Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Stollen moments...

Yes that title is cheesy as an old Camembert, but that's what Christmas is about! Cheesy Christmas music that gets played on repeat for the whole of December, festive woolly jumpers and reindeer with glowing noses. One of the nice things is making time for family and friends and the unexpected visitors popping by. That is unless you're intensely busy, like many around now. These little biscuits are perfect for just that because you can make them in advance and have them in the freezer on standby.

Instead of making a Stollen loaf, I used the German Christmas bread as inspiration for these quite substantial biscuits. With lots of Christmassy flavours, they'll have you reaching for one after another!

 For the biscuit base, I used a recipe from Cookies Galore by Jacqueline Bellefontaine, then tweaked and experimented to create then stollen biscuits.


Makes about 20

125g good quality butter
80g caster sugar
80ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
150g self raising flour
30g flaked almonds - toasted
90g sultanas
2 tbsps rum
zest of half of 1 lemon
zest of half of 1 orange

For the topping

50g butter melted
2 tbsps rum
icing sugar to dust
cinnamon to dust

Get the oven on the go first at 180C, if you're using a fan oven, like me, I went at 160C. In a large bowl, add the butter, sugar, orange and lemon zests. Beat well together. Gradually beat in the sunflower oil until the mixture is light and fluffy.

 Sift in the flours, add the almonds, sultanas and rum and mix until it forms a dough.

Between two tablespoons, shape the dough into ovals and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly brown.

Remove from the oven and while the biscuits are still hot, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the rum and stir to combine. Spoon the butter mixture generously over the biscuits and dust with the icing sugar followed by the cinnamon.

Serve with hot chocolate or something cheerful and warm!

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