The texture of these biscuits is very good due to the combination of oil and butter in the dough; butter for the taste and oil to keep the biscuit light and crumbly. The biscuit tastes quite plain until you bite into the walnut, which really gives the biscuit its nutty flavour. In Chinese cuisine walnuts symbolise happiness of the family.
I have discovered that in the US, they have “cake flour” to add a tenderness to all their baked goods. Unavailable in some other countries, plain flour with cornflour achieves the same feathery lightness. These biscuits would make a very good ending to a Chinese meal, accompanied by some tea and maybe some fruit.
Makes 20-25 biscuits.
45g unsalted butter, softened
30g sunflower oil
50g of light, brown sugar
10g of caster sugar
A sprinkle of sea salt
¼ teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract
2 tbsp beaten egg (reserve the rest for egg wash)
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g plain flour (take out 3 tbsp and replace with 3 tbsp of cornflour)
¼ tsp baking powder
Walnut halves for topping
Preheat the oven to 190C.
Cream the butter, oil, sugars, salt and extract in a mixing bowl with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
Add the beaten egg and bicarb, and mix until well blended. Sift in the flour and baking powder, mix with a spoon and then incorporate the mixture into a dough with your hands. The dough will be very soft.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper and divide the dough into 20-25 small balls about the size of a walnut. Flatten each ball slightly and place on a baking sheet (if your hands become too sticky while forming the balls, dampen them slightly).
Brush with egg wash and bake in the centre of the oven for 10-12 minutes till golden brown.