Simnel cookies

Use the flavours of the Easter classic cake in munchable fruity biscuits to have with tea
By Katie Bryson
Simnel cookies
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 24
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 1 hour chilling
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 250 g plain flour
  • 175 g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 80 g mixed dried fruit
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 egg yolk

For the buttercream

  • 75 g butter, softened
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp almond essence

Tips and Suggestions

Use whichever dried fruit you fancy, cranberries, sultanas or apricots. For a neat finish chop it all into smaller pieces so they dont bulge out of the cookies.

Method

1. For the cookies: Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, and then add the butter and either rub in using your fingertips, or blitz in the processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2. Stir in the sugar, dried fruit and orange zest, and then finally add the egg yolk and stir to combine.

3. Bring the mixture together with your hands, kneading and squeezing in the bowl until a dough forms. Its quite crumbly but this is normal.

4. Squeeze the dough into a ball, lay out a sheet of cling film and then put the dough on top, pressing it down into a disc shape. Wrap tightly and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and line 4 baking sheets with greaseproof paper.

6. Roll out the cookie dough in between layers of cling film until it is approximately 3mm thick.

7. Stamp out circles using a 5cm round cookie cutter with fluted edges then carefully transfer to the baking sheets about 3cm apart. You should get at least 48 cookies out of the dough.

8. Bake in batches for 12 minutes until golden. Allow the cookies to cool on the tray for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

9. For the buttercream: Put the softened butter in a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar, add the almond extract and then bring the ingredients together using the back of a metal spoon.

10. Once it resembles large breadcrumbs, use a hand mixer to whip it up into a light and fluffy frosting.

11. To assemble: Match up the cookies into even pairs and spread the underside of one with a thin layer of frosting, then press against the underside of the matching cookie. Repeat until all are filled.

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