These are fantastic looking and tasting cookies. It's worth getting the special cookie cutters which will enable you to make the nice holes in the top.

  • 400g plain flour
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 250g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 130g ground almonds
  • grated zest of half a lemon
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk

to assemble:
  • about 100g seedless raspberry jam
  • icing sugar

    Put the flour, icing sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in the food processor and blitz together. Add the butter chopped into pieces and process until you can't see large pieces of butter anymore. Add the rest of the ingredients except the egg and yolk and process briefly. Add the egg and and egg yolk and process very briefly again. Take the dough out and knead very quickly to bring it together. If it's too dry, add a little bit of cold water. Wrap the dough and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan assisted). Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 2mm thickness and stamp out cookies. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until the cookies start to colour very lightly around the edges.

    Leave to cool. Dust the top part with icing sugar. Put about half a teaspoon jam into the centre of the bottom part, spread it a little and then assemble the cookie. You can also dust with sugar after you assemble it but it spoils the colour of the jam a little.

    Store in a breathable container for at least one week before eating.

  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 70g finely chopped candied peel
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder

to decorate:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g halved almonds (see note)

Preheat the oven to 160-170°C (140-150°C fan).
Whisk the the sugar and the
eggs with an electric whisk for 1 minute on a high speed. Mix in the spices, candied peel (use a food processor to chop it finely if you have one) and the almonds. Sift the flour and baking powder together and mix it quickly with the rest of the ingredients.

Roll the dough out on a well floured surface to about 3mm thickness. Cut into 3cm squares and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush each square with the beaten egg and place half an almond in the middle.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, until the crispies are baked through and starting to colour lightly around the edges.

Store in an airtight container for at least a week before eating.

If you don't have skinned and halved almonds, simply put whole almonds into simmering water for a couple of minutes, drain and place in cold water. Remove the loosened skins by squeezing the almonds between your fingers. Halve them by carefully inserting a sharp pointy knife along the side.