Many years ago, when I came to study in the UK I met someone who later became like a sister to me, Maria. A fellow designer she is from one of the most charming and delightful towns in Portugal, a place where early 20th century European aristocracy used to sunbathe: Cascais. As students, homesick and penniless, we used to find cheap culinary ways which worked as reminders of the languid and sun filled days, the hearty cuisine, our homeland. These biscuits are one of the recipes I have learnt from her, evocative treats from her hometown. I have slightly twisted the original recipe by adding some chopped blanched almonds which look like broken corals on top of the Atlantic sand.
Areias com corais / Sands with corals
160 gr of plain flour
80gr of caster sugar
200 gr of unsalted, soft butter
Grind of 1 lemon
30 gr of chopped blanch almonds
Pre-heat the oven at 180 C.
In a bowl, mix the butter with the sugar. Add the flour, and with your hands, mix everything until it resembles a soft, homogeneous dough. Make small balls of dough, and roll them on the chopped blanched almonds. Place the balls on top of a baking tray, lined with some baking parchment. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they are golden.
Remove from the oven and let the biscuits cool completely before serving them, either with some citronella tea or black filter coffee, as I favour it.