That’s What I Call Christmas Biscuits 2015!

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During the rest of the year I am more of a cake baker, but as soon as December or the 1st Advent Sunday comes around – whatever happens first – I feel the urge to bake Christmas biscuits. It just has to be done!

I will always bake our firm favourites, like Vanilla Kipferl and Snowflakes, and try a few new recipes like the Spicy Hearts and Cranberry Almond Biscuits, and I will bake at least five different kinds of biscuits, if not more. Here’s this year’s selection.

They do keep for about 6 weeks, but they rarely do (if you know what I mean!)

They also make great Christmas presents in a cake tin or glass.

All my recipes use metric measurements and the oven times are in Celsius and for a fan-assisted oven, but you can find conversion tables on the internet very easily.

 

Cappuccino Biscuits

Because of the coffee these have a more grown-up taste and are really good all year round – not just at Christmas.

1c - cap

For 50 biscuits:

200g flour

1 egg yolk or 2 if the eggs are small

125g soft unsalted butter

1 packet or 1 table spoon vanilla sugar

75g sugar

50g chocolate chips, bought or home made

1 tablespoon instant coffee (the little bags you get in hotels are perfect for this) or you can also use instant cappuccino powder.

½ bar of dark chocolate

Mix all the ingredients into a dough and leave to cool in the fridge for an hour.

Roll the dough out with a rolling pin on a surface sprinkled with flour and use cookie cutters to get the shapes you want. I just used a round shape, but hearts or stars a great too.

1a - cap 1b - cap

Bake at 160C for 12 minutes. Leave to cool.

Melt the chocolate and decorate the biscuits. I use a pastry brush which I dip into the chocolate and then I go all ‘Jackson Pollock’ on them.

 

Vanilla Kipferl

Probably my all time favourite Christmas biscuits. I love the taste and smell of vanilla and almonds and their crumbly texture. A real classic!

2b - van

Ingredients for about 50:

250g flour

210g soft unsalted butter

100g ground almonds

80g sugar

2 packets or 2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar

icing sugar & 2 more packets of vanilla sugar for dusting

Make a dough from all the ingredients and leave to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes. I either wrap the dough in foil or cling film or put it in a plastic tub. Whatever is easiest for you.

Form the Kipferl-dough into crescent shapes by taking a small amount and rolling it between your hands. Put on a baking tray lined with baking parchment but leave a bit of room between the Kipferls as the will expand a bit.

2a - van

They need to bake for about 20 minutes at 175C.

In the meantime mix the icing sugar with the vanilla sugar in a bowl.

Leave the biscuits to cool for 3 minutes than roll on after the other in the sugar mix. If they are too hot, they will break and if you leave it too long the sugar won’t stick.

 

Cranberry Almond Biscuits

There is no flour in this one and they really taste more like marzipan than a traditional biscuit. The cranberry and orange zest make it slightly tart and less sweet than shop bought marzipan. Definitely a winner and on the list for next year,

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For about 40-50 biscuits you’ll need:

250g ground almonds

50g dried cranberries, copped finely plus a few for decorating

200g sugar

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

1 egg white

zest from 1 unwaxed orange or 1 pack of Dr. Oetker’s Orange Back

50g icing sugar

Put all the ingredients apart from the icing sugar in a food processor.

Form into a ca. 35cm long sausage shape, cover in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least one hour. Cut into slices and lay out on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

3 a - cran

Bake at 200C for 6-8 minutes.

Mix icing sugar with a few drops of water and brush onto one half of the biscuit. Decorate with dried cranberries.

 

Spicy Hearts

This is a little bit like a German Spekulatius, but without the special cutters you require. But it does have the spices in it and the almonds – very Christmassy.

4c- spicy

For 50 hearts:

250g flour

150g soft unsalted butter

½ teaspoon of baking powder

100g icing sugar

zest of 1 unwaxed orange (or 1 pack of Dr. Oetker Orange Back)

1 ½ teaspoons of mixed spices (ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, ginger, coriander) or you can also get ready made spice mixes from a German delicatessen or online

almond flakes

Icing sugar and food colouring  or any other decorations optional

Knead all the ingredients into a smooth dough and roll out on a floured surface. Use cookie cutters to cut out the required shapes.

Sprinkle almond flakes on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and press the shapes lightly into the almonds.

4a - spicy 4b - spicy

Bake for about 10 minutes at 160C. Leave to cool.

These are great for decorating. I mixed some icing sugar with a little bit of water and a few drops of red food colouring.

 

Coconut Rum Kipferl

Kipferl is the name of the shape of the biscuit and they come in all kind of varieties. This one uses coconut and rum as main ingredients and I like to dip them into chocolate.

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For ca. 50 Kipferl:

200g soft unsalted butter

75g sugar

3 egg yolks

100g desiccated coconut

250g flour

1 tablespoon dark rum or a few drops of rum aroma

½ a bar of dark cooking chocolate

Knead all the ingredients into a dough and leave to cool in the fridge for an hour.

Form the Kipferl-dough by taking a small amount, roll it between your hands and bend it into half moon shapes. Put on a baking tray lined with baking parchment but leave a bit of room between the Kipferls as the will expand a bit.

5a -coco

Bake at 200C for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.

Leave the Kipferl to cool. Melt the chocolate in a water bath – I usually stand a sturdy mug in a small pot of water and stir until the chocolate is liquid. Dip one end of the Kipferl into the chocolate and leave to cool.

 

Mini Cinnamon Swirls

Cinnamon is one of the spices, if not the spice, associated with Christmas. These biscuits are not too heavy on the cinnamon and not too sweet and they are harder then the other biscuits, almost like biscotti.

6c cin

For ca. 50 you’ll need:

80g soft unsalted butter

70g sugar

1 packet or 1 table spoon vanilla sugar

100 ml milk

300g flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 egg white

Mix the butter, 40g of the sugar, the vanilla sugar and the milk. Add the flour and baking powder.

Take half the dough and roll it out into a rectangle of about 30cm x 40cm. Beat the egg white and brush half of it on the dough.

Mix the remainder of the sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle half of it on the dough rectangle. Roll it up carefully, cover it with cling film and leave it in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Cut the rolls into thin slices and put on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. You can pack them in quite tightly as the biscuits don’t spread much during baking.

6a - cin 6b - cin

Bake at 180C for about 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool.

 

Snowflakes

I love these and not just for Christmas. They melt in the mouth, which has probably why they are called snowflakes. They are great if you have somebody with a nut allergy in the family.

7c - snow

For about 50 biscuits you’ll need:

250g soft unsalted butter

100 g icing sugar

1 packet or 1 table spoon vanilla sugar

250 g flour

2 packets vanilla pudding (Dr. Oetker or similar) or 100g custard powder

Mix the soft butter with the icing sugar and vanilla sugar. Sift the flour and vanilla pudding powder and add gradually to the butter/sugar mix.

Form into small balls and put them on a baking tray covered with baking parchment. Use a fork to flatten the balls and make a pattern.

7a - snow 7b - snow

Bake at180-200C for 8-12 minutes. The biscuits should still be light in colour.

Carefully remove from the tray and leave to cool.

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4 thoughts on “That’s What I Call Christmas Biscuits 2015!

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