So I signed up to Molly’s preschool cooking week again, as apparently they only had one other mother that had volunteered. I also knew that my Auntie Maureen would be staying with us, and so would be able to look after, Abel. As it’s the run-up to Christmas I thought I’d try my hand at these beautiful little biscuits. I first saw them when my friend Sukey made a batch, which were stunning. I thought it wise to make the dough the night before, and just leave the bashing of the sweets and cutting out of the biscuits for the children. And thank god I did. It was chaos. It was loud. The sweets didn’t break up (subsequently at home I grind / bash them in a heavy pestle and mortar), and we ended up whacking them with a rolling pin on the preschool floor for fear of breaking the tables. The children of course loved it, and the biscuits actually came out as they should.
The next batch I did was for the tree. I normally decorate the tree with Pepparkakor, but felt like a change this year. They’re prettier as they catch the light, and the ones that broke when Molly placed on the tree had to be devoured of course.The Biscuits – Makes 36 Little Biscuits (I still have half the dough in the fridge)
Sunflower oil, for greasing
175g plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp orange extract
100g butter, cut into chunks
50g golden caster sugar
9 fruit-flavoured boiled sweets (I used 3 different colours, with 3 sweets each)
Line two baking tins with greased baking paper. Pre-heat the oven to 180c. With your hands rub the butter, flour, ginger and orange extract until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and milk and mix. On a floured surface lightly knead until the dough is smooth. Cover with cling-film and put in the fridge for half an hour (if left any longer i.e. overnight, remove from the fridge for at least half an hour before you need to use it).
Flour the work surface again, then roll out to about £1 coin in thickness. Cut out festive shapes, and then either using a smaller cutter of the same shape (shall have to invest in some next year), or just using a knife (I did Christmas trees, and then triangles within them), cut out a hole for the window. Move to baking sheets, whilst poking a hole (with a chopstick) at the top for the thread to hang them from the tree.
Next bash the sweets. I advise bashing them in a pestle and mortar. In the end I gave up with the sweet rappers. Be warned if you don’t use them immediately the shards will fuse together.
Next sprinkle the sweet crumbs into the holes until level with the biscuits.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until just golden.
Leave to cool on the baking paper. Then carefully slide off with spatula. With a needle and thread tie a loop. Eat or hang or both.