Ratafia Biscuits

It is thought these little biscuits , made with almonds, sugar and egg whites, were originally eaten with wines and liqueurs, hence their name. Ratafia Biscuits can be flavoured with ratafia essence, if available, but, as we have suggested, a fruit liqueur will be an adequate substitute. Non-stick silicone paper may be used instead of rice paper, but it is not edible and must be removed before eating. Ratafias will keep for several months if kept in an airtight tin.

50-60 BISCUITS

2 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter

12 oz. castor sugar

8 oz. cups ground almonds

1 teaspoon apricot brandy

2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Preheat the oven to moderate 350’F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). With the teaspoon of butter grease two large baking sheets. Cover the sheets with rice paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon, beat the remaining butter and the sugar together until they are well mixed.

Stir in the ground almonds, then the apricot brandy. Carefully add the beaten egg whites, cutting and folding them into the mixture with a metal spoon.

Fill a forcing bag, fitted with a 1-inch star nozzle, with the mixture. Pipe star shapes, approximately 1-inch in diameter, on to the baking sheets, spaced well apart.

Place the baking sheets in the centre of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the ratafias are golden brown and firm to the touch.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and set the ratafias aside to cool for 5 minutes. Remove the ratafias from the baking sheets and, using kitchen scissors, trim the rice paper around the ratafias.

Transfer the ratafias to a wire rack to cool completely before serving or storing.

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