I made these cute biscuits on the weekend as a practice run for 80-odd I'll be making for my cousin's engagement party. I'm none too confident with biscuits but - whether it was because I was paying especial care, or it was just a great recipe - these are a winner. Think gingerbread with no ginger - spicy and more chewy than crunchy. I did a half batch and got about twenty out of it using two largish snowflake cutters. We shan't discuss how many there would have been if I hadn't picked at the straggly bits of cookie dough as I cut the biscuits out...
CHRISTMAS SPICE BISCUITS - Margaret Fulton's "Baking"
2 2/3c (400g) SR flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/2tsp each of ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground nutmeg
1tsp ground white pepper (I used black pepper with no apparent ill effects)
1/2c (110g) each of castor sugar and firmly packed brown sugar
250g butter, diced
1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
Decorating stuff (I used royal icing, silver cachous and disco dust, plus a snowflake stencil
Oven at 180oC. Line trays with baking paper (I used 2 trays for a half batch)
Sift everything as far as the sugars into a large bowl. Add butter and rub in until resembles breadcrumbs (or be lazy like me and dump the whole lot in a food processor to do most of the work then finish it off by hand).
Combine milk and bicarb in a cup and stir into flour mixture (I used a butter knife to get it started). Knead lightly to form a firm but elastic dough (I kept going until it stuck together properly and could roll a ball with it. Wouldn't say it was an especially light knead but it came out okay). Halve dough, wrap in Glad wrap and refrigerate 30mins.
Roll out dough (leave other bit in fridge) to about 4mm and cut with cutters of choice. Re-knead dough scraps and re chill before rolling out again.
Bake 15-20mins or until golden. Keep an eye on them as they will catch quickly. You may need to rotate pans. Decorate as desired (recipe suggests a dusting of icing sugar.