THE BEST EASY CHRISTMAS BISCUIT RECIPES
STAINED GLASS BISCUITS
From:JAMIE OLIVER'S CHRISTMAS COOKBOOK
Time Needed: 1 hour 10 minutes
100 g unsalted butter , (cold)
180 g plain flour
50 g caster sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon milk
12 coloured fruity boiled sweets
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4, and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
2. Finely grate the clementine zest. Cube up the butter and place in a mixing bowl with the flour, sugar, clementine zest and cinnamon. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the mix till it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3. Add the milk and bring together to make a soft dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place it in the fridge to firm up for about 30 minutes.
4. Separate the sweets into colours and place in separate sandwich bags. Press the air out and seal the bags, then carefully crush into small pieces with a rolling pin.
5. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, and roll out to 1cm thick. Use a selection of large cutters to cut out shapes and place on the lined baking sheets, then use the smaller cutters to cut a ‘window’ in the centre of each biscuit.
6. Sprinkle enough crushed sweets to fill the centre hole (don’t overfill or the sweets will melt over the biscuit), then use a cocktail stick to make a hole in the top of each biscuit, so you can thread a ribbon through them later. (You can re-roll any dough trimmings to make more biscuits, but you’ll need more sweets. You could also bake the cut-out centres and eat as a treat when decorating the tree.)
7. Bake for 12 minutes, or till the biscuits are golden and the sweets melted. Leave to firm up, then transfer to a wire rack. Thread with ribbon and hang them on the tree.
CHRISTMAS CHOCOLATE COOKIES
From: NIGELLA CHRISTMAS
Time Needed: 45 Minutes
For the Biscuits
250 grams soft butter
150 grams caster sugar
40 grams cocoa powder
300 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
For The Topping
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
175 grams icing sugar
60 millilitres boiling water (from a kettle)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/gas mark 3/325ºF and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
2. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl and, when you have a light, soft, whipped mixture, beat in the 40g / one-third cup cocoa powder (sieving if it is lumpy) and, when that’s mixed in, beat in the flour with the bicarb and baking powder. Or just put everything in the processor if you prefer.
3. This mixture is very soft and sticky. It might be easier to form the biscuits wearing disposable vinyl gloves. Pinch off pieces about the size of a large walnut, roll them into balls, then slightly flatten into fat discs as you place them, well spaced, on your baking sheet; you should get about 12 on at a time.
4. Bake each batch for 15 minutes; even though the biscuits won’t feel as if they’ve had enough time, they will continue to cook as they cool. They will look slightly cracked on top.
5. Remove the baking sheet to a cold surface and let it sit for 15 minutes before transferring the biscuits to a wire rack.
6. To make the topping, put the cocoa powder, icing sugar, water and vanilla extract into a small saucepan and whisk over a low heat until everything’s smoothly combined. Take off the heat for 10 minutes.
7. When the biscuits are cool, drizzle each one with a tablespoonful of chocolate glaze to glue the sprinkles on.
8. After you’ve iced 6 biscuits, scatter with some of the Christmas sprinkles, and continue until all the biscuits are topped. If you ice them all before sprinkling, you will find the cocoa “glue” has dried and the sprinkles won’t stick on.
From: THE HAIRY BIKERS
Time Needed: 40-60 Minutes
100g / 3.5oz plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
50g / 2oz soft brown muscavado sugar
1 tbsp whole milk
75g / 2.5oz butter
2 tbsp candied peel, finely chopped
flaked almonds, to garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 . Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, muscavado sugar, milk, butter and candied peel until well combined.
3. Using your hands, bring the mixture together as a dough.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out to a 0.5cm in thickness.
5. Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes or circles from the dough and place them onto the lined baking tray. Decorate the tops of the biscuits with flaked almonds, if using.
6. Transfer the biscuits to the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack, then serve.
CRANBERRY AND WHITE CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD
From: NADIYA'S BAKE ME A FESTIVE STORY
Time Needed: 60 Minutes
125g unsalted butter, softened
55g caster sugar, plus 20g for rolling
1 tsp vanilla extract
180g plain flour
60g white chocolate, finely chopped or chocolate chips
60g dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 170C fan / gas mark 5
2. Cream the butter and the 55g of sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy . Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
3. Add the flour and mix to make a smooth dough.
4. Add in the chocolate and cranberries, stirring until they are evenly spread throughout the dough.
5. Pour the 20g sugar for rolling into a shallow dish.
6. Separate the dough into 18 small balls. Dip and roll each ball in the extra sugar so they are completely coated. Place the balls on the trays spaced about an inch apart.
7. Bake for about 20 minutes until they are golden brown.
8. Remove from the oven and leave the biscuits to cool on the tray for 15 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
CHRISTMAS SHORTBREAD COOKIES
From: THE BEST EVER BAKING BOOK
Time Needed: 45 Minutes
150g plain flour
50g caster sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 170C / 150C Fan / gas mark 3
2. Put all the ingredients into a bowl.
3. Rub the mixture between your thumb and fingertips. Add any additional flavours if you would like to now.
(Suggestions: 25g cocoa, 50g chocolate chips, 50g coconut, 1 tsp cinammon, 50g raisins, 1 tblsp peanut butter, a few drops of almond essence)
4. When the mixture looks crumbly, squeeze it together to make a ball of dough.
5. Sprinkle flour on your work surface and roll out the dough until it is 5mm thick.
6. Cut out your desired shapes.
7. Grease a baking tray and place your shapes on it, leaving spaces in between.
8. Bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the cookies from the oven and cool on a rack.
9. Decorate! Ice and sprinkle.
For the icing: 3 tblsp icing sugar + 3 tsp water. Add a few drops of food colouring if desired. Spoon the icing over and add sprinkles.