Monday, January 6, 2014

Orange blossom & pistachio shortbread crescents

These were another of my Christmas bakes that didn’t make the post before Christmas deadline (self-inflicted and unrealistic deadline so doesn’t really count, does it?). 

They do look very festive with their dusting of snowy icing sugar, but they are so melt-in-the mouth gorgeous you would not want to limit your tasting to just once a year, believe me. 

I have been pestering one of our book club members for his wife’s recipe for a similar biscuit.  I’ve decided it’s either a secret recipe not to be divulged or he has forgotten, so I set about looking for something similar.  I feel like I have hit gold with this one. They could easily be my favourite biscuit with their oh-so-delicate flavour and texture and crunchy bites of nuttiness.

If you can’t be bothered shaping them into crescents – which is rather fiddly I admit and, as you can see, mine are more large and rustic than perfectly formed – I am sure little rounds would taste just as good. 

Orange blossom & pistachio shortbread crescents

200g butter, softened
¼ cup caster sugar
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp Limoncello
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ cup shelled pistachios, chopped finely
1½ cups standard flour
½ tsp baking powder

For the topping

2 tbsp Limoncello
1 tbsp orange blossom water
¾ cup icing sugar

Preheat oven to 160°C. Lightly grease a couple of baking trays or line with baking paper.

With an electric beater, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the egg yolk, vanilla, one tablespoon of the Limoncello and the cardamom and pistachios.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and then stir into the wet mixture to combine.

Spoon out about one tablespoon of the mixture at a time and roll on a lightly floured board into a tube shape about 5-6cm long and 2cm wide.  Place on the baking trays.  To get the crescent shape, I used a tiny round bowl (from my old tin of petit four tins and cutters below) turned upside down as a prop to mould each biscuit around to make a crescent and shaped the ends slightly (or just shape roughly with your hands).  Repeat for each biscuit.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until pale, golden and firm to touch.  Remove from the oven and leave on the tray for 5-10 minutes.

For the topping, mix the rosewater and the Limoncello together and, using a pastry brush, brush the top of each crescent whilst still warm.  Once you’ve done this, dust all the biscuits with a good amount of sifted icing sugar and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from one by Allyson Gofton in “Bake”

Alessandra has reminded me to enter these for Sweet New Zealand - a monthly blogging event created by her - and so I shall and here is the link.

1 comment:

  1. Love these Lesley, you should enter them for Sweet NZ, I am hosting this month, info here