Glass Stained Christmas Biscuits

Probably the prettiest biscuits I have ever seen or made! I loved making these, as did the children! It was one of their Advent activities – inspired by an Annie Rigg article I read.

Great as a gift, a treat, a fun activity….also very easy! The most difficult part was bashing the sugar boiled sweets! Thought the children could do it but they actually found it too hard.

Probably worth while to mention that the sugar boiled sweets return hard once they cool – I somehow managed to make myself believe they would be soft and gooey….NO! Rock hard. If you prefer a soft, jammy centre, make the biscuits as per recipe but instead of sugar boiled sweets layer two biscuits on top¬† of one another – one with shapes cut out – and fill the cut out bit with jam! Will not be stain glass effect…but very tasty! ūüôā

Glass Stained Christmas Biscuits (basic dough recipe the same as Cookie Christmas Tree)

 
450g plain flour
225g butter – softened
225g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
Sugar boiled sweets – different colours
 
  • Put flour and butter in a bowl and chop into it until the mixture resembles big breadcrumbs
  • Add caster sugar and continue combining
  • Add vanilla essence and crack the egg into the bowl and keep bringing the dough together¬†– I usually crack it into a cup first…just in case it is a bad one!
  • Keep bringing together until you have a smooth dough ball. Wrap this in cling film and place it in the fridge for about an hour
  • Put the boiled sweets in freezer bags and bash with something hard!!! Keep colours separate as this gives a prettier end result

They sort of resemble little semi-precious stones…I think so anyway!

  • Once the dough has chilled pre-heat oven to 200C
  • Line baking trays with¬†baking paper
  • Roll the dough out quite thinly – it rises a tiny bit in the oven but not much – and cut your shapes! Snowflakes¬†are really pretty as are hearts and stars. If you have a Christmas Tree shape this would be sweet with little holes for glass stained effect baubles…
  • Lay them on the baking parchment trays and fill the holes you have cut in them with the crushed sweets – the children enjoyed this almost more than eating the dough every time I turned my back to them!!!
  • Once the biscuits are filled put them in the pre-heated oven for 10ish minutes – maybe slightly less depending on your oven. It is fun to watch the sweets melt…
  • Once cooked let them cool completely¬†on the tray before moving!¬†Tthey will come off ever so easily when cold and can be hung, stored or given away as gifts at Christmas Parties!

Bites of Gold

Every now and again something so tasty comes along that it stays with you – it creates memories and tradition! This recipe is one of those “somethings”.

Imagine this – it is the 24th of December and the snow is a thick, white¬†blanket outside. Candles are lit, the house is warm and the smell of turkey roasting is making its way to your nostrils.¬†Having just returned from Church, it is dark outside, and excitement is building. A glass of champagne is served while your¬†nutty aunt does her crazy laugh in the background, the salmon toast goes round the room…And then – out come the little Christmas Tree trays with THE bites of gold on them…. The tastiest little cheese bites you will ever have, I promise! And you know it is Christmas Eve.

They are home-made by Oldefar – great-grandfather – who¬†at 86¬†still makes them like no one else can. We all fight (politely of course!) to ensure we get our share – the children are learning fast and even my 1-year-old was at them last year! They partner Champagne perfectly, they are light, they crunch, they melt…little puffs of magic! Christmas would not be right without them…tradition is tradition!

Emmenthal Bites

200g flour
200g grated emmenthal
200g butter – softened
1 egg yolk – the egg white is saved for brushing the biscuits prior to baking them
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
 
  • Combine all the ingredients
  • Leave in the fridge for an hour
  • Roll out rather thinly – they puff up in the oven
  • Cut to your desired shape – small is great as it makes them really delicate
  • Lay on baking sheet and brush with egg white
  • Bake in oven for 10 minutes at 175C
  • Let cool completely on wire rack before storing air tightly – will keep for a week (probably more but mine never lasted that long!)

Great use of my pasta machine – Vanilla Biscuits!

About five years ago I bought a pasta making machine. It was bought with¬†much anticipation, not least that of my husband, of great homemade pasta dishes. The truth is, I brought it home and put it in a cupboard and well…it has been in that cupboard, unwrapped, for five years!

You may wonder what it has to do¬†with Danish Vanilla Christmas biscuits…a lot actually! About two weeks ago I made pasta for the first time using¬†the machine! It was disastrous, hilarious and absolutely divine all at once! That story is for another blog though! The exciting bit is, for me at least, that while making pasta I realised this machine could be used to make these gorgeous, probably my favourite, Christmas cookies! Vanille kranse – or Vanilla Wreaths directly translated.

It worked a treat and here are the results! YUM!

 

The recipe is, once more, a family one! Passed on to me and gratefully received! It is the fresh vanilla and chopped almonds that make the difference! The flavour is beautiful with¬†the biscuits melting in your mouth, but¬†being crisp at the same time… You must make (and eat)¬†them to understand!

500g plain flour
375g butter
250g sugar
1 egg – stirred
165g chopped almonds
Seeds from two vanilla pods (slice the pods open and scrape out the seeds Рsee picture below if you have never done before!)
 
  • Put flour and butter in a bowl and chop into the butter with a knife until the mixture resembles bread crumbs
  • All other ingredients go in – remember to give the egg a quick stir with a fork before adding it
  • Knead it until it comes together – it is quite a soft dough due to all the butter (never claimed this was a healthy recipe!)
  • Leave in the fridge for a few hours to cool
  • Using a mince maker machine – or in my case a pasta machine with rigatoni shape attached! – make finger long sausages and bring them together to make a circle – hard to explain – see pics!
  • Bake in a 200C oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown

Bat Biscuits

These biscuits can be used at any time of the year to be honest! Simply shape and decorate according to season. Easy and sweet….what more could you want!?

100g sugar
100 butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
225g flour
  • Pre heat oven to 190C
  • Mix butter and sugar together until creamy
  • Add egg and vanilla essence and stir well
  • When smooth, add the flour slowly until a soft dough is formed
  • Leave to harden slightly¬† in fridge for 20-30 minutes
  • Dust work surface and roll dough out to about 5mm thickness
  • Cut the dough into the shapes you want – bats, ghosts….(Christmas Tree, Star, Easter Bunny)
  • Place on baking parchment on a tray and into the oven
  • Bake for about 10 minutes – will depend on your oven – keep an eye on them! When finished they will be slightly brown around the edges.
  • Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before decorating with icing