I’ve been pottering around in the kitchen for Day Eighteen of the Advent Calendar, making lovely Christmassy smells!
I have a little black book, a Moleskine, which has lived in my hand bag for several years and into which I write down useful stuff, lists, things to do and recipes. It’s quite interesting to delve back and see what comes to light, and disconcerting when I find things which were obviously important enough to write in the book at the time, but I have absolutely NO idea what on earth it all means now! I suppose you could take that as a philosophical view of a lot of the things we stress about today, because they’ll be irrelevant tomorrow!
Anyway, I have a recipe for Spice Biscuits which I’ve never made before but seemed just right the Advent Calendar. I’m afraid it provenance is lost in the mists of time, but having made them and tested them out on my Mum (and Higgins, but only a tiny piece) it definitely earns it’s place on the blog.
It’s a good recipe for using some of those little jars of spice which lurk in the back of the cupboard. I’ve got so many from which only half a teaspoonful has been used, and has anyone ever worked their way through a whole box of Star Anise? (Just check the sell by date, I don’t think they go off exactly but lose their flavour and go sort of dusty if they’ve been hanging around since 2005)
So here we are…
250g (8oz Self Raising Flour
1/4 teaspoon each Ground Spice, Ginger, Nutmeg, Anise, Mace, Cloves, Cardamon, Cinnamon
125g (4oz) light brown sugar
60g (2oz) ground almonds
125g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg (size 3) Beaten
1) Preheat the oven to 190 deg/375 deg F/ Gas 5, Line 3-4 baking sheets with non stock baking parchment
2) Sift flour and spices together into a bowl. (Some of the spices I used were not ground so I gave them a pounding in the pestle and mortar ind the sieving sorted out the unpalatably big bits.) Stir in sugar, ground almonds andf the butter cut into small cubes. Rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3) stir in just enough egg to bind and knead into a ball.
4) Roll out and cut using cutters of your choice. Place on trays and if you want to hang them use a drinking straw to make holes.
5) Bake for 10 mins or until beginning to turn golden brown.
6) Cool for 5 mins on the tray then transfer to a cooling rack.
The biscuits are light and crisp and the spiciness is subtle and not overpowering, they went perfectly with morning coffee…and were pretty good with afternoon tea too…and there were still enough to go on the tree (Very high up, of course!)
If you don’t have all the spices mentioned here it it would be worth experimenting with mixed spice, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, the equivelant of 2 level teaspoons.
I’ll be back tomorrow…x