We have a houseful for Christmas this year, including 2 lovely people from Poland, so thought I'd try out a few family biscuit recipes from the French friend I mentioned recently. The first one is spiced Christmas trees.
G's paternal family live in Alsace, so she's grown up with the lovely spicy biscuits and bakes they make at Christmas. I'm going to try out a few and have my grandsons help me, and then they can choose their favourites [as they're going to be here for Christmas anyway].
My daughter and dog came up for the weekend, so we roped her into helping us. She loves decorating cakes and biscuits, so she helped the boys with their trees, and the photo is of her creations. The boys didn't want their efforts put on here, so they ate them!
I expect every family in Alsace has their own recipe for Christmas biscuits, but this is the translated Ruff family one, but the decoration is the boys' idea - they wanted garlands on the trees and baubles!
100g butter at room temperature
85g soft brown sugar
250g plain flour
125g honey [I used some local honey, not the runny sort]
1 tbspn rum [opt]
1 tspn lemon zest
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn ginger
1 tspn cinnamon
2 pinches of salt
To decorate - icing sugar and silver balls.
Preheat oven 180C/gas4 Grease and flour a baking sheet.
Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the honey, lemon zest and rum.
Beat well together.
Add the spices, baking powder and salt to the flour, then mix gently into the batter to get a nice dough.
Make into a ball and cover in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 2-4 hrs.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface as thinly as possible. Use a Christmas tree cutter to cut out shapes and put onto the baking tray.
Bake for 8-10 mins till lightly golden and cool on a wire rack.
Make up some thickish glace icing then pipe garlands on the cooled trees. Decorate with the silver balls to look like baubles.
You could cut the biscuits out with any Christmas cutters and decorate them as you like. It's a good basic spiced biscuit to have in your repertoire.
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