There are a lot of seriously good biscuits in Brittany making use of the excellent local butter. In fact, bigoudens use less butter than many of the other Breton biscuits and, as a result, are crisper and very good for dunking. If you’ve read some of the previous postings in this blog, then you’ll know not to expect true authenticity, but there are a lot of local variations of this recipe, so I don’t feel too bad about offering my version.
The butter in this recipe should really be salted – I’ve got into trouble before for using unsalted butter in Breton recipes and I don’t want any more disapproving looks from the people of Brittany, who are seriously proud of their salted butters. (I think that's enough buttering up now - perhaps I'll be allowed back into Brittany before too long).
You should get somewhere between 20 and 30 biscuits depending on how big you make them. If you can avoid eating them all at once, they do keep well in an airtight tin.
300g plain flour
100 g salted butter, softened
150 g caster sugar
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten + 1 for glazing
2 tbsp thick crème fraîche or double cream
1 tbsp calvados
100 g ground almonds
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the butter, caster sugar, 2 beaten egg yolks, cream or crème fraîche and calvados and carefully mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon or something like it. Once they’re thoroughly combined, gently work in the ground almonds. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out to a thickness of around 5mm on a lightly floured surface. (This isn’t the easiest dough to handle but it will work if you persist.) Cut into rounds or any other shapes you fancy and place on baking trays lined with silicone sheets or non-stick paper.
Glaze the top of the biscuits by brushing over the remaining egg yolk – this will be easier if you beat the yolk with a few drops of milk. Decorate the tops of the biscuits by dragging a fork across them, if you feel like it. Bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, until the tops of the biscuits are a deep golden colour.
Cool the biscuits on a wire rack and store in an airtight tin.