Despite the bursts of torrential rain and the huge gusts of wind which had everyone leaping to grab a hold of the canopy and the two blaring fire-engines parked outside during the judging, it all went very well. And what a creative bunch the residents of Pecks turned out to be! There were raspberry tattoos, batman biscuits, princess cakes, madelines, cinnamon buns, fig tarts and tons of jams and chuntneys. Me and my Scrap didn't stand a chance.
We based our recipe on this one from Waitrose.com and sandwiched them with buttercream and my home-made berry jam. Tastes lovely but tricky to roll and ages of waiting while it chills. And it didn't win any prizes!
Cooking: 15 mins
Per biscuit: 260 kcals/15.4g fat/7.5g saturated fat/0.1g salt/17.9g sugars
100g blanched hazelnuts
225g unsalted butter, softened
150g caster sugar
3 medium egg yolks, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour, plus a little extra for rolling out
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
25g icing sugar, to dredge
10 tbsp raspberry and/or apricot jam
Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Finely grind the hazelnuts in a food processor and set aside. Beat together the butter and sugar until light. Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla, then sift in the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and hazelnuts and blend. Lightly knead until it comes together. Flatten into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to 3mm thick. Using a 6–7cm cookie cutter, stamp out as many biscuits as you can. Reshape leftover dough into a ball, re-roll and cut out more biscuits – you should get about 36 in total. Stamp out a 2–3cm shape from the middle of half of the biscuits. Arrange them all on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets; chill for 15 minutes.
Bake on the middle shelf of the oven (in batches, if necessary) for about 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then on a cooling rack. When completely cool, dust icing sugar on the biscuits with holes in. Spread the whole biscuits with jam. Press one sugar-dusted biscuit onto each jam-covered one and serve.