Orange & Al­mond Cres­cents

NZ House & Garden - - GATHERINGS -

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 >

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