Usually, I’m all about shaking things up, but sometimes I do love a good tradition. While there’s nothing particularly Christmassy about these biscuits, making them has by now become an integral part of the Holiday season: a recurring ritual of sweet buttery smells and sticky fingers that’s usually accompanied by Bollywood music. Don’t ask me why. Traditions are not supposed to make sense. Over the years, I’ve adjusted and perfected the recipe, and with hints of vanilla and almond combined with a thin layer of tangy lemon icing these biscuits are now more addictive than ever.
Ingredients (for lots of biscuits!)
900 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
450 g soft butter
400 g sugar
50 g vanilla sugar
for the icing:
juice of 1.5 lemon
powdered sugar/ icing sugar
- Use a very large mixing bowl to cream the sugar with the butter.
- One by one add the eggs and then add a bit of vanilla extract and a bit of almond extract to taste.
- Mix the flour, salt and baking powder and fold it in.
- Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in something and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough on a clean and lightly floured surface. This recipe will yield lots, so unless you have a huge work surface you might want to do this in increments.
- Heat the oven to about 180 (or less depending on your oven).
- Cut the dough into shapes and bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
- Gently take them out of the oven and leave them to cool completely. They’ll still be a bit fragile at this stage but they’ll become firm once they’ve cooled down.
- Make a semi-opaque icing by mixing the icing sugar with the lemon juice.
- Give each biscuit a thin layer of icing and leave them out to dry.
- As soon as the icing is dry, put the biscuits in an airtight container. They will keep for at least a week, but once you start eating they probably won’t last that long!