basil and vanilla biscuits

i rarely make biscuits but seeing a Jekka McVicar recipe for basil biscuits in the observer food monthly magazine, the very weekend i was trying to use up all my basil, was a sign that this omission in my baking repertoire needed to be addressed.

the recipe is very simple and would, i think, adapt to all sorts of flavours very easily. sticking to the herbal theme, i quite fancy a rosemary version. lavender also appeals. i think cocoa nibs would also be a good addition.

i deviated a little from the original recipe, adding vanilla as well as basil, and adding my basil when the mix was still in the food processor, rather than kneading it in by hand. neither of these tweaks seemed to have any sort of negative impact.

basil and vanilla biscuits* (makes 30-40)

200g butter

100g sugar

100g ground almonds

200g plain flour

5ml vanilla essence

2 tablespoons basil leaves, shredded

preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4. cream together the butter and sugar, add the ground almonds and blitz until integrated then add the flour and basil leaves. knead together on a lightly floured board to form a dough then roll it out into a 5cm diameter sausage. slice into 1 cm thick slices.

place the slices on a well greased baking sheet lined with non-stick baking parchment. bake for 10-15 minutes** until lightly golden. remove at once and cool on a wire rack.

* based on a jekka mcvicar recipe

** apparently it is the short cooking time which means the basil stays green