Thursday, 6 December 2012

My Perfect Christmas Biscuits


I decided that this year was the year to invent my Perfect Christmas Biscuit. A biscuit that will forever more be a symbol of the season, well...in my house at least.

I wanted something that just screamed Christmas.


These gorgeous biscuits are packed full of all the wonderful flavours and scents of Christmas, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, currants, raisins, cranberries, walnuts, apricot, cognac and orange.

The buttery biscuit literally melts in your mouth and if all that isn't enough, once baked these beautiful, fruit filled biscuits are dipped in fragrant orange and honey syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon and walnuts.


Delicious!

I love the method used to make these biscuits, rolling the dough into balls, flattening it, filling with fruit and gathering up the edges to create a beautifully smooth biscuit with a secret fruity, flavour packed centre. 

Don't be fooled by the long list of ingredients, these biscuits are really simple to make and you can use any dried fruit you have in the house, there is no need to stick to my list.  You can also add brandy, amaretto or any tipple you fancy instead of the cognac.


Christmas Biscuits

Makes roughly 35 biscuits.

For the Orange and Honey Syrup:

4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp golden syrup
125g light brown sugar
100ml water
50ml orange juice

For the Fruity Filling:

50g walnuts, finely chopped
50g dried dates, finely chopped
75g mixture of currants, raisins and sultanas, finely chopped
25g dried cranberries, finely chopped
25g dried apricot, finely chopped
50g unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp Orange and Honey Syrup (made in step one)

For the Biscuit Dough:

125g unsalted butter, room temperature
150ml olive oil
60g icing sugar
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
juice and zest of one orange
1 tbsp cognac
375g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

For the Nutty Cinnamon Sprinkle:

50g walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 x lightly greased cookie trays


To Make the Biscuits:

Pre heat the oven to 180C

Step 1 - The Syrup:

Combine all of the ingredients for the syrup in a small saucepan and stir. Place over a medium-low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Step 2 - The Fruity Filling:

Combine the nuts and all of the dried fruit in a medium mixing bowl. Add the butter and mixed spice to the bowl and mix until evenly distributed. Add two tablespoons of the syrup made in step one and mix. Set aside.

Step 3 - The Biscuit Dough

Beat together the butter, olive oil and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  Add all of the spices, the orange juice and zest and beat to combine. Sift together the flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture just until a dough forms.

Step 4 - Assembling the Biscuits

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand until smooth.  Shape the dough into around 35 small balls.  Flatten each ball and add a small tablespoon of fruity filling to the centre.  Fold over the edges to seal the fruit inside, gently re-roll into a ball and flatten.

Place on the prepared cookie trays and bake one tray at a time in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the biscuits are pale golden.

Remove the biscuits from the trays and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 5 - The Nutty Cinnamon Sprinkle

Combine the chopped nuts and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside

Step 6 - The Final Flourish

Once the biscuits are completely cool, place a sheet of greaseproof paper under the wire rack to catch any drips. Dip each biscuit in the syrup made in step one and sprinkle with the nutty cinnamon mixture made in step 5.

Pile the biscuits high and Enjoy!

 

x x x

1 comment:

cake lover said...

What a great recipe. This is one of the most original Christmas cookies I have come across. Yum! I made four mini Christmas cakes by cutting a twenty cm square cake into four and decorated one of them with a cute bear from your tutorial post. Hope you don't mind! Thank you for your inspiration and your great recipes.