Zurich Hazelnut Biscuits

These delicious, crispy biscuits from Switzerland make a marvellous treat.

20 BISCUITS

2 oz. unsalted butter, softened

4 oz. flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

6 oz. ground hazelnuts

3 oz. sugar

2 tablespoons apricot jam, slightly warmed

20 whole hazelnuts, blanched

ICING

3 oz. dark cooking chocolate

2 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon butter

Preheat the oven to cool 300’F (Gas Mark 2, 150°C).

Place the butter and flour in a large mixing bowl and beat them together, with a wooden spoon until they are well blended.

Using a metal spoon, fold in the egg, hazelnuts and sugar and mix well.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to J-inch thick. Using a 1-inch pastry cutter, cut the dough into 40 rounds. Place the rounds on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the biscuits are lightly browned. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool.

Meanwhile, make the icing. In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate over low heat. Remove the boiler from the heat. In a small saucepan set over high heat, combine the sugar and water and boil, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms a thick syrup. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the syrup on to the chocolate. Stir well to blend. Stir in the butter. Set aside.

Sandwich pairs of the biscuits together with the apricot jam. Using a palette knife, spread the icing over the top of each biscuit and place a whole hazelnut in the centre of each one. Allow the icing to cool before serving.

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