Saturday, 2 January 2010

Christmas spice cookies

Not a new one - I made these last year.

Christmas spice biscuits
(Nigella, via Food Glorious Food)

I substituted treacle for the honey, giving a slightly darker flavour. The only difference to the method was a lack of a food processor. I rubbed the butter into the flour/spices by hand, as for crumble, then added the sugar and went from there. I forgot the caution about not adding all the egg/honey, and had to add quite a bit more flour as it was far too sticky.

This would make good gingerbread people as well, just roll a bit thicker, omit the black pepper and up the ginger.


Ingredients

  • 150g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 50g soft butter
  • 50g soft dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • royal icing
Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170C. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper or non-stick baking sheets.
  2. Whizz together flour and spices in a food processor. Add butter and sugar and whizz until you have fine breadcrumb consistency.
  3. Beat together the egg with the honey. With the motor running, slowly add the egg mixture. Go carefully as you may not need to add it all - stop when a dough is just formed.
  4. Chill the mixture for 10 minutes or so.
  5. Liberally dust the work surface with flour and roll out the dough to 3-4mm. (Go thicker if you like, but they may need extra baking time.) Cut out your favourite festive shapes. Work quite quickly and set the biscuits on the tin.
  6. For decorations: Using a skewer, cut a small hole just below the top of each biscuit so that you'll be able to tie ribbon through later for hanging on the tree.
  7. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the biscuits are no longer dough-ey in the middle. Watch them to be sure the edges don't burn. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack and allow to cool. Mix up the royal icing according to the sugar packet's instructions. Spoon into a piping bag and decorate the biscuits once cool.
  8. Be patient and leave the icing to set. Once set, wait another ten minutes or so (just to be sure) and carefully thread pretty ribbon through the holes.

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