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.
- 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
- Pre-heat oven to 170C. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper or non-stick baking sheets.
- Whizz together flour and spices in a food processor. Add butter and sugar and whizz until you have fine breadcrumb consistency.
- 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.
- Chill the mixture for 10 minutes or so.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.