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Vanilla Crescents

ingredients

makes 20 pieces
130 g (4 1/2 oz) plain flour, sifted
100 g (3 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, chilled
50 g (2 oz) ground almonds
40 g (1 1/2 oz) caster sugar
vanilla flavoured, sifted icing sugar for dredging

method

1. Sift the flour on to the work-top and cut in the cold butter.

2. Blend together into a fine crumb texture and fork in the almonds and sugar.

3. Knead into a smooth pastry. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces and roll each into a cylindrical rope with tapered ends; curve gently into a crescent or quarter-moon shape.

4. Transfer to a buttered and floured baking sheet and bake in the warmed oven at 150°C (300°F) Gas 2 for about 30 minutes or until lightly coloured.

5. Prepare a large sheet of greaseproof paper and dredge generously with vanilla icing sugar. Remove the crescents from the oven and leave to cool for 1 - 2 minutes. While they are still warm, lift the pastries one at a time, between two forks, and roll them in the icing sugar so that they are completely coated. Leave to cool on a clean sheet of greaseproof paper on a wire rack.

6. The crescents will keep fresh for several weeks stored in an airtight tin.

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