Festive Christmas Biscuits

Christmas being my favourite time of the year, I thought it would be the perfect occasion for some recipe testing. Our Christmas feast this year was the best it’s ever been. Once again we had the usual turkey, ham, salmon en croute for my pesky mum and all the necessary trimmings. But Christmas Eve chez the spill the beans family is a totally different matter, with a spread of Mexican cuisine: mum’s famous quesadillas paired with her chunky salsa-esque guacamole. Viewed by my family as the queen of organised fun and often referred to as the ‘monica’ of the friendship group (even in buzzfeed quizzes), I take over a little bit during the month of December. And my most important duty is the yearly quiz which takes place every christmas eve after our quirky dinner. Normally, we’ll dig into the Hotel Chocolat Winter Puddings box during the quiz but, this year, I decided to create a festive accompaniment to these posh chocs.

Taking inspiration from my dear nana who made the best christmas biscuits, packed with a punch of spices, I played around with a few different ingredients hoping to recreate a fraction of her delicious Lebkuchen style biscuits. And here’s the result! They have a crisp top but a cake-like spongey texture when you bite into the centre. Who doesn’t like a hybrid of cake and biscuit? They received rave reviews from the quiz participants…let’s hope they weren’t just sucking up to the quizmaster.

Ingredients for 16 biscuits

150g demerara sugar (brown sugar works better for these biscuits)

200g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

60g margarine (I tend to use stork)

1 medium egg

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon gif lemon juice

A generous sprinkling of orange zest

  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius fan and heat up a baking tray big enough for 16 biscuits (or two baking trays)
  • Cream the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy using a wooden spoon
  • Add the flour and baking powder until it’s all mixed in. It will have a crumbly texture at this point
  • Throw the egg, lemon juice and honey into the mix and whisk together. If it’s still looking a bit crumbly, add some water until it reaches a wetter consistency
  • Finally grate the zest of the orange over the mixture and once again, whizz it all together

Note: The mixture is super sticky and gooey so not the best for cookie cutters

  • Use a tablespoon for each cookie, spreading them out evenly on a piece of greaseproof paper on a heated baking tray. They’re not going to be evenly shaped but that’s the fun of it.
  • Bake in the oven for 12-15 mins (depends on whether you want them a bit spongey and cake-like or totally crispy)
  • Cool on a wire rack (and share one while you’re waiting for them to cool)
  • Finally, dust with icing sugar and serve!

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