Crisp, delicately flavoured little biscuits , Nut and Date Biscuits are easy and quick to make. Serve them slightly warm from the oven or cold. Stored in an airtight tin, they will keep for several weeks.

8 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

3 oz. butter, softened

4 oz. soft brown sugar

1 egg, well beaten with

1 tablespoon milk

4 oz. dates, stoned and finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped hazelnuts

2 oz. Brazil nuts, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 F (Gas Mark 4, 180=C).

Line two medium-sized baking sheets with non-stick silicone paper and set them aside.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, allspice and cardamom into a small bowl and stir well to mix. Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.

Stir in half of the flour mixture and the egg and milk mixture. Combine thoroughly and stir in the remaining flour mixture, the dates and nuts. Lightly knead the dough until it is smooth. Cover the dough and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the rcfrigcr- ator. Shape the dough into a ball and turn it out on to a lightly floured board or marble slab. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle about J-inch thick. With a 2-inch pastry cutter, cut the dough into circles.

Gather the leftover dough and knead it lightly until it is smooth. Roll out and cut into circles as before.

Transfer the dough circles to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them slightly apart.

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

Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm, or allow to cool completely before serving.

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