One of my Christmas cooking traditions is to bake Christmas biscuits for friends and family that are hung on the Christmas tree and can be eaten afterwards. They remind me of Christmases in Germany.
The original recipe is from Nigella. They are drier and pepperier than normal biscuits (to make sure they don’t go soggy on the tree!) and loosely resemble lebkuchen. I’ve put the biscuits towards Peabody’s Housewarming.
Once the icing has totally dried on the dipped biscuits I’ll use a skewer to make a hole and thread ribbon through so they can be hung. I went a bit mad with the gold lustre, but if you can’t go mad with gold at Christmas when can you!
Christmas Decoration Biscuits
Makes about 30
For the biscuits
100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened
100g/3½oz soft dark sugar
300g/10½oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large free-range eggs, beaten with 4 tbsp clear honey
For the icing
300g/10½oz icing sugar
3 tbsp boiling water
sprinkles, lustre etc…. to decorate
1. Preheat oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl add the flour, salt, baking powder, mixed spice and freshly ground black pepper. Gradually pour the eggs and honey into the bowl until a dough has formed (you may not require all of the liquid if the dough has come together before it is used up).
2. Halve the dough. Wrap one half of the dough in cling film, place it into a freezer bag, and place it into the fridge. Place the other half of the dough onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough, into a disc to about 0.5cm/¼in thick. Cut shapes out of dough and place on baking sheet. User a small funnel to make a hole in the middle of each biscuit. Bake for 20 min. Allow to cool on rack.
3. Prepare the icing. I added some lustre to the icing mix to give it a bit of shine. The icing texture should be liquid enough to be easy to apply but thick enough not to run off the decorations. For the dipped biscuits lightly place the biscuit face side down onto the icing surface then slowly pull out. The biscuit floats in the icing and will coat the biscuit nicely. Decorate which ever way you wish.