• 250g Self-raising flour
  • 2tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g Caster sugar
  • 115g Unsalted butter, diced finely
  • Zest of one orange
  • 115g Honey
  • 25g Pine nuts or chopped walnuts

For the filling:

  • 50g Unsalted butter, diced
  • 115g Icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tbsp Honey


  • STEP 1

    Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6. Line three baking sheets with baking parchment.

  • STEP 2

    Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the orange rind.

  • STEP 3

    Put the honey in a small pan and heat until over a low heat until it is just runny but not hot. Pour it over the flour and sugar mixture and mix to a firm dough, taking care not to overmix.

  • STEP 4

    Divide the dough in half and shape one half into 20 small balls about the size of a hazelnut. Place the balls on the baking sheets, spaced well apart, and gently flatten.

  • STEP 5

    Bake for 6–8 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool and firm up on the baking sheets. Use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to allow them to cool completely.

  • STEP 6

    Shape the remaining dough into 20 even-sized balls and dip one side of each one into the pine nuts or chopped walnuts.

  • STEP 7

    Place the cookies, nut sides up, on the baking sheets, gently flatten and bake for 6–8 minutes, until golden brown. Keep a close eye on them.

  • STEP 8

    Leave to cool and firm up slightly on the baking sheets before carefully transferring the cookies to a wire rack, still nut sides up, to cool completely.

  • STEP 9

    To make the filling, put the butter, icing sugar and honey in a small mixing bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.

  • STEP 10

    When the cookies are completely cool, use the filling to sandwich the cookies together in pairs using a plain cookie for the bottom and a nut-coated one for the top.

    Variation: Try chopped peanuts instead of pine nuts or walnuts, and sandwich the cookies with peanut butter mixed with honey.

Greek honey works well in this recipe, as it has a strong flavour of liquorice and aniseed. If you prefer a more subtle taste, use heather or lavender honey.

This recipe is an extract from The Perfect Afternoon Tea Recipe Book by Antony Wild and Carol Pastor (ISBN: 9780754834519, Lorenz Books, £15).

The Perfect Afternoon Tea Recipe Book