During lockdown I’ve had the joy of a local, seasonal delivery from Root to Market, the brains behind Edinburgh restaurant Fhior, who decided to start the project to make sure the produce that was still plentiful in the supply chain – though not in the supermarkets – reached good homes. Each week there’s the option of foraged salads and more and we’ve enjoyed sweet cicely in both our salads and baking as a result. The herb grows by streams and country lanes and is (it’s in the name) sweet by nature, with a moreish aniseed flavour. If you can’t get your hands on some you could replace the sweet cicely with ground star anise or fennel seeds as per the linked recipes. To make the sweet cicely biscuits, you will need:
- 125g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 50g caster sugar
- 180g plain flour
- 2 1/2 tbsp finely chopped sweet cicely leaves
- 1 egg yolk
Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C Fan/ Gas 4. Line two baking trays. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the flour and sweet cicely leaves and bind the mixture together with the egg yolk.
Knead the dough lightly and divide in half. Roll into two sausage-shaped rolls and chill for 20 minutes. Or if you are rolling your dough flat to cut out like I did, make sure it is in a flat round.
Cut the dough into 1 cm slices and place on the prepared baking sheets. You could top with more sweet cicely like I did, but make sure it doesn’t burn. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until the biscuits are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
What are you baking this weekend?