Walnut and Cream Cheese Biscuits

These biscuits , with their rich ‘dough’ of cream cheese and butter are an example of Jewish cookery at its best. Serve them as a snack with tea or freshly culated coffee.

20 BISCUITS

2 oz. sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons sultanas or seedless raisins

2 tablespoons chopped candied peel

2 oz. walnuts, finely chopped

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

8 oz. unsalted butter, softened

8 oz. flour

20 whole walnuts

First, make the dough. Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, beat them together until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the flour and continue to beat until the dough is soft and comes away from the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with aluminium foil and chill it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the sugar, cinnamon, sultanas or seedless raisins, candied peel and walnuts in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Using the teaspoon of oil, grease a large baking sheet.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and, with a rolling pin, roll it out slightly. Break off 20 small pieces of the dough and, with your fingers, roll each piece into a small ball. Using your thumb, make a deep impression in each dough ball. Divide the filling among the dough balls, placing a little in each impression, then pinching the edges together with your fingers. Decorate each ball with a whole walnut.

Place the dough balls on the baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.

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

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