Friday, January 25, 2013

Bakewell Cookies

During the month of December, my husband and I were in England visiting his family and a friend of mine. We had a great time and enjoying wandering around and exploring the towns we visit. The weather there was rainy, super rainy, so one day when we were out we stopped in the local public library. I love visiting libraries when on holiday, and this one provided a much needed respite from the rain. While I was there, I browsed the cookery section and came across a book called Biscuits Miranda Browne. Yay, a British cookie book!

Now I’m all about cookies so this cookbook was great! I was thumbing through it and came across this recipe. I took a photo with my cell phone, and also took a photo of the cover so hopefully I could find it at the bookstore. I didn’t find it in the bookstores we visited but at least I had the one recipe. (I can get the book via, so I will likely pick it up from there.) I was really excited to make these: a cookie based on a Bakewell tart.

A Bakewell tart is a tart with a layer of jam topped with an almond filling. They are topped with glaze and a cherry. These cookies contain all the same elements: cherries, ground almonds, glaze and they are simply fantastic. I used maraschino cherries instead of candied ones, but that was the only change. The recipe made about 3 dozen cookies, many more than the recipe said it would yield. Make them on the small side as they spread a lot while baking. I really love these cookies: crunchy, buttery almond cookies sprinkled with sweet bits of cherries. I loved these so much that I’m pretty sure that I need to buy the cookbook!

Bakewell Cookies
(I’ve converted the measurements into ounces, which is why the quantities are unusual)

4.4 ounces butter, softened
8.8 ounces sugar
4.4 ounces brown sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
5.3 ounces self-rising flour*
4.4 ounces ground almonds
5 ounces maraschino or candied cherries, chopped
Sliced almonds, for topping

7 ounces powdered sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheet with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar, brown sugar and almond extract. Add the egg and mix until the dough comes together. Stir in the flour and ground almonds. Stir in the chopped cherries with a spatula.

Shape the dough into small balls and flatten slightly. As the cookies spread considerably, do not put more than 8-9 cookies per sheet. Sprinkle the top of the cookies with sliced almonds.

Bake for 15 minutes until the cookies a light brown around the edges. Cool completely before glazing.

Make the glaze: in a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and almond extract. Add 2 teaspoons milk and whisk until smooth. Continue to add milk and whisk until the glaze is of drizzling consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies.

Recipe from Biscuits by Miranda Gore Browne

*I make my own self-rising flour by combining 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt

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