Spiced biscuits

These are loosely based on speculaas biscuits, or more commonly known by the trademark Biscoff and are just right for Christmas time. They are both delicate and crunchy and able to withstand being hung on the Christmas tree. If you use boiled sweets to make the stained glass effect then they look really pretty amongst the lights of the tree.

You can adjust the spices to suit you so feel free to omit any that you aren’t keen on, although I do think there needs to be both cinnamon and ginger at the very least. You can add some ground cardamom or some mace and some recipes suggest adding some ground white pepper. If you are making a few batches have a go at trying different combinations until you find the spice mix you like best.

Ingredients

100g plain flour (I use 50g of white spelt and 50g of wholemeal spelt but you can use all white)
1 tsp ginger
Half tsp nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
1 tsp cinnamon
Half tsp ground cloves
Half tsp allspice
Half tsp baking powder
Half tsp fine salt
50g soft brown sugar
75g soft unsalted butter
1 tbsp milk

Boiled sweets are optional to add a stained glass effect.

Method

Sift the flour, spices, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix the soft butter and sugar together until fluffy and paler in colour. Mix in the milk. Add the flour mixture and beat until it comes together as a stiff dough. Wrap well in clingfilm or greaseproof paper and chill for thirty minutes in the fridge.

If you are using the boiled sweets place about 6 of them in a food bag and bash with a rolling pin until broken into small pieces.

When you are ready, flour the work surface and turn the dough out. You may need to knead it for a minute or so to take the chill off. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350f, gas mark 4.

Roll the dough out to about 5mm thick and then cut out your desired shapes. If you are using the boiled sweet then cut out bits out of each biscuit. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Fill each cut out space with the broken sweets. Bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven) until golden and the sweets have melted.

If you want to hang them on the tree then use a cocktail stick, knitting needle or straw to make a hanging hole whilst the biscuits are still warm. Leave the biscuits on the tray to cool and the sweets to harden. Once cooled you can use ribbon to hang the biscuits.

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