MAKES ABOUT 20 DEPENDING ON SHAPES
100g plain flour plus extra for rolling
40g ground almonds
50g golden caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
75g diced salted butter plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp milk
50g icing sugar sifted
2 tsp water
a few drops peppermint extract or food colouring
a squeeze lemon juice
writing icing of your choice
- Place all the biscuit ingredients except the milk in a food processor and whiz to a crumb-like consistency, then add the milk and whiz until the dough starts to cling together. Bring it together into a ball, wrap it in clingfilm, flatten it slightly and chill for 1-2 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and butter a baking sheet (or two). Flour a work surface, knead the dough until pliable, then roll out thinly (about 2mm). Stamp out biscuits using Christmas-themed cutters (as a rough guide, our cane shapes were about 10cm long, the others about 6cm).
- Lift the biscuits on to the baking sheet using a palette knife. Reroll the trimmings once, cut out more biscuits and, if you like, pierce a hole in each one for threading with a ribbon when cool.
- Bake for about 12 minutes until pale gold, turning the tray around halfway through so the biscuits cook evenly. Immediately loosen them with a palette knife and leave to cool.
- Combine the icing ingredients to a thin coating consistency in a small bowl. Holding one biscuit at a time over the bowl, use a pastry brush to coat the surface with a thin layer. Place these on a wire rack to set for 30-60 minutes. To finish, decorate as wished with writing icing and leave to set. The biscuits will keep loosely covered for several days.
- Food styling Clare Lewis
- Styling Sue Radcliffe