Hungry Hubby is a Bakewell tart monster. His eyes light up when at the sight of a box of Mr Kipling’s let alone a batch of my Mini Bing Cherry Bakewell Tarts with Vanilla Pastry. We’ll not even talk about how much he loves my Cherry Bakewell Cheesecake, which combines his favourite type of dessert with these almondy, fruity and sweet little pastries.
When me and Hubby came across a beautiful copper cookie set from Sainsbury’s in the form of a playing card with all four suits on a recent shopping trip, I knew I had to use them to create Bakewell Biscuits for my Hungry Hubby. An early Valentine’s treat for my man!
If you like, you can knead the two doughs – one almond, one cherry flavoured – together and make marble biscuits. These are equally pretty and handy if you don’t have a small heart shaped cookie cutter. The ground almonds in the biscuit dough helps keep a good texture when it comes to re-rolling if you have trimmings to use up. The golden syrup is great for both flavour and helping the biscuits keep their shape on baking.
These Bakewell Biscuits are a proper traditional British biscuit. By which I mean, they are perfect for dunking, no where near as sweet as a cookie (divine tasting though cookies are) and rather plain in appearance. Although, that glorious cherry red colour is rather special as it comes from the addition of some freeze dried cherries, with a teeny dab of red food colouring only to enhance it.
Of course, you can omit the food colouring for a completely natural biscuit. Bakewells frequently come with a glace cherry on top and I almost always use cherry jam underneath the frangipane when I make them, but it is more common to see raspberry jam instead. If you prefer, you can use freeze dried raspberries or strawberries which are more commonly found in supermarkets (although I buy the more cost effective larger pouches of freeze dried fruit from Amazon myself).
- 125 g soft butter
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 75 g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 large egg
- 25 g ground almonds
- 4 tbsp freeze dried cherry powder*
- 1/4 tsp red food colouring gel optional
- 200 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
Beat the butter, sugar, golden syrup and almond extract until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg then follow with the ground almonds.
Divide the creamed butter in two and put half in a second bowl, into which you beat the freeze dried cherries. If using the red food colouring, add it in now and blend well.
Whisk the flour and baking powder together then add half to each bowl of creamed butter. Fold in and bring the dough together, wrapping the plain almond and cherry flavoured doughs in separate pieces of cling film. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out to 2-3mm thick and use a large rectangular cutter approx 3x4 inches in size (or just cut out with a knife) to cut out an even number of biscuits. Use a small heart shaped cutter to stamp out heart shapes in each biscuit and replace the heart with the biscuit dough of the opposite flavour.
(If you have any trimmings left, very lightly knead them together and roll out to give a marbled effect. Either cut them out the same size or roll into rounds and flatten before baking as below).
Place on a lined baking tray and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (preheat the oven to 180˚C at this time).
Bake the biscuits for 8-10 minutes until they are just dry to the touch but not colouring (the edges may brown a touch only).
Cool on the tray for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
* = you can substitute freeze dried raspberry or strawberry powder if you prefer/can't get the cherries. If you can only buy whole freeze dried berries, they grind very well in a coffee/spice grinder.
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