Seasonally dysfunctional Baking

Warning: if you prefer your cooking to be seasonally appropriate, then this probably isn’t the post for you (come back in December!). But if you like heavily spiced biscuits at any time of the year, not just Christmas, then you’re ok – read on.

I’m off home to see the family this weekend – my maternal Aunts are visiting (one from London, the other from South Africa) so I thought I’d take a load of biscuits home for afternoon tea with my grandparents. Unfortunately the new job finishes later in the day than my old one, and combined with the bus journey home and any necessary shopping, I end up with little baking time in the evening – especially if I’ve failed to plan ahead. Fortunately, this recipe was actually a store-cupboard wonder and I didn’t need to buy too much specially.

German Pepper Nut Cookies

Pfeffernusse

This is adapted from an American recipe, but I’ve translated quantities into metric.

325g plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

1tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp crushed aniseed

1tsp cinamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground clove

115g unsalted butter, softened

150g cup light brown sugar

85g cup treacle

1 egg

Icing sugar

1.Sift flour, and add the salt, pepper, spices and baking powder. Mix.

2. Mix together the butter, brown sugar and treacle until light and airy.

3. Add egg to the treacle mix and blend in.

4. Mix flour into the treacle mixture until doughy. This will be quite loose in consistency. Wrap in cling film and chill for a couple of hours.

5. Preheat oven to 180 celcius/350 farenheit.

6. Grease a couple of baking sheets. Divide the dough into 24 balls (these will be quite large) and flatten slightly onto the baking sheets

7. Bake for 13 – 15 minutes – biscuits should be firm on top, but not hard.

8. Remove from the oven and place on cooling racks for a couple of minutes.

9. At this point you can dredge the biscuits with icing sugar, or put a glaze on them, depending what you want. As in the photo, I did half and half for the pretty 🙂

I think I will probably make these again come Christmas time, perhaps putting a bit of marzipan in each, and dipping with chocolate!

The OH’s friends liked these biscuits, and I even got a hand-shake out of it, so I figure they quite liked these.

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