Spiced Biscuits – For Christmas

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Spiced Biscuits for Christmas are perfect for snacking. They are ideal not only during the festive season but also at any time of the year. These biscuits, or cookies, boast a lovely soft texture with a nice chew. Abundant warming spices provide a great flavour, enhanced by citrus zests. A covering of lemon icing or dark chocolate adds another flavour hit to complement the spices. These biscuits are similar to the famous Lebkuchen. Lebkuchen a popular treat in Germany and other European countries. Though Lebkucken aren’t always spiced.

The recipe is easy to make, although it does require some time. That’s because it’s best to chill the dough for at least 4 hours, allowing the flavours to develop. Chilling overnight is even better. The effort required to make these lovely biscuits is not excessive, and preparing the dough in advance ensures they can be quickly completed the following day. However it can all be done one the same day, if you wish.

Spices Biscuits
Spiced Biscuits

The Spiced Biscuits

Making the dough is straightforward, with the main reason for chilling it being its soft and sticky nature, making it easier to work with.

For the ingredients, we use flour, ground almonds, dark brown sugar, butter, honey, egg, and black treacle (or molasses), along with flavourings and raising agents. Spice flavourings include ground ginger, ground cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg, and generous amounts of orange and lemon zests.

Heat the honey, butter, sugar, and black treacle to dissolve everything well.

Mix the spices and raising agents into the flour, sift the mixture into a large bowl, and add the zests and ground almonds. Incorporate the beaten egg into the flour, creating a crumbly mixture.

Pour in the heated liquid and mix to form a slack but smooth batter.

Wrap and chill the dough overnight (or for 4 hours).

Divide the dough in two, roll it out on a floured surface, and cut out biscuits (about 5 cm/1 3/4 inches in diameter).

Place them on a tray and chill while the oven preheats.

Bake the biscuits for 12 minutes; they will spread and rise.

Leave them on the baking trays for at least 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool.

Spiced Biscuits

Icing The Biscuits

The biscuits can be enjoyed as is or iced. This recipe suggests two types of topping: a lemon icing and a chocolate coating. Both are easy to make.

For the icing, combine icing sugar with lemon juice and boiling water, adjusting the consistency with more or less icing sugar based on preference.

Coated Spice Biscuits

For the chocolate coating, melt the chocolate with a little oil.

In both cases dip the top of the biscuits to coat them, and set them onto a rack to set up. The biscuits are then ready to enjoy and can also be packaged as gifts.

Another great recipe for Christmas is Pfeffernüsse – German Iced Spice Cookies

Spiced Biscuits – For Christmas

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: Biscuits, Cookies, ChristmasDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

Tasty spiced cookies/biscuits, for Christmas

Ingredients

  • Biscuit Dough
  • 275g(1 2/3 cups + 3 tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour

  • 56g(1/4 cup) unsalted butter

  • 100g(1/2 cup) dark brown sugar

  • 150g(7 tbsp) honey

  • 50g(1/2 cup) ground almonds

  • 40g(2 tbps) black treace, or molasses

  • 1 medium egg(large in USA), beaten

  • 2g(1/2 tsp) baking soda

  • 2g(1/2 tsp) baking powder

  • 3g(1 1/2 tsp)ground cinnamon

  • 5g(2 3/4 tsp)ground ginger

  • 2g(1 tsp)mixed spice

  • pinch of nutmeg

  • zest of two lemons

  • zest of 1 1/2 oranges

  • For topping
  • 150g(1 cups+3 tbsp) icing sugar

  • 22ml(1 1/2 tbsp)lemon juice

  • up to 30ml(2 tbps) boiling water

  • 100g(2/3 cup) dark chocolate

  • 5ml(1 tsp) vegetable oil

Directions

  • Place the honey, butter, black treacle and dark brown sugar into a saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted, with everything combined.
  • Mix the baking soda, baking powder and all the spices into the flour.
  • Sift that into a large bowl.
  • Stir in the lemon zest, orange zest and ground almonds.
  • Add the beaten egg and stir until the mixture is quite crumbly.
  • Add the heated honey liquid and stir until everything comes together into a soft, sticky dough.
  • Place that into some plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours, though preferably overnight.
  • Divide the dough into two pieces, for ease of use.
  • Roll out each piece on a floured surface, to a thickness of about 5 mm(1/2 inch).
  • Cut out discs about 5cm(1 3/4 inches) in diameter and transfer them to parchment lined baking trays, leaving a good gap between each.
  • Place the trays into the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
  • Bake the biscuits for 12 minutes, then leave them on the trays for at least 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool.
  • Mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice and enough of the water until you have an icing to the thick consistency you wish. Use more icing sugar, or water, to adjust the consistency.
  • Dip half of the biscuits into the icing to coat the tops and then place them on a rack to set.
  • Melt the chocolate with the oil, in a microwave or a bain-marie(double boiler).
  • Stir the chocolate to a smooth mixture.
  • Dip half of the biscuits into the chocolate to coat the tops and then place them on a rack to set.

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