These lovely looking biscuits are called Shakarshee and they are originally from Armenia. While I was making them, I thought they look a lot like some biscuits my mother used to make when I was a child. Unsurprisingly, they taste like they did in my childhood. The not-so-usual part is that we’ve never been to Armenia, or have any Armenian friends. Maybe the recipe was passed from country to country without keeping its name. My mother called them “biscuits with walnuts”, an obvious description of the biscuits. I enjoyed making them, and my husband was very happy with them too.
The biscuits are so easy to make. There is no need for a rolling pin, half of walnut acts both as decoration and to give it flavour. I will make these again, because we all enjoyed them so much. On the plus size, I’ve only used 100g of sugar for 15 biscuits and it is enough, they are sweet and nutty. I like making biscuits that don’t have loads of sugar, it is easier (in theory) to make sure I don’t overeat.
Another fab thing about these biscuits is that the recipe asks for walnuts in the dough too. So, I took out the halves that look best to put on top, and chopped the ones that were less pretty. These biscuits are quite big, you can make more if you want to, just make sure you have enough halves to put on top.
Ingredients for 15 Shakarshee biscuits:
– 175g white plain flour
– 125g butter, at room temperature
– 100g icing sugar
– 1 egg yolk
– 40g chopped walnuts
– 15 halves of walnuts
Put the soft butter and the icing sugar in a bowl and mix by hand or with a hand mixer. When all the sugar is incorporated in the butter, add the egg yolk. Mix until the egg is incorporated too.
Now is time to add the flour. Mix it until it starts to clump together. Tip it onto the worktop, add the chopped walnuts, and knead until the dough is formed. It will not take long and it doesn’t need kneading after the dough is made.
Preheat the oven at 150C or 130C for fan assisted ovens. While the oven is getting hot, make the biscuits. First, line a baking tray with baking paper. Weight the dough on a scale, then divide it in 15 parts. You can do that as you go along, this is how I make my biscuits. Form balls in your hands and place them on the baking tray. Push half of walnut on top of the biscuit. Repeat with the rest. Make sure you leave plenty of room between them, as they will expand in the oven.
Put the baking tray in the oven and leave them to bake for up to 20 minutes. I left mine 20 minutes. The Shakarshee biscuits should retain their light colour. After the time is up, take the tray out of the oven. Put them on a cooling rack to cool down.
Enjoy the biscuits.