Thursday, 19 August 2010

Insanely crispy almond biscuits

In all the Belgian supermarkets you can easily find delicious biscuits called "pains aux amandes". They are great, and I buy them quite often. So when I saw a recipe inspired by them on Le Pétrin, I was delighted and of course had to try making them. The result? Absolutely delicious... and insanely crispy. Sandra kindly let me reproduce her recipe here and I thank her for what will become a regularly used repice in my kitchen.

The only difference between my biscuits and Sandra's is that I used dark brown cassonade (sugar) while she used the light brown variety, hence the difference in colour. Both varieties work just fine but you do have to use cassonade (which has a coarse texture) if you want the biscuits to be extra-cripsy.

Insanely crispy almond biscuits

Ingredients: (for 70 to 80 biscuits)

  • 115 g butter or margarine at room temperature
  • 200 g cassonade sugar
  • about 1 tsp vanillated sugar
  • 80 ml water
  • 325 g flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 generous pinch of cinnamon or vanilla powder
  • 90 g sliced almonds


Tightly line a standard baking tin with cling film. Use enough film so as to be able to fold it back later in the process.

Cut the butter or margarine in small pieces and place them in a large pot. Add the cassonade, the vanillated sugar, the water and immediately place on a medium heat. Melt butter but mix as little as possible so as not to let the sugar disolve completely. Do not boil.

Remove from heat. Immediately add the flour, the baking soda and the cinnamon (or the vanilla) to the pan. Mix roughly then add the sliced almonds and incorporate them gently.

Pour the preparation into the lined baking tin, fold the cling film back and even the surface.

Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours until sufficiently hardened to allow you to cut slices.

Pre-heat oven to 160°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Do not use silpat or silicon sheet as this will not allow the biscuits to become as crispy as we want them.

Transfer the chilled dough to a board and, using a sharp knife, cut slices as thinly as you can. Immediately transfer each slice to the baking sheets, spacing them by a couple of centimeters.

If you do not want to bake the whole quantity of dough, you may keep part of it unsliced and wrapped in cling film in the fridge for a few days or even freeze it.

Cook the biscuits at 160°C for about 10 to 12 minutes until they start to firm up. The time will depend on the thickness of the slices. Take the baking sheets out of the oven, wait one minute, carefully turn each biscuit over using a spatula and cook again for about 10 minutes until firm.

Cool completely before keeping in a box. These biscuits will happily stay crispy for at least 5 days.

Insanely crispy almond biscuits


  1. Merci beaucoup Fab, la version brune me plait autant que la blonde ;)
    Et, j'adore le nom que tu leur as donné: insanely crispy, c'est exactement ça!!

  2. I think I'm going to rob your recipe ;-)



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