This year spice biscuits seem to be in fashion for Christmas. I caught myself walking through the supermarket the other day looking for the ingredients for the Spice Mingles recipe from a 2008 edition of the Family Circle magazine feeling like I had an original idea. As I was looking at the spices trying to find ground cloves (impossible) over the loud speaker I heard ‘check out our magazine for a spice biscuit recipe for this Christmas’. So while it seems I will be baking all the same cookies as everyone else this Christmas I still stuck by my 2008 recipe.
These biscuits were so easy to put together save one small detail. I don’t know where the producers of this recipe shop, or whether they own a mortar and pestle, but ground cloves are impossible to buy. I do not own a mortar and pestle, so I did end up having to substitute this with the very versatile mixed spice. Everything else though went off without a hitch. The biscuits are very tasty and the batter is a great consistency, the spices don’t overwhelm and the tangyness of the marmalade with the warmth of the spices work incredibly well together.
I am sure this spice cookie recipe will be better than all the other spice cookie recipes, I mean how could it not be with the white chocolate drizzled all over them. I am obviously freezing the majority of the cookies, to marmalade and ice over Christmas and New Years, but the few I tried today were absolutely delicious. The only problem was waiting for the white chocolate to set before I could sink my teeth into them. While most cookies are best warm, with the cool marmalade these cookies are best cold. Firstly, as they need to live in the refridgerator once the white chocolate and marmalade has been applied, but also because having the warm cookie, and cool jam would feel a bit uncomfortable. These would be best served with a classic Earl Grey or English Breakfast tea on a Christmas afternoon.
As I do not own a cake mixer, as an electric egg beater does me just fine, I used the electric beater until I added the yolk and milk. Adding these components takes the batter from a very dry and grainy brown sugar mixture to a very wet mixture. I used a spatula to mix the yolk mixture together as much as possible and once I had sifted in the flour, just got my hands in there until the mixture formed a dough. This was really the start of where I diverted from the recipe, as I basically stopped reading the recipe after this step. I did not roll the dough into logs or chill it. I ended up rolling it out and using a cute frilly round cookie cutter I have. The cookies still turned out well without the chilling and held their shape in the oven. This cookie was more of a hit on Christmas day then my Coffee Almond Cookies, or my Cranberry Shortbread.
While Family Circle have a lot of the recipes that feature in their magazine online, this does not appear to be one of those. Please see the recipe detailed below –
Spice Mingles, Family Circle Magazine, Christmas 2008 , pp76
- 125g butter, softened
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 T milk
- 1/2 t ground ginger
- 1/4 t ground cinnamon
- 1/8 t ground cloves
- 1/4 t baking soda
- 1/8 t salt
- 1 1/2 c plain flour
- 1/4 c orange or breakfast marmalade
- 60g white chocolate, chopped, melted
1 Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale. Add sugar and beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Add yolk, milk, spices, bicarb and salt and beat until well combined. Add flour, turn mixer to slow and beat until almost combined. Use a wooden spoon to mix until dough comes together.
2 Cut dough in half and shape each half into a 22cm-long log. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap. Chill for 1-2 hours.
3 Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Cut logs into 6-7mm thick slices. Put on prepared trays and bake for 8-10 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Stand on trays for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
4 Before serving spread 1/4 t marmalade over half of the biscuits. Top with remaining biscuits, bottom side down.
5 Spoon melted chocolate into a snaplock bag. Snip a small corner off bag. Drizzle chocolate over biscuits. Stand until set.
*To store layer unfilled biscuits between waxed paper in an airtight container. Store for up to 3 days, freeze for up to 3 months.