The rain is bucketing down today. It's not a great day to go out and do much of anything. How fitting for the first day of the summer school holidays. I hope it's not a portent of things to come!
Rainy Days make me want to get in the kitchen and bake. I had made the dough for these lovely biscuits (cookies) earlier in the week and today was the perfect day to crank on the oven and roll them out.
Lunettes is the French word for spectacles and with their two peep holes in the centre, these lovely biscuits certainly resemble a pair of spectacles. You will want a fluted oval cutter about 4 inches in width for these, but never fear if you don't have an oval cutter, you can use a round one as well . . . they just won't look like spectacles!
Crisp buttery shortbreads . . . the tops cut out with two peep holes, baked and then dusted liberally with icing sugar . . . . tops and bottoms sandwiched together with some seedless jam and pressed together just so . . . with some of the jam squishing up in the holes to tempt you. Sophistic-ally moreish is all I can say. Sophistic-ally moreish. Perfect tea party fare. C'est tres magnique!
Makes 10 to 12 double
jam filled biscuits
If you like shortbread biscuits and jam, then you will adore these. Lunettes is the French word for spectacles and these oval cookies resemble a pair of spectacles with their two jammy holes. You can use whichever jam you prefer to use. Today I used seedless raspberry. Just make sure you run it through with a fork several times to "loosen" it. Best to dust and fill just prior to serving. The baked biscuits will keep for up to a week in advance in an airtight container and you can make the dough a few days in advance of baking and also freeze it if you want.
220g unsalted butter, cut into bits (scant cup)
120g icing sugar (scant cup)
the finely grated zest of one lemon
2 medium free range egg yolks
300g plain flour (2 1/4 cups)
seedless jam, worked until smooth
icing sugar to dust
Put the butter, lemon zest and icing sugar into a food processor. Blitz until they are well creamed together. Add the egg yolks and blitz to combine. Add the flour and once again blitz to combine. You should have a soft and sticky dough. Shape it into a flattened block on some cling film, wrap tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least several hours, but preferably overnight.
When you are ready to bake them remove the dough from the fridge. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. gas mark 4. Have ready several baking sheets which you have lined with baking paper.
Roll out half of the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness, using a lightly floured rolling pin. Cut into 4 inch ovals with a fluted oval cutter. (alternately you can cut them into 4 inch rounds with a fluted round cutter) Cut two small circles from the centres of half of the ovals to resemble glasses. (If you are using a round cutter, you need only cut one.) Place all the whole ovals on one baking sheet and the cut out ovals on the other, spacing them a bit apart for spreading.
Place the ones with the holes cut out on the lower rack in your oven and the whole ones on the top rack. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, just until they are beginning to colour. Remove and allow to cool for several minutes on the pans before carefully lifting off to a wire rack to cool completely.
At this point you can store them in an airtight container. When you are ready to serve them, loosen your jam and spread about a teaspoon into the centre areas of the bottom sides of the whole ovals, spreading it out a bit, to within about 1/3 of an inch from the edge. Dredge the cut out ovals with icing sugar using a fine sieve. Carefully press the dredged ovals on top of the jam covered bottoms, letting some of the jam ooze up in the cut out holes. Serve immediately.