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Ladies and gentlemen, I live with a marzipan hater. I’m not going to lie, it’s a struggle: Christmas cakes go unadorned, Battenberg doesn’t stand a chance and the poor old simnel cake never gets a look in. So I’ve made these Easter simnel cookies in the hope of sneaking some marzipan goodness into the house without him noticing, and guess what? He really likes them!
The cookies are packed with dried fruit, mixed spice and, of course, tiny chunks of marzipan- all the key components of a simnel cake. It kind of half melts so you get that lovely almond flavour and nice chewy bits.
They are the perfect antidote to an Easter-induced chocolate overdose – enjoy with a cup of tea or glass of milk, or package them up and give to your marzipan loving friends and family.
I use 50/50 butter and Greek yoghurt so they are a bit sticky when you measure them out. For that reason I chill them before cooking so they keep a bit of shape in the oven. It is a worthwhile step if you can spare the time.
EASTER SIMNEL COOKIES
- 60g unsalted butter
- 60g Greek style yoghurt (or use a total of 120g butter if you don’t have yoghurt)
- 150g soft light brown sugar
- 100g caster sugar
- 2-3 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 200g flour plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 200g mixed dried fruit
- 120g marzipan
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- Grated zest 1 lemon
What you do
- Cut the marzipan into small chunks the size of chocolate chips. Dust lightly in flour – a teaspoon or two will be plenty. This will stop it clumping together when you add it to the mix
- Cream together the butter, light brown and caster sugars and lemon for a couple of minutes
- Add the yoghurt and egg and incorporate into the mix
- Add flour, bicarb, mixed spice and mixed fruit and mix until just incorporated
- Finally, add the marzipan and gently mix in
- Line two baking trays and use a tablespoon to scoop out mixture. Shape into rough rounds with your hands (they are sticky) and place on the trays
- Chill for 60 minutes
- Heat oven to 200c
- Sprinkle with granulated sugar
- Cook in the centre of the oven for 8-10 minutes until the cookies are golden
- Cool for 5 mins on the tray and then place on a rack to cool (if you can resist the temptation)
I will make these year-round, not just for Easter. They are a sweet treat and a nice change to chocolate. Although saying that, how about adding some chocolate chunks instead of fruit….
I am entering these cookies into The Cooperative Easter baking challenge. Thanks to The Coop for providing vouchers towards ingredients. Did you know The Coop has a foodie magazine which you can read online? It is beautifully shot and well worth a read – see it here.
This is my first post since giving my blog a bit of a facelift. It is still a work in progress and needs some tweaks but I am really pleased. It feels all grown up! What do you think?
I’m adding this to Casa Costellos Bake of the Week