I was recently gifted a collection of the most beautiful, hard cover cooking and design books by a dear friend who is moving overseas. One of them, as the stunning ‘Movida Rustica‘ by Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish. As my meal planning suddenly began to feature tapas style dinners and more fish than my family has ever eaten in their lives, I figured it was time to have a go at some of the sweeter treats in the book.
These morsels are spectacular served with a cup of good coffee and, with their cinnamon and clove spiciness, wouldn’t be out of place on the Christmas table come the end of the year. Being coeliac, I used a gluten free plain flour blend and refrigerated the unbaked biscuits overnight to ensure they kept their shape in the oven and didn’t spread into a sheet of biscuits when baked (as happened when I tried to make Greek Shortbread Moons!). The original recipe calls for dried figs and Pedro Ximenez sherry, neither of which I had on hand, so I used dates and vanilla extract as a substitute and they worked beautifully.
250g plain gluten free flour (or use regular flour if not GF)
125g almond meal
125g unsalted butter, cubed
160g dried dates – roughly chopped
Finely grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Icing sugar for dusting.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius.
Spread the flour in a thin layer on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove and cool and place in the bowl of a food processor.
Do the same with the almond meal, toasting for 10 minutes before adding to the flour in the food processor.
Add the cubed butter to the flours and pulse until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the dates, sultanas, cinnamon, cloves, honey, lemon zest and vanilla and process until the mix comes together like a dough.
Transfer to a bowl, cover and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, line two baking trays with baking paper.
Take the mix from the fridge and roll into approximately 30 little biscuits (about a tablespoon per biscuit), and lay evenly on the trays. Cover with foil and return to the fridge for a few hours or overnight, to set.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
Bake the biscuits for 25-30 minutes.
Allow to cool a little, then dust with icing sugar.
The biscuits will keep for up to 6 days in an airtight container.
*Please note: this post includes affiliate links