Sunday, 20 December 2009

Christmas cut-out biscuits

Edible presents are the best - suitably frugal for the purposes of this blog, and the pocket.  These bikkies are lovely and spicy.  If you want to make them into hanging tree decorations, cut a hole for a ribbon with a piping bag nozzle from the soft cookies as soon as they come out of the oven.  Once cool, ice them with a not too runny icing made from icing sugar and boiling water, and decorate with edible glitter.  But personally I like them just as they are...

  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (use a good one, like Barts Spices)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 3 generous tablespoons golden syrup
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.  Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  • Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan over gentle heat and melt together.
  • Whilst they melt, sieve the flour, baking powder, and spices into a mixing bowl.  Grind in the pepper.
  • When the butter and sugar mix is runny add to the flour and beat in thoroughly.  You may need to add a little milk to make the dough sticky enough, but it is a crumbly mix.
  • Gently kneed the dough together, it may keep falling apart in an annoying way, stay with it.
  • Once all the biscuit dough is together, start to roll it out on a lightly floured surface.  Don't try and move it around, it won't stick to the surface.
  • When you have it rolled to 1/2cm thickness (no less), dip the cutters in flour and cut your biscuits.  The dough will take a lot of squidging together and re-rolling, don't be timid.  Use a pallet knife to move the cookies to the tray so they don't collapse.
  • Bake the biscuits for 6 minutes until golden round the edges.  Don't overcook, they will harden on the tray.  Leave to cool and snaffle..

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