It seems the weather has taken a dramatic turn for the worse and very suddenly we have been plunged into the cold depths of winter. I’ve been bulk buying wooly jumpers and planning what I’m going to give everyone for Christmas! I’ve also started thinking about all the yummy food that comes with the winter months, there’s nothing like winter warmer comfort food. Pies, stews and roast dinners are being served up on dinner tables across the country and cakes and biscuits are flavoured with an array of festive spices.
I’ve made these cookies a few times now, I originally adapted it from the Edible Christmas Tree Decorations recipe in Nigella Christmas. This is the bible in my house at Christmas time. I added the orange glaze as it adds a delicious fruity twist and I tend to swap the spices around depending on what I fancy.
For the biscuits:
300g plain flour
pinch of salt
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
100g butter, softened
100g dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp honey
For the glaze:
Freshly squeezed juice of one orange
1 tbsp icing sugar
1. Preheat oven to 170°C and line 2 large baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
2. In a food processor, whizz together the flour, salt, baking powder, cloves, ginger and pepper.
3. Add the butter and sugar and blitz again until thoroughly mixed.
4. Beat together the eggs and the honey and slowly pour into the food processor whilst mixing. The mixture should start to combine and form a ball of dough. If the dough has formed before you’ve poured in the mixture then stop, you don’t want to make the dough too wet and sticky. If it is too wet to form a ball of dough then mix in a bit of extra flour. Alternatively if the mixture remains quite crumbly and you’ve used up the honey/egg mixture then add water, 1tbsp at a time until the dough begins to come together.
5. Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead a little, making sure everything is well combined, separate the dough into two balls and work on one at a time if its a little easier.
6. Break a little of the dough off at a time and use the palm of your hands to roll into a ball. Continue with all the dough and you should end up with around 18 little dough balls.
7. Place dough balls onto the lined baking sheets, and press gently down with the palm of your hand to flatten a little. Make sure they are evenly spread out to avoid the merging together in the oven.
8. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool on a rack.
10. While the biscuits are cooling you can make the glaze. Squeeze the juice from the orange and add icing sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches a pale yellow colour and the consistency of thick honey.
11. Pour the glaze over the biscuits ensuring an even spread. Make sure you’ve got something underneath to catch all the overflow. Leave to set.
(I made the glaze for this batch too runny, yours should look a lot thicker than this, more like icing)
12. Add to the biscuit tin and put the kettle on!