Christmas Eve, for me is one of my favourite times to bake. It’s when I hope to have ticked off as much as I can manage from my to-do list, switch off, and have some fun in the kitchen, and that’s what I’ve been doing today.
One of my favourite things to make at this time of year is Christmas biscuits. Nothing fancy – just simply, spicy, buttery biscuits that are excellent everyday biscuits – to enjoy with a cup of coffee or offer to friends and family calling by with cards and presents.
These can be adapted, by omitting the spices, to make superb simple biscuits to enjoy every day. They’re the kind of biscuits you’ll end up making a batch of every week, as they are so delicious and so useful to have stored away in a tin.
This time, I used my reindeer cutter and decorated them, but unless you’re feeling creative, there is no need – simply cut them into rounds and dust with icing sugar once baked if you like. They’ll still taste wonderful.
Happy Christmas to you all!
Christmas spiced biscuits
Makes around 16-20 biscuits, depending on size
150g light brown soft sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
*Omit the spices at any other time of the year. Add the seeds of a vanilla pod or the zest of a lemon as an alternative.
Line two large baking trays with non-stick baking paper and set aside.
Place the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl or stand mixer and beat together well. Add the beaten egg and stir to incorporate. Now, add the vanilla, flour and spices and beat well to form a stiff dough. Form the dough into a flat disc and wrap in cling film or baking paper. Chill for 30 minutes.
Now, preheat the oven to 160C Fan. Roll the dough to around 4mm thick and cut out your shapes. Place on the prepared baking trays and bake for around 15 minutes until lightly browned and firm. Leave to cool and firm up on the trays for around 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully.
If you’re planning on decorating the biscuits, they should be cool before starting. In the picture, I decorated them with a simple water icing made from equal quantities of sifted icing sugar and boiling water, topped with soft silver balls.