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Sunday, 7 December 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I seem to be on a bit of a biscuit roll here, first the chocolate orange, malteser cookies and now this. I'm certainly getting into the Christmas spirit by making these wonderful Scandi cookies, otherwise known as Swedish 'pepparkakor'- pepper biscuits and I know what your thinking...no they don't have pepper in them. 

They are traditionally spiced with ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves and boy do you get a kick and a half!! Suppose they are very similar to gingerbread, however there are some ingredients that differentiate between the two.

I can't really state how many cookies this recipe makes (I originally found it in a John Lewis Magazine a year ago but I can't be for certain....sorry guys, recipe attribution failure and all that!) It really just depends what shaped cutters you use and how big they are. I also made a few tweaks that I thought were necessary to the recipe, the halving of quantities being one thing because who seriously needs 50 Scandi biscuits at one time?! I know they are good, but we don't want to be too greedy. You want to save room for some mince pies and all the other wonderful Christmas treats! 

One of the best bits to this Christmas'y recipe is the decorating! I love just going wild with my piping bag, I decided to go traditional on this one by just using white but heck go crazy with the food colourings if you dare!! Get your Christmas tunes on and happily decorate to your hearts content...

Enjoy!

Ingredients (makes 15-25):


For the biscuit dough
75ml golden syrup
125g soft light brown sugar
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
85g salted butter
75ml double cream
¼ tsp bicarbonate soda
375g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the icing
150g icing sugar
½ an egg white
Enough water to mix to a dropping consistency

Method


Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

Mix the syrup, sugar, spices and butter in a large mixing bowl, beating until soft and smooth. Add the cream and mix again. Next sift in the bicarbonate of soda and flour, then mix into the butter mixture to produce a dough.

Flour your work surface and knead the dough well. Roll out the dough really thinly and cut out shapes with your assorted cookie cutters. Place on baking trays lined with baking parchment and bake for about 8 minutes. Leave to cool for a few minutes on the baking tray and then transfer to wire rack.

To make the icing, put the icing sugar into a bowl. Mix the egg white with a few teaspoons of water in a separate small bowl. Then add 2 tablespoons of the egg white and water mixture to the icing sugar, keep adding a little at a time until you have a smooth dropping consistency which is not too runny to pipe. Spoon into a piping bag and cut a small hole. Decorate the cookies and enjoy!

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