This week the nostalgic mood continues with another family inspired recipe. When it comes to food there is no question that baking is my first love, and when I think back to my earliest baking memories I am always reminded of childhood Christmases. The much anticipated, long December school holidays that felt like they went on forever were the perfect time for sun drenched afternoons in the pool and fun with friends, but a real highlight for me would be the Christmas baking. Each year I looked forward to making mince pies, biscuits and the decorating of the Christmas cake which my mum would have baked a few weeks earlier using my grandmother’s recipe. (And still does!)
CHRISTMAS BISCUIT TREE
For the biscuits:
- 100g butter
- ¾ cup treacle sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1¼ cups flour + extra for dusting
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1¼ tsp ground ginger
- pinch of salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- assorted Christmas cookie cutters
For the icing:
- 1 egg white
- 1½ cups icing sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- assorted decorations such as silver balls, glitter, fondant icing, gold dust, etc.
- silver thread
- tree branch for hanging
1.) Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a tray with baking paper.
2.) Cream the butter and treacle sugar until fluffy and combined. Mix in the egg.
3.) Sift in the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, salt and baking powder. Mix until the ingredients come together and form a dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4.) Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough out to a thickness of 3mm. Cut out your shapes and arrange them on the baking tray. Use a skewer to make a hole at the top of each biscuit.
5.) Pop the tray in the oven and bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
6.) To make the icing: whisk the egg white for a few seconds until foamy. Sift in 1 cup of icing sugar and beat in. Sift in the remaining icing sugar. Add the water and mix well. If the icing is too thick add more water a few drops at a time. The icing should have a soft, piping consistency but not be too runny.
7.) Pipe or drizzle the icing over the biscuits. Decorate and leave to dry. Once the icing has set tie the thread through the holes and hang the biscuits on the tree.