It’s cold outside – time to enjoy some warm and cosy evenings indoors. The first snow has already fallen, or certainly will be falling soon! Winter is here, which means the festive season is just around the corner. This is the time of year for looking forward to Christmas, shopping for presents and curling up in front of the fire. And not to forget – the time for baking! Let us sweeten up your Advent with our special recipe.
The festive season is baking season, a time when the enticing scents of cinnamon, clove and vanilla waft through the air. Everyone loves Christmas biscuits. But we were on the lookout for a very special festive treat that would go perfectly with our Sunday morning latte macchiato, and one that is a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds and whose festive fragrance would make us really start to look forward to Christmas. And so we put on our baking aprons and started experimenting. The following recipe is the final result of our efforts – DO try this at home!
500 g flour
175 g sugar
150 g ground almonds
200 g butter or margarine
Rind of 1 lemon
1 ½ tsp Spekulatius seasoning*)
2 tsp baking powder
300 g almonds flakes
*) A German spice mixture that usually contains cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, aniseed and lemon rind.
Preparation time: 45 minutes preparation, 1 hour resting
Baking time: 12 to 15 minutes at 180°C/160°C in a fan oven
Portions: makes around 30 biscuits
Kitchen equipment: medium-sized mixing bowl, food processor/strong hands, sieve, grater, a round glass, apple corer, baking tray, baking paper
1) Mix the flour and baking powder and sieve the mixture so that no lumps form when making the dough.
2) Add the sugar and Spekulatius seasoning and mix with a spoon.
3) Rinse the lemon with hot water and remove the yellow rind with a grater. Add the lemon rind to the mixture.
4) Add the ground almonds and eggs to the mixture.
5) Cut the butter or margarine into small cubes and add it to the mixture.
6) Knead the mixture by hand for around 10 minutes until it has formed a homogeneous dough. Alternatively, you can use your food processor with the dough hook inserted. This will take around 5 minutes.
7) Place the dough in the fridge – or outside where it is at least as cold as the fridge in winter – to rest for 1 hour.
8) Roll out the cooled dough. Then cut out biscuits using the glass and use an apple corer or something similar to cut a small hole at the edge of the biscuit.
9) Preheat the oven to 180°C or 160°C for fan ovens.
10) Line the baking tray with baking paper.
11) Take a good handful of almond flakes and lay them out in a circle on the baking tray. Then lay the biscuits on the almonds so that the bottom of each biscuit is covered with almond flakes.
12) Place the biscuits on the middle shelf of the preheated oven.
13) After around 12 to 15 minutes, the biscuits should be golden brown and ready to come out of the oven and cool.
14) Leave them on the baking tray to cool for a minute and then transfer them to a cooling rack with the almond-covered side facing upwards. Now you can decorate your little works of art with a little (or a lot) of icing sugar.
15) Prepare a latte macchiato for yourself and your guests, put a long-handled spoon in each glass and hang one or two biscuits on the handle of the spoon – a real treat for the eyes and taste buds.
We hope you have a lot of fun baking – and eating – these delicious Christmas treats!