I recently went to a calligraphy workshop run by Imogen Owen. All red lipstick and sassy sense of humour, Imogen hand-letters profanities in the most beautiful way I have ever seen. Her down to earth ‘just get on with it’ attitude was so refreshing, and it’s lovely to be around someone so passionate about her craft.
The workshop was held in The Forge, a beautiful space in Bristol where I previously attended an Autumn Styling workshop. It was on a Friday evening, so having had a long week at work, I wasn’t sure how much patience I would have for writing out letter templates. But there was something so relaxing about practising the same shapes over and over, the scratching of the pointed calligraphy nib on the thick paper, and the gentle babble of chatter.
These cookies are adapted from Nigel Slater recipe for pistachio and lemon cookies – I replaced pistachios with almonds and added coconut and dried apricots, using up remnants in my store cupboard. And, if we’re being honest, I found the letter ‘A’ easier to write than ‘P’.
125g whole almonds
100g raw coconut flakes
200g golden caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
50g chopped dried apricots
egg whites from 2 large eggs
Oven at 180C. Put almonds, coconut flakes and sugar into a food processor and blitz until coarsely ground. Put into a mixing bowl and stir in the lemon zest and chopped apricots. Lightly beat the egg whites to a light froth, then mix into the nut and sugar mixture.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment, shape the mixture into 18 small balls and place on the parchment. Bake for 10-12 minutes until starting to turn golden round the edges but are still soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack (or, like me, get way too impatient and try to pull them off the tin whilst they’re still warm, resulting in then falling apart – in a very delicious way…)