Recipe of the Week Posted on 31st May 2011
I know, these biccis don’t look so pretty but I promise, they make up for it with their super duper combination of favour, texture and are pure perfection. So much so, they have knocked the choc chip cookies off top spot as the crowd-pleasing treat in my life.
Another recipe from Karen Martini’s “Where the Heart is” (if I haven’t mentioned already, a must for every kitchen library). Named Pinolate, I think they are a traditional Mediterranean biscuit and like many of the Greek deserts I found them too sweet, sugary and dense when I first made them. For those of you who are partial to that style of sweet, you should make the recipe as it’s meant to be (I have left original quantities below). Instead of putting that recipe to the side or tag as “for a certain type of guest only” I decided to try them again but only put in a quarter of the sugar and added 2 tablespoons of honey. Voila, they were just as I wanted them to be. That nice sweet/savoury balance, nice nutty crust on the outside with a chewy but light centre. The best thing of all is the mixture can keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks so you can make up biccis as you need (just make sure you have enough pistachio and pine nuts in the pantry).
My take on the Pinolate biscuit
Ingredients: 2/3 cup (120g) blanched almonds, 140g castor sugar (was 570g), 4 egg whites, 2/3 cup (100g) skinned, toasted hazelnuts, 1& 2/3cups(200g) ground almonds, 80g very soft butter, 3 tablespoons honey (was 1), 1 cup (150g) pine nuts, 1 & ¼ cups (180g) pistachios, icing sugar for dusting.
Method: 1. Place almonds, half the sugar and 3 of the egg whites in a food processor and blend until they form a smooth paste 2. Transfer mixture to a large bowl 3. Process remaining sugar, hazelnuts, ground almonds, butter, honey and remaining egg white in food processor until well combined. 4. Combine almond and hazelnut mixtures, cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours (recipe says 1 hour, which is fine, but I think it is easier to handle when the mixture has been in the fridge longer) 5. Preheat oven to 150 C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. 6. Combine pine nuts and pistachios and chop coarsely 7. Divide refrigerated mixture into small oval balls the size of walnuts and roll in chopped pine nuts and pistachios to coat. 8. Place on tray and bake for 20mins or until pale gold. 9. When cool, dust with icing sugar. 10. Biscuits can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
NOTE: the last time I made these I used the pistachios you get in the supermarkets and I didn’t realize until I tasted the biscuits that the nuts were lightly salted. In a strange was I think they were improved by that touch of salt so feel free to try both ways.