Baking for Christmas

Get into the festive spirit by making these crunchy, ginger-spiced snowflake biscuits, filled with Bonne Maman’s heavenly fruit conserves – we used Strawberry, Raspberry, Apricot, Mirabelle Plum, Blackcurrant and Fig – and beautifully decorated them with icing.

The biscuits can be made ahead and frozen ready to be brought out as Christmas nears to be baked and iced in lots of different, creative ways – a lovely activity to enjoy with all the family.

Arrange your biscuits on a board or plate and they will make for a gorgeous presentation for a festive gathering.

Ingredients

  • 25g unsalted butter, diced
  • 25g Demerara sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 15ml beaten egg
  • 125g plain flour
  • About 10 tbsp Bonne Maman conserve of your favourite flavours
  • 125g white fondant icing
  • 125g Royal icing sugar

Method

  1. Place the butter in a large bowl. In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, syrup, spices and ginger and bring to the boil. Add the bicarbonate of soda (it will puff up) and pour the hot mixture over the butter. Stir until the butter has melted.
  2. Beat in the egg and slowly blend in the flour. It will look as though there is too much flour but it will blend in. Knead the dough in the bowl until smooth then wrap in clingfilm.
  3. Using a quarter of the dough at a time roll the dough out between two sheets of baking parchment, to about 3mm thickness. Use a variety of Christmas cutters to stamp out about 24 biscuits of varying sizes. Remember you will need two of each size, to sandwich together. Re-knead and re-roll the trimmings.
  4. Lay the biscuits out on baking sheets, lined with baking parchment. Stamp out the centre from half the biscuits to create the space for the conserve. Chill the biscuits for a good hour before baking.
  5. Heat the oven to 170°C, 150°C fan, gas 3. Bake the biscuits in batches until golden and crisp. They will take between 7 and 10 mins, depending on size. Cool on a wire rack.
  6. While the biscuits are cooling, roll out the fondant icing on a surface dusted lightly with icing sugar and stamp out 3 or 4 snowflakes, using the same cutters. Stamp out the centres, using the same round cutters. Brush the top biscuits with a little conserve and lightly press on the matching icing.
  7. Brush all the base biscuits lightly with conserve and press on the top biscuits. You should now have about 12 snowflake biscuit sandwiches of various sizes, some iced with fondant and some plain.
  8. Put the Royal icing sugar in a bowl with 20ml of cold water. Gradually beat the icing until it forms a stiff but pipeable paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle and pipe or drizzle icing across most of the biscuits to resemble snowflakes. Leave the icing to set for 10 minutes. Fill the biscuit centres with various flavours and colours of Bonne Maman conserve. Store the biscuits in airtight containers until ready to use.

Cook’s tips

If you don’t have cutters, draw simple snowflake outlines on stiff card and cut out. These templates can be used to cut out the biscuit and icing shapes.

The biscuit shapes can be frozen if you don’t have time to bake the same day. Allow an extra 1-2 minutes cooking time. The baked biscuits can be frozen or kept in airtight containers until you’re ready to assemble and ice them.

If you don’t want to pipe the icing, spoon it into a strong plastic food bag and push it down towards one corner. Twist the bag and snip a small opening from the corner. Squeeze out the icing and simply drizzle it across the snowflakes.

For more recipe ideas visit:

www.bonnemaman.co.uk
@bonnemamanuk
bonnemaman_uk

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