Thursday, December 27


J A N U A R Y // there is a sprinkling of snow, enough to crunch underfoot, not enough to plod in

F E B R U A R Y // I walk along a wintry beach in torrential rain and wind

M A R C H // blossom

A P R I L // a marvellous day trip to Margate

M A Y // I celebrate twenty years of being alive, on a gloriously hot day in the countryside

J U NE // things grow, visitors come and go, the rain begins to fall

J U LY // everybody waves flags, or shelters underneath them when it rains

A U G U S T // a return to a favourite piece of coastline

S E P T E M B E R // blackberryin'

O C T O B E R // I walk the streets of my early childhood

N O V E M B E R // leaves turn the bright golden yellow of an extra-beautiful autumn

D E C E M B E R // the first frosts arrive and chai tea becomes a daily habit

(post inspired by Marguerite Gisele)

Tuesday, December 18

Christmas star biscuits

I have been bad at blogging again... mainly due to being tired from work and Christmas festivities... I have been on late autumn walks, Christmas shopping trips, seen Florence + the Machine at the O2 (amazing), gone on the Harry Potter studio tour, been ice skating, spent time with family and gone rummaging in antique shops. I've also painted decorations for 150 mini Christmas cakes at work which has probably killed any excitement for our own Christmas cake this year. I am loving the time of year though. I'm sitting in the living room with tree lights and candles for company, and there's so much good food in the fridge already. Happy!

I was recently commissioned to make a lot of biscuits (200!) to be put in jars and given as Christmas gifts. This was my second large-scale baking commission so I was slightly more adept at coping with the amounts. Baking on a big scale requires you to consider so many things you normally don't think about - like how much biscuit mix the food mixer can handle, and what to do when you run out of wire racks...

These biscuits are really very nice. I used a recipe for shortbread, so you get that lovely crumbly texture, but I substituted some of the flour for ground almonds. This gives the biscuits a bit more of a moist, melt-in-the-mouth constitency and provides greater depth of flavour. Basically: even more tasty.

Also: you must use butter. Not baking margarine. Butter tastes so much better.

Scroll down for the recipe...


To make the biscuits:

60g golden caster sugar
120g unsalted butter
1 tsp almond extract
125g plain flour
50g ground almonds

Cream together the sugar, butter and extract.
Sift over the flour, pour in the ground almonds and mix until a dough is formed.
Shape into a disc, wrap and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees (fan 160).
Roll out the dough to 5mm thickness on a flour dusted surface, and cut out small stars.
Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 15-20 mins until golden around the edges.

Warning: I am not responsible for how much biscuit dough you consume during this process. Or for how many 'testers' you feel obliged to taste. Not mentioning the stars that may have unfortunately lost their limbs in the oven...

Once the biscuits had cooled I wrapped them in cellophane, put them in Kilner jars, added some ribbon, gingham bows and homemade labels (decorated with sections of doilies) and voila! Easy peasy Christmas gifts.