Burnt Butter Biscuits

A Childhood Favourite

Now just let me explain to anyone brought up in North Americans that this biscuit is what you would call a cookie. What you call a biscuit is, for us in Australia, a scone. This was a family recipe, both my aunts made them, but my mother’s rendition was the best.

½ cup (4 ounces / 115 g) unsalted butter, diced
1½ cups (6½ ounces / 185 g flour)
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp fine sea salt
1 lemon
½ cup (3½ ounces /100 g sugar)
1 egg
20 whole blanched almonds

Place the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. When the butter is melted, increase the heat to medium. Watch the butter carefully, using a spoon to push aside any foam to check the color of the milk solids. When they turn brown and you smell a sweet, nutty aroma, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the butter to a bowl to cool until it is no longer hot to the touch.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Finely grate the zest of the lemon and stir it into the flour mixture. Whisk the sugar into the cooled butter, then whisk in the egg. Slowly stir the butter mixture into the sifted flour to make a shiny, firm, oatmeal-colored dough.

Take a level tablespoon of the dough and roll it into a ball. Continue forming balls with the rest of the dough, placing the balls on the prepared baking sheet about 1½ inches (4 cm) apart. Using the back of a fork, flatten the biscuits, and then top with an almond.

Bake the biscuits until golden and firm, about 15 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack and, once cool, store in an airtight container.

Makes about 20 biscuits

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