xmas month 2021 - sour cherry, oat and white chocolate biscuits

Welcome to the 2nd week of Xmas month 2021. Each year at Christmas I make cookies to give to my neighbours. This year I made a batch of sour cherry, oat and white chocolate biscuits adapted from a recipe from Sweet by Ottolenghi and Helen Goh.

If you follow the recipe to the letter you will be rewarded with close to 30 delicious biscuits. The original recipe used cranberries but I prefer sour cherries and as I had a packet hiding away in my pantry that's what I used.
I've made these twice now and they're really tasty. The quantity of white chocolate in the recipe is just enough to coat all the biscuits so it's probably wise to  melt a little more just in case you get a little too generous with the coating.
Here's the recipe for you which makes about 30 biscuits (if using a 7cm cutter). For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C. 

Sour cherry, oat and white chocolate biscuits
150g whole almonds, skin on
150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g wholemeal flour
150g rolled oats
¼ tsp salt
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature, roughly cut into 3-4cm pieces
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp finely grated zest of 1 large orange
125g dried sour cherries, chopped in half, soaked in 25ml orange juice
250g white chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Spread the almonds out on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and, once cool enough to handle, roughly chop into 0.5–1cm pieces. Transfer the nuts to a large bowl and add the flours, oats and salt. Mix together and set aside.

Increase the oven temperature to 190°C, conventional. Line two or three baking trays with baking paper and set aside.

Place the butter, sugar and orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on a medium speed for about 2 minutes, until combined and light. Add the almond and flour mix to the butter and sugar and continue to mix on a low speed until the dough just comes together. Add the cherries and a little of the orange juice and mix for another few seconds to combine, then tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead into a ball, sprinkling over more flour if needed to prevent it getting too sticky.

Cut the dough in half and roll out one half so that it’s just over 0.5cm thick. Use a 7cm cookie cutter to cut the dough into rounds. Transfer these to a lined tray while you continue with the remaining dough. Bake for 18 minutes, until lightly coloured all over. Remove from the oven and set aside until completely cool.

Meanwhile, place the white chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water.
To coat the cookies, use the back of a dessertspoon to spread a tablespoon of melted chocolate over each. Set aside on a cooling rack for the chocolate to set, which can take up to an hour, before serving.

The biscuits will keep for up to a week in an airtight container, if they last that long!
See you all again next week with another Christmas treat.
Bye for now,



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