Orange & Almond Crescents
I think some of the best food ideas come from peasant cultures who had to be truly creative with the few ingredients they had available. These little fragrant moons are my mish-mash of old Italian and Croatian family biscuit recipes that I cajoled out of my friends. They are completely marvellous in their simplicity and ridiculously easy to prepare – perfect with a cup of tea or even better with afterdinner drinks. I prefer to use unblanched natural or raw almonds, which still have their skins on, for additional wholesome, rustic flavour.
¾ cup sliced almonds (skin on), chopped 2 cups ground almonds
1 cup caster sugar
2 tangelos or 1 large orange, finely grated zest 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
Heat oven to 160°C fanbake. Place the chopped almonds in a shallow bowl (these will be used for coating the crescents).
In a large bowl combine ground almonds, caster sugar and tangelo or orange zest. Make a well in the centre and mix in egg whites.
Take a tablespoonful of the sticky dough and, with your hands, roll into a thin rugby-ball shape. Gently press and roll this in the chopped almond slices to roughly coat, then curve into a crescent shape and place on a lined tray. Repeat with remaining mixture.
Bake crescents for about 15 minutes or until they start to go golden on the tips. Cool on the tray. Store in an airtight container. These cookies are actually better the next day, once the flavours have got to know each other intimately. Makes 20-25 biscuits >