These nutty little biscuits can be made 2-3 days before serving but store them in an airtight container so they keep crisp. Unglazed the biscuits will last a few weeks in a container.
100g (3½ oz) ground almonds
75g (2½ oz) caster sugar
2 medium free-range egg whites
Few drops vanilla extract
Handful of split almonds (soak whole skinned almonds in hot water for 10 minutes, then split them in half with a sharp knife)
Glace cherries, chopped
1 Tbsp caster sugar dissolved in 2 Tbsp milk
1 Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). In a bowl, thoroughly mix ground almonds and sugar together.
2 In a separate bowl whisk egg whites until very stiff, then gently fold in almond and sugar and vanilla extract using a large spoon.
3 Transfer mixture to a piping bag with an open ‘rose’ pipe and pipe into various shapes onto a tray lined with baking (parchment) paper. I piped mine in the shape of the letter S. Failing a piping bag, put small blobs of the mixture on the trays using two teaspoons, and smooth the top. Decorate each biscuit with a slice of almond or piece of cherry.
4 Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden; keep a watch on the biscuits towards the end of baking because they can easily burn. Transfer biscuits to a cake rack and let them cool for a few minutes, then brush very lightly with the sugar and milk glaze. Store airtight as soon as they are dry.