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Author Notes: These rustic traditional biscuits from the Italian region of Calabria are my all time favourite. Heady with cinnamon and clove, orange, lemon, chocolate and honey, they are most often made at Christmas. This recipe makes 70 biscuits, which seems like a lot, but the dough is easiest to work in this amount. No matter, they last for at least 3 months in a sealed container, or share with your loved ones. —Liliana
- 250 grams roasted almonds, chopped
- 250 milliliters honey
- 3 eggs
- 65 milliliters olive oil
- 220 grams sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- finely grated rind of 1 orange
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground clove
- 160 grams self raising flour
- 160 grams plain flour
- extra plain flour, for dusting
- 440 grams sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 250 milliliters water
- 310 grams icing sugar
- Mix all the biscuit ingredients, except for the flours, in a very large bowl.
- Add the flours and fold through with a wooden spoon, as the mixture thickens your hands are the best utensils to get this job done. Fold up and over until you have a slightly sticky and thick dough.
- Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Dust a clean surface with a little flour. Cut off around 2 cups worth of dough at a time and roll into an oblong shape around 1½ cm thick. Trim the edges and cut diagonally at 5cm intervals one way, and then the other to make diamond shape biscuits.
- Place onto prepared oven trays allowing 2cm gap in between for spreading and bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove and set aside on wire racks to cool. Repeat with all the dough.
- Put all the icing ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until it is reduced by half.
- Working quickly, brush the hot icing mixture onto the biscuits, painting back and forth with a pastry brush, covering the tops completely. You will have more icing than you need, but I find that making a smaller amount leads to the mixture seizing. If this happens just add a tbsp of water, put back on a low heat and stir until smooth again.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
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