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Delicious Roman Shield Cookies Made This Way!

Roman Shield Cookies – named after the shield used by warriors in ancient Rome.

However its texture is not as hard as a shield, it is actually quite crispy.
It‘s a perfect combination of biscuit and caramel and is a favourite among foodies.


  • Overview

In appearance, the outer ring of the shield biscuit is a butter biscuit and the inner ring is caramelised almonds (or other nuts), which is why it can also be called a ‘caramelised almond biscuit’.
The “almonds” here are actually lentils, but people are used to calling them that. The sugar filling in the centre of the biscuit is translucent and blends in with the lentil pieces, making it both beautiful and appetising.

The composition of the ingredients for this biscuit can be divided into two parts: the biscuit dough and the caramel filling. The recipe for butter biscuits is similar, consisting mainly of low gluten flour, icing sugar, butter and whole egg mixture.

As the dough does not need to maintain a three-dimensional pattern, all low gluten flour can be used. Lentil flour is optional, as the filling contains more lentil pieces and the nutty flavour is stronger.

For a change in flavour, you can add matcha powder, cocoa powder, coffee powder etc. The water absorption of these powders varies, with some absorbing more water than low gluten flour, so it is necessary to replace the low gluten flour in equal amounts, sometimes even in a 1:2 ratio, in order to keep the dough as soft as it was.

For example, in this tutorial, 2.8 dr of low gluten flour is replaced with 2.3 dr of matcha flour, and matcha flour accounts for about 7% of the total flour (because you are making two flavours at the same time, you have to use half the weight of the flour to calculate)

Both the butter and the whole egg mixture soften the dough, so neither of them should be in too low a proportion, otherwise the dough will be dry and hard and not easy to squeeze out of the laminating bag and it will also break easily.
When whipping the butter, it is better to use icing sugar rather than granulated sugar, as granulated sugar is larger and does not blend easily into the butter, which will result in a less creamy batter. The caramel interior will be sweeter, so control the amount of icing sugar added to the dough, otherwise it will make the finished product too sweet.

The caramelised nut filling is made up of malt sugar, granulated sugar, salt, butter and nuts. Maltose provides stickiness, colour and flavour to the filling, but maltose is not as sweet as caster sugar and caster sugar gives the finished filling a little more stiffness and crunch, so we will also add some caster sugar. The salt is only there to enhance the flavour level and you don’t need to add too much, you can also leave it out.

The butter is added because it softens the sugar filling properly and adds a creamy flavour. Chopped nuts are the mainstay of the caramel filling. Here you can use lentils, hazelnuts, cashews, etc., but thinly sliced lentils are a more classic combination with caramel. The ratio of nuts to sugar should be appropriate, too much sugar makes it too sweet and too many nuts make it difficult to mix well.

To make the biscuit dough, soften the butter well and then beat it well with the icing sugar to allow the butter to expand in volume and mix well with the icing sugar. Add the whole egg mixture only after it has come back to temperature, as a chilled egg mixture will cause the butter to solidify and harden, leading to the separation of oil and water.
The fineness of the dough depends on how well it is mixed, so make sure you press it well with a spatula. When putting the dough into the laminating bag avoid too much air being mixed in, otherwise it will tend to break when squeezing the biscuits.

The dough needs to be kept warm when the room temperature is low (below 25°C) or it will become hard to squeeze. You can keep the dough warm in water at around 40°C, or put it in a warm fermenter to bring it back to a certain temperature before squeezing. But also be careful not to overheat the dough, otherwise it will precipitate a lot of fat.

You don’t need a laminating nozzle to squeeze out the cylindrical dough, you can also use a star-shaped nozzle, but be careful with the size of the holes, the thicker the diameter the longer the baking time required.
Alternatively you can use the Romea laminating nozzle, which is an absolute boon for the handicapped, as it squeezes out regular wreath shapes straight away and is very good value.

The caramelised lentil filling is easy to make, just heat all the ingredients except the sliced lentils so that they melt and mix well, then add the sliced lentils and stir.
When adding to the centre of the biscuit dough, it is important to keep the sugar filling warm at all times so that the filling is softer and easier to handle. The sugar syrup will melt into thin flakes after baking, so add just a little, don’t overdo it or it will easily spill out of the circle.

Baking these thin biscuits in an air oven is much better
The temperature is more even and you can bake multiple layers at the same time, making it more efficient, especially for private rooms. If you are making matcha flavours, take care to control the baking time.

Once you have finished baking, it is safer to cool the biscuits directly on a baking tray, as the freshly baked biscuit filling is very soft and easily deformed when transferred to a drying rack, you can wait for the biscuits to cool down and harden before transferring.
To keep the biscuits crisp, make sure you seal them promptly after they have finished cooling. They will keep for about 7 days sealed in a jar, or even better with a desiccant.

  • Recipes

Environment / Room temperature 26°C
Time / About 1 hour
Serving size / 20 pieces for original taste, 20 pieces for matcha taste
Baking / Mid oven, 160 °C (flat oven: 170 °C on top and 160 °C on bottom), 16 minutes
Storage / Store at room temperature for 7 days

  • Ingredients

Biscuit dough
Low gluten flour 0.3 lb
Matcha powder 2.3 dr
Icing sugar 1.3 oz
Salt 0.6 dr
Unsalted butter 3 oz
Whole egg mixture 1.5 oz

Caramel filling
Sliced lentils 1.6 oz
Maltose 1.6 oz
Fine sugar 1.1 oz
Salt 0.6 dr
Unsalted butter 1.3 oz

  • Steps
  1. Cut the butter in the biscuit dough recipe into small pieces and leave to soften at room temperature. If your room temperature is lower, soften it in a warm environment above 25 °C, but be careful to avoid melting.

