The saffron-tinted Persian biscuits of the patisserie­s in my neighbourh­ood when I was growing up provided the inspiratio­n for this combinatio­n. But while I have enjoyed many Persian sweet treats, they really aren’t a patch on the marvellous shortbread biscuit, so here it is uniquely flavoured with saffron and sesame.

MAKES 18-20

PREPARATIO­N TIME 25 minutes, plus cooling and chilling

COOKING TIME about 28 minutes

● 100g sesame seeds

● 250g plain flour

● 100g icing sugar

● Generous pinch of Maldon sea salt flakes

● 200g unsalted butter, softened

● 1/2tsp saffron threads, ground to a powder using a pestle and mortar, then steeped in 1tbsp boiling water until cool

● Caster sugar, to sprinkle

1 Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan) mark 7.

2 Spread sesame seeds out on a baking tray and toast for 6-8min until browned. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

3 Combine sesame seeds with flour, icing sugar, salt and butter in a mixing bowl, then add saffron solution and work ingredient­s into a dough.

4 Divide the dough in half and form each half into a sausage about 4-5cm in diameter. Wrap each sausage in clingfilm and twist the ends to tightly encase the dough, like a sweet wrapper. Chill for 1hr. Alternativ­ely, you can freeze them for another day.

5 Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan) mark 31/2. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Unwrap each sausage of dough, then cut into 1cm-thick slices and lay on the prepared baking tray about 2cm apart. Bake for 20min. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with caster sugar. Leave to cool on the tray before serving.

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 ??  ?? Extracted from Simply: Easy Everyday Dishes (Mitchell Beazley, £26) by Sabrina Ghayour
Extracted from Simply: Easy Everyday Dishes (Mitchell Beazley, £26) by Sabrina Ghayour

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