You see, of late, I have been posting some food photos on my Facebook profile, which prompted an ex class mate I.G. who asked me if I had a good orange cookie or biscuit recipe to share. Unfortunately at that time I didn’t, and in attempt to assist her and my own curiosity I scoured the internet hoping to find a good recipe. It was not that easy – it seems chocolate chip cookies are by far the most popular sought after recipes and there were several orange cookies with white chocolate bits, not really what I was after. After 2 days of search, I finally did find one on a french blog. As it turned out , it was in fact a Moroccan food blog. Looking through it, I thought they could turn out very well. I decided to give it a go before passing on the recipe on to my friend I.G.
One challenge though, my husband lately has been complaining about me baking too much, and he is putting on weight faster than he could lose it running. Luckily, for my book club friends, I remembered them whom I was to meet up on Sunday hosted by a sweet Englishman, Jeremy. I could bring these biscuits along for the evening if the biscuits were good.
So I did some calculations , dry ingredients vs wet vs fats and adapted the recipe quite a bit, like adding roasted ground almonds and seville blood orange bitter marmalade for the zabaglione-like icing. I am sure you have heard, baking is a precise science! No joke!
They turned out delicious, with a lovely hint of orange and crunchy bits of almonds, sandwiched with a nice orangey creamy icing. There is raw egg yolk mixed into the icing, because of that I decided to store the biscuits in the fridge and surprisingly I found them better in fact when chilled. It is really up to you if you want to store them in room temperature or in the fridge. I just think they taste better cold.
The recipe is as follows:
- 200 g of butter, softened
- 180 g of castor sugar
- a pinch of salt
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1 egg white (keep the egg yolk for the icing) – use pasteurised egg due to the raw egg yolk for the icing
- 300 g all purpose flour
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 75 g of ground , skinned*, toasted almonds ( I just put the almonds through a food processor and ground them semi fine, as I like the crunchy bits) *to blanch the almonds, place them in a saucepan, add hot boiling water, cover for 1 minute, rinse them through cold water and drain them. The skins should slip off easily by rubbing them between your fingers.
- 3 tbp of orange bitter marmalade without peel. I like using seville blood orange marmalade, the bitter sweet sort.
- 50 g of butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 80-100 g of icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius and lined the baking tray with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the orange juice, rind , egg white and salt and combine well. Fold in the sifter flour, ground almonds and baking powder. I just wet my hands and scoop a tsp of dough , roll it into a ball. and press to flatten the ball with your palm, so it resembles a 2€ coin sized disc . Place the baking tray of cookies in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 12-15 mins, lightly golden , make sure the bottoms do not burn.
Let them cool for a good 1 hour before you sandwich them with the icing.
Icing – cream the butter, icing sugar, vanilla sugar, egg yolk and marmalade until a smooth consistency.
Take one biscuit and butter the icing on the flat side of the biscuit, place another biscuit on top of the icing- the flat side , press them together slightly so that they stick nicely together. Carefully place them on the tray while you finish off the rest. Transfer into a cookie jar or tin, and place them in the fridge until you are ready to serve or eat them!