2. Heat the whole egg mixture at about 50 °C Celsius in warm water to bring it up to about 30°C, this will prevent the oil and water from separating.

3. As this time you are making equal amounts of original and matcha flavoured biscuits, here you have divided the low gluten flour into two portions of 2.1oz and 1.9oz. Separating the two flavours at this stage makes it easier to produce an even dough. If you are only making the original flavour, replace the low gluten flour in the ingredients with 0.3 lb and remove the matcha powder.

4. Set aside 2.1oz of the low gluten flour, then sift 1.9 oz of the low gluten flour into the matcha flour and mix well with a whisk, matcha flour has a higher water absorption than low gluten flour, so this is equivalent to replacing it with an equal amount.

5. When the butter has softened to the point where you can easily press it with your fingers, sift it and add the icing sugar and salt, pressing down with a spatula to prevent the powder from splashing, then beat with an electric whisk on low speed until the butter is white in colour and large in volume, which took me about 2 minutes.

Spatula Press

Peak

6. When finished beating add the whole beak mixture to the butter in two additions, mixing well with an electric whisk after each addition.
Add the whole egg mixture to the butter in two batches, mixing well with an electric whisk after each addition.

7. Divide the butter mixture equally into two portions, just use another container to divide out about 0.2 lb

First make the plain biscuits. Take a portion of the butter mixture, sift it into the low gluten flour and mix well with a spatula so that the dry flour disappears and the dough is fine and shiny.
If your room temperature is low, the dough will be stiff and not easy to squeeze out, warm the dough in 40°C water or put it in a warm place to warm up.

Sift and add low gluten flour

Mix well

9. Put the plain dough into a laminating bag, cut small slits of about 8mm and use a spatula to push the dough until it opens.

Into a laminating bag

Push the dough to the opening

10. Squeeze out circles about 2 inches in diameter on a baking tray, being careful to control the size of the circles and how they close, otherwise the sugar filling will tend to run out. My baking tray is 20 x 13 inches and can squeeze out a 5 x 4 formation, you will have to be flexible to adjust to the size of your baking tray.

11. Next, make the matcha flavoured biscuits. Sift the remaining butter mixture and add the flour from the previous mixture, pressing it well with a spatula so that the dry flour disappears and the dough is fine and glossy. Cut small slits in the same laminating bag and make a 0.2 inch diameter circle on a second baking sheet.

12. Preheat the oven at 180 °C.

13. Add the butter, maltose, granulated sugar and salt from the caramel filling recipe to the saucepan. Heat the saucepan over a low heat in an electric saucepan while stirring to mix the ingredients well.

Once the syrup has come to a boil, turn off the heat and add the sliced lentils and stir well, then remove the pan to a cooling grid to avoid overheating.

Adding ingredients

Add the sliced lentils

14.  Using a spoon and spatula, pour a small amount of caramel filling into the centre of the dough circle, about 2.3dr per portion. The caramel filling will disperse evenly as it bakes, so don’t pour too much into the circle to avoid it spilling out. If the caramel filling becomes hard and cannot be easily removed from the pan, return it to the hotplate on a low heat to soften it before using.

Complete the original flavour fill

Finished matcha flavour filling

15. Once all the sugar has been added, place the two trays of biscuits in the middle of the oven and set the oven to 160 °C for 16 minutes.
If you are using a flat oven you can only bake one tray before baking a second tray, set the top heat to 170 °C and the bottom heat to 160 °C for 16 minutes, depending on the temperature difference in your oven.

Access to the oven

Adjusting the temperature

16. During the baking process the caramel filling will melt and spread out into thin flakes, while the biscuit dough will gradually colour. When the baking time is up, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the baking tray as the sugar filling is very soft.

Cool in the baking tray

17. The inside of the biscuit is studded with a crystal clear caramel filling that is crispy and just the right amount of sweetness.

  • FAQs

Q1 Separation of oil and water when adding butter to the whole egg mixture
R. 1. The butter is not softened or whipped in place 2. The temperature of the whole egg mixture is too low
A. 1. Soften the butter and beat it until it is white in colour 2. Return the whole egg mixture to a temperature above 30°C before adding it

Q2 The biscuit dough is very hard and not easy to squeeze out
R. 1. The temperature of the dough is too low 2. The proportion of low gluten flour is too high
A. 1. Heat the dough in warm water or put it in a warm environment to reheat, but avoid excessive heating which may lead to grease precipitation. 2. Reduce the proportion of flour or increase the proportion of butter to whole egg mixture.

Q3 The caramel filling is too hard to fit into the dough
R. The caramel filling will gradually cool down and increase in hardness when you stop heating it.
A. Reheat over low heat for a while to make it soft before using

Q4 Cookies are not crunchy enough
R. 1. Oil and water separated from the dough 2. Cookies not baked enough 3. Not stored tightly enough after cooling
A. 1. Separation of oil and water will affect the taste and colour of the dough, refer to the first question to avoid separation of oil and water.


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