A biscuit for every season! It would be beautiful
In our own small way we try and here we are for an Autumn recipe, the moment to rediscover the joys of spending an afternoon kneading and baking. It is a very simple shortcrust pastry to which I added some caramel crystals to give it a more intense flavour, a golden color and also a different consistency. And since it’s autumn… let it be Squirrels!
- 200 g of 00 flour
- 100g of granulated sugar
- 150 g of soft butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 pinch of salt
- the grated peel of a lemon
- Flaked almonds to decorate + a little egg white
- 50 g of granulated sugar
- 1 saucepan with a thick bottom
- kitchen thermometer
- Baking paper or silicone mat
Start with caramel: you will have to create a thin and transparent sheet like glass with caramel and to do this we will use the “dry” method.
Place two tablespoons of sugar in the heavy-bottomed saucepan and place on a small burner over very low heat (minimum) and… wait without touching or turning! the sugar will slowly melt and become transparent and then “blond”. When the sugar has dissolved, add two more tablespoons of sugar and wait for it to melt, again without stirring. Continue like this until the end. You can check with the thermometer and the caramel must not exceed 140-150 degrees otherwise it becomes bitter and tends to burn.
Once ready, quickly pour it onto baking paper placed on a baking tray or, even better, onto a silicone mat. Let it drip to create a thin layer like glass and let it solidify in the air until it becomes hard, cold and transparent.
At this point break up the caramel glass up and put it in the mixer and obtain small crystals that you can put in a glass jar and use for this shortcrust pastry but also in the future to caramelize a creme brulèe or to add to creams.
Prepare the shortcrust pastry, you can also find the steps:
Cut the soft butter into cubes and place it in a large bowl. Add the egg yolks, sugar, grated lemon zest and pinch of salt and mix the ingredients quickly with your hands. Quickly add the flour to the mixture, without working it too much, otherwise the butter will heat up too much. You can also knead in the stand mixer very quickly using the K-hook.
Once the dough is elastic and homogeneous, add a few spoons of caramel crystals, I added 4-5, but you can decide the quantity.
A questo punto spezzettatelo e mettetelo nel mixer ed ottenete dei piccoli cristalli che potrete mettere in un barattolo di vetro e usare per questo frolla ma anche in futuro per caramellare una creme brulèe o da aggiungere alle creme.
Knead everything briefly one last time to make it homogeneous and form a ball.
Flour and wrap in cling film: let it rest in the fridge for half an hour and then roll it out with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 1 cm (or half if you prefer thin biscuits).
In this case I chose a pastry cutter in the shape of a loaf, in honor of Autumn. Once I had formed the squirrels, I made a small hole with a toothpick to create the eye, I quickly brushed the tail with a little egg white left over from the pastry and crumbled a little almond flakes over the tail.
In some cases I actually stuck the flakes in the tail to give them a more voluminous effect.
I always recommend placing the biscuits on baking trays lined with baking paper and then placing them in the fridge for 30 minutes to solidify, so that they hold their shape well during cooking.
Then bake at 170°C for 10-12 minutes until they start to color and the almond flakes are colored on the tips.
Here they are our shortcrust pastry squirrels with caramel crystals! Happy Autumn!
And if you have some simple shortcrust pastry left over… have fun with autumn biscuits. With inlay biscuits you can easily create decorated shortcrust pastries… like these red and green mushrooms!