Christmas classics always taste best homemade
The delicious aromas of cinnamon, almond and orange are synonymous with Christmas baking. The best thing about making biscuits is, of course, getting to nibble the dough!
There are countless different types of biscuits that make Christmas that little bit sweeter. If we wanted to bake them all, we'd be baking all year round. These four classics are a must, however, and are just as much a part of Christmas as the star on top of the Christmas tree:
Mailänderli: The biscuit with a thousand faces. These delicious Mailänderli can be cut into any shape you like – obviously Christmas motifs such as Christmas trees, stars or hearts would be most appropriate. Instead of using cutters, you can also shape these biscuits by hand and let your imagination run wild. Once baked, you can decorate them with icing, coconut flakes or sprinkles.
Cinnamon stars: Cinnamon is the ultimate Christmas spice. For this reason, these delicious cinnamon stars with royal icing definitely have a place on a colourful plate of biscuits.
Brunsli: Brunsli are a chocolate-brown delicacy from Basel and are made with finely ground almonds instead of flour. The dough also includes cinnamon, cocoa, egg white and lots of sugar.
Jammie dodgers: Sandwiched between two biscuits is a fruity jam, which smiles back at you through a little heart or star cut-out. These sweet jammie dodgers taste best a couple of days later once they have softened a little. They are best kept in a biscuit tin.
Baking is most fun when you do it together. Basic shortbread dough is ideal for this as you can enhance it with all kinds of different spices. This way you'll always discover new and exciting flavours. To make sure that the rolling and cutting out of your biscuits goes without a hitch, we have a few tips:
Chilling the dough: If you chill the dough before working it, it won't stick to the rolling pin when you come to roll it out and you'll have a wonderfully smooth surface for cutting out your biscuits. Once you've cut out your biscuits, chill them again briefly – on the terrace or balcony, for example. This will help them keep their shape in the oven.
Making shapes: Using cutters to cut out your biscuits is fun but it can also be tricky. We recommend smooth shapes such as hearts or circles. Alternatively, you can simply roll the dough into little balls and flatten them with the palm of your hand.
Cutting out sticky dough: When cutting out sticky dough for cinnamon stars, Brunsli and the like, we recommend dipping the cutters in a little water, flour or sugar first. This will make it easier to separate the cutter from the dough.
Not too much: Only ever roll out a small portion of dough at a time – it's easier this way. Dough sticks will help you roll out the dough evenly. If you roll it out on a sheet of baking paper or a piece of cling film, you will find it easier to transfer the cut-out biscuits to the baking tray intact.
Before you start baking, take another look at our kitchen rules.
There's no question about it, baking is fun. But sometimes it can be a lengthy process! First you have to make the dough, then roll it out and cut it, then bake it and finally decorate it – this takes patience. It's way more fun if you turn it into a game!
1. Dress up as a baker: A real baker needs the right gear. An apron and baker's hat are a must. You can make your own hat out of crepe or greaseproof paper. Cut a piece of paper to fit the circumference of your head and fasten the sides with a bit of glue. Gather the paper in at the top and wrap a few pieces of sticky tape around the end. Then turn the hat upside down and fold over the rim a couple of times to create a cuff – and your baker's hat is good to go!
2. Make a flour volcano: Heap the weighed-out flour into a mountain and make a well in the middle. Empty the remaining ingredients – eggs, butter and sugar – into the well. The volcano will start to erupt. Reach deep down into the volcano with your hands and mix all of the ingredients together. It feels amazing!
3. Cut-out competition: Who can cut out the most biscuits? You can set a timer or simply keep cutting out shapes until you've run out of dough. Then simply count them up at the end. Quick tip: Choose simple, smooth shapes to speed things up.
4. Master of decoration: It's in the decorating that you find out who the real cookie master is! Icing, sprinkles, sugar pearls, nuts, melted chocolate – you can use all of these and more. The best biscuits are then judged at the end. We recommend choosing two or three categories in advance, for example the prettiest biscuits, the most fun biscuits and the most Christmassy biscuits. There are no losers as everyone gets to eat the biscuits!
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