Baking / Free from / vegetarian

Christmas tree decorations: Spekulatius

spekulatiusbiscuits4

Greetings foodies. December has flown by in a blur of mini-mince pies, carol concerts and booze. It has been delightful and exhausting in equal measure and we’re not even at the grand finale yet! I needed a break from festivities on Sunday, a little time to myself to potter, so I baked some spekulatius. In my dressing gown. Which I consider festive because: (i) my dressing gown is red, and (ii) I was singing Christmas songs throughout.

Spekulatius are German, Danish, mainly not English, and delicious. My mum uses an old Danish recipe she found years ago in one of my grandma’s magazines and she makes them every Christmas without fail – thin, crispy and in abundance. I bake them a little thicker and then douse in gold glitter to make simple but effective edible tree decorations. You could also ice them but I’m on a bit of a glitter streak at the moment and they look amazing twinkling next to the fairy lights!

Spiced and perfectly festive, these biscuits will give your tree a cosy (and delicious) makeover.

spekulatiusbiscuits1

Spekulatius

Ingredients:

Makes 50-60 biscuits, depending on cutter size

– 150g unsalted butter, cubed
– 350g plain flour, sifted
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
– 4 teaspoons cinnamon
– pinch salt
– 1 large egg (free-range please), lightly beaten
– 150g demerara sugar
– edible gold glitter, to decorate, optional
– ribbon, to hang

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Method:

Preheat your oven to 180Β°C and grease a large baking tray.

In a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the spices and salt.

Mix the egg and sugar together in a separate jug and gradually add to the dry mixture. If using a food processor, scrape down the sides from time to time to ensure that all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. A ball of mixture should form. Tip: If the mixture is a little dry, add a dash of milk; if the mixture is too sticky to handle, add a sprinkling of flour.

Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Tip: If your dough feels obedient, feel free to miss out this step but it’s generally easier to work with rested dough.

Roll out onto a floured work surface to about a few millimetres thick, cut into your chosen shapes and make a hole a few millimetres in diameter with a skewer in each. Tip: the holes close a little during baking so make them slightly bigger than you would like them. They don’t need to be as big as those pictured – the cutter design had a pre-cut hole!

Bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.Β Keep rolling, cutting and baking until you’ve run out of dough.

Once cooled, add a generous pinch of glitter to a few tablespoons of water. Brush onto the biscuits and leave to air dry. When dry, thread the ribbon through the holes into loops and hang on the tree! Keep ‘reserves’ in an airtight container.

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Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.

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