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Sweet and sticky Medjool dates give these Austrian Christmas biscuits a makeover with a toffee-like consistency. So easy to make, you can rustle up a batch of these for a low cost, making these a great edible gift option this Christmas. See method
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Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk to combine.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, almonds and cinnamon with a pinch of salt. Add to the mixing bowl, a little at a time, to make a soft dough. Shape into a disc, then wrap in clingfilm and transfer to the fridge for 1 hr.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 2-3mm thick. Cut out rounds with a 6cm cutter (dipping the cutter in flour first will help give neat edges), then use a small snowflake (or other festively shaped) cutter to stamp a hole in the centre of half the rounds. Transfer to lined baking sheets, then return to the fridge for 20 mins. Reroll the offcuts and repeat to stamp out more biscuits; you should end up with approximately 52 rounds. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.
Bake the biscuits in batches for 8-9 mins until dry and very pale golden. Leave to cool on the sheets for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, put the dates in a heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. Leave to soak for 15 mins, then drain, reserving a mug of the water. Use a blender to blitz the dates with 5-6 tbsp reserved water, as needed, to make a smooth, spreadable paste.
Dust the icing sugar over the biscuits with the snowflakes cut out. Spread date jam onto each non-dusted biscuit, leaving a small border around the edge, then sandwich with the dusted biscuits. Will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container, though best eaten on the day they’re made.
Get ahead: The biscuit dough can be frozen from the end of step 2. Alternatively, freeze the cut-out, unbaked biscuits, then bake from frozen for an extra 2 mins.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
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