12 December 2011

Piped almond rings – ‘Spritzgebäck’

I inherited the recipe for these crunchy and buttery biscuits from my lovely grandmother, Mimmi. Every year when I was a child and when she was still alive (she would have been 103 years old this year!) she brought us a big tin of the little rings, decorated with chocolate. My mother baked these biscuits, too, until she gave her old Kenwood Chef to me and now I continue with the tradition. To achieve the specific shape of the rings as shown on the picture, a Kenwood chef or other food processor with a biscuit press attachment (basically a meat grinder with a mounted stencil for piping dough in different shapes) is required. However, the dough can also be rolled into thin sausages and formed into rings by hand. As an alternative, the dough can be pressed into Madeleine moulds. I suppose it could also be rolled out and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter, but I have not tried this yet. A regular biscuit press or piping bag will not work (I am speaking from experience), because the dough contains a lot of nuts and is too tough.

This recipe is enough for a very large tin full of biscuits. If the biscuits have to be shaped by hand the process will take quite a bit longer, so I would probably only go for half the recipe for a start.

450g plain flour
1 egg
200 g sugar
250 g butter
250 g blanched and ground almonds
Seeds from one vanilla pod

150 g dark chocolate to decorate

Mix all of the ingredients (apart from the chocolate) in a food processor or by hand until you have a firm ball of dough. Leave to rest in the fridge for about one hour. Use the biscuit press attachment of your food processor to pipe long strings of dough, cut into pieces about 10 cm long and form into rings. Alternatively, knead sections of the dough until it is elastic, divide the dough into smaller pieces and roll these into sausage shapes about 1 cm thick. Cut into pieces and form into rings. If you would like to make Madeleine shapes, just press pieces of the dough into the mould.

Place the biscuits on a greased baking sheet (or on a baking sheet covered in baking paper) and bake at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes. Leave to cool and decorate with melted chocolate. The biscuits can be kept for quite a few weeks and they stay crunchy if kept in a tin. My grandmother was sometimes known still to have a stash of Spritzgebäck in her larder by Easter.

No comments:

Post a Comment