The church biscuit: 34. Elderflower and almond biscuits

Elderflower and almond biscuits

Elderflower and almond biscuits

Biscuits flavoured with elderflower sounds such a good idea and now the elderflowers are at their lacy best it seems a good time to have a go. I used ground almonds as well as flour to keep the biscuit soft and, having picked a head of the flowers, I thought about shaking some of those into the mixture too – but in the end I didn’t. Some recipes also suggest adding lemon zest but I didn’t do this either. Instead I used commercial elderflower cordial. The result was a lovely soft biscuit with a very delicate fresh flavour which was not noticeably elderflower. People liked them but I was a bit disappointed. Perhaps the lemon zest would have helped bring out the elderflower.


85 g unsalted butter

115 g golden caster sugar

100 g plain flour

75 g wholemeal flour

50 g ground almonds

1 beaten egg

4 tablespoons elderflower cordial

(optional: finely grated zest 1 lemon)


80 g icing sugar

2 tablespoons elderflower cordial

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/160 degrees C for a fan oven/Gas Mark 4 and line 2-3 baking trays with baking parchment.

Cream the butter and sugar (and lemon zest if desired) and then add the egg and the elderflower cordial. When smooth and well mixed, add the flours and the ground almonds until a dough forms.

Flour your hands, pinch off walnut sized pieces of dough and roll into little balls. Place on baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 10-15 minutes until slightly golden. (They still feel slightly soft so leave them on the baking tray for a couple of minutes before transferring them with a spatula to a wire cooling rack. (I removed 1 tray from the oven after nearly 10 minutes and dripped more elderflower cordial on to each biscuit on that tray before returning them to the oven for another five minutes. There was no noticeable difference between these biscuits and the others. Allow biscuits to cool

Mix the icing sugar with the elderflower cordial to a thick paste and then drop a teaspoon on icing on each biscuit and smooth it out.

Makes 25-30 biscuits – we like them quite small.

By the next morning these were firm enough to pack in a tin, layered by greaseproof paper. They keep well for about a week – although ours rarely last that long.

If anyone has any advice for increasing the elderflower flavour, I’d love to know.

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  1. Lydia Sage
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Sounds delicious – my elderflower plants have all disappeared I think the hot sun and not enough water finished them off. You have just reminded me how nice they looked. However, the flowers were lovely cooked with rhubarb…

    • Mary Addison
      Posted June 5, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      I must try that – love rhubarb too. The blossoms don’t last long, perhaps it’s worth it to try drying some.

  2. Fran Bell
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Could you perhaps simmer the cordial until reduced and thus concentrate the flavor before adding it to the recipe? I am not familiar with elderflower cordial, so I don’t know if this is a sensible suggestion or not.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted June 5, 2014 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      That’s worth trying, especially as a more concentrated concentrate might also make the biscuits more chewy. Thanks for the suggestion.

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