- December 2017
- Makes 18-20
- Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 18 min, plus 30 min chilling
Decorate the Christmas tree with these gorgeous spiced dove biscuits flavoured with orange, ginger and cinnamon.
- 3.4g (1.1g saturated)
- 25.2g (15.5g sugars)
For the biscuits
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 30g unsalted butter
- 60g light brown sugar
- Finely grated zest ½ orange, plus 3 tbsp freshly squeezed juice
- 1 large free-range egg
- 250g self-raising flour, plus extra to dust
- 1½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 60g ground almonds
- 225g royal icing sugar
- Edible gold lustre dust
- Ribbon or colourful twine
You’ll also need…
- Dove biscuit cutters about 6-7cm wide
- Piping bag fitted with a 3mm nozzle
- 2 baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper
- Put the honey, butter and sugar in a medium pan over a low heat and cook, stirring, until melted and combined. Leave for 5 minutes to cool, then stir in the orange zest, juice and egg. Sift in the flour and spices and add the ground almonds. Mix with a wooden spoon to form a dough, then knead on a lightly floured work surface for 2 minutes. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Roll out the dough on a well-floured work surface to 4mm thick. Using the dove cutters, cut out 18-20 biscuits, re-rolling any trimmings. Using the tip of the piping bag nozzle, stamp out a small hole on the body of each dove. Put the biscuits on the baking trays and bake for 15-18 minutes until pale golden, then cool on a wire rack.
- To decorate, first make the icing. Put 40ml cold water in a mixing bowl, then stir in the royal icing sugar to dissolve. Whisk with an electric hand mixer for 3-4 minutes until the icing is like thick glue. Spoon 2 tbsp into the piping bag, then trace a line around the outside of each biscuit and each hole. Leave to set for a few minutes. Stir 1 tbsp cold water into the remaining icing in the bowl. (It should be just runny enough to flow from the tilted tip of a spoon. Add a little more water if needed.)
- Squeeze any remaining icing from the piping bag, then spoon the diluted icing into the piping bag. Use to fill inside the lines and out to the edges of each biscuit (a toothpick is helpful to move the icing to the edges if needed). Leave to dry completely, then dust the edges with a little edible gold lustre. Loop a ribbon through the hole and tie to hang on the Christmas tree.
You can use any shape of biscuit cutters. Add a few drops of food colouring to the icing if you like. Find decorating items at lakeland.co.uk and squires-shop.com.
Freeze the dough (step 1), wrapped in a layer of cling film, then wrapped in foil, for up to 1 month.
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