- 50 g dried apricots
- 300 g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
- 100 g ground almonds
- 100 g caster sugar , plus extra for sprinkling
- 250 g cold unsalted butter , cubed
- 250 g good-quality apricot jam
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/gas 3. Put the dried apricots into a small bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to plump up and soften slightly.
- Meanwhile, mix the flour, ground almonds and caster sugar together in a bowl. Add the butter and rub together to make a soft dough – this isn’t as crumbly as shortbread, so keep mixing until everything comes together nicely. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, flatten slightly, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Drain the apricots, then pulse in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Tip into a small pan over a low heat and add the apricot jam, then allow to bubble and reduce slightly until you have a sticky, but spreadable mix. Set aside and leave to cool.
- Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Once the dough is chilled, lightly dust a work surface with plain flour. Unwrap the first ball of dough and roll into a disc, roughly the thickness of a pound coin. Take a 6cm fluted pastry cutter and cut out 8 rounds (4 bases and 4 tops). Use a 2cm heart-shaped cutter to cut out the middle of half the biscuits. Place all the biscuits and the little hearts onto the lined baking sheets, then repeat with the other 3 pieces of dough.
- Place the trays in the hot oven and bake for around 15 minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove the trays from the oven and quickly sprinkle over a few big pinches of caster sugar, then carefully transfer the biscuits onto wire cooling racks and leave to cool completely.
- To assemble, turn the base biscuits so they’re sugary-side down and dollop a little apricot filling into the centre of each one. Place the top biscuits sugary-side up on top and press lightly to sandwich together – you can mix and match using the little heart cut outs as tops too, if you like. Wrap up nicely and present to the parents of the new arrival with a bow or curtsy.
Source: Jamie Oliver