Making your own Christmas presents is not only one of the most thoughtful ways to gift, it is also a frugal option when budgets are tight. Plus, baking some delicious biscuits to gift your loved ones, is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, slowing down ahead of the busy festive period. A batch of biscuits can be beautifully packaged in a jar or tin, add a riboon and a sprig of eucalyptus for an extra special touch.
These festive biscuits are spiced with cinnamon and orange zest then dipped in dark chocolate for a decadent treat, but the toppings are just a suggestion, so feel free to adapt. It’s a simple recipe, so why not get children involved, and make fun shapes using Christmas biscuit cutters and let them get creative with the decoration!Tip: You can also make ginger biscuits by simply swapping the cinnamon for 2 tsp ground ginger and leaving out the orange zest. These pair with the dark chocolate and some chopped crystallised ginger really well.
Prep/cooling time – 60 minutes | Cooking time 20 minutes
- 125g butter – from the fridge, chopped into cubes (Tesco baking block is an affordable vegan option)
- 125g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Zest of 1 orange
- 100g dark chocolate
- 15g crystallised ginger – chopped
- 15g chopped nuts
1/ Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, half the orange zest and cinnamon then mix the dry ingredients into the butter using your fingertips to create a breadcrumb-like consistency. Then bring the mixture together until a ball of dough is formed.
2/ Roll the dough into a rough sausage shape about 10 inches long. Wrap in film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3/ Pre-heat the oven to 160C. Line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Slice your dough into approximately 2cm discs. On some greaseproof paper or lightly floured surface, flatten the discs out with your hands then gently roll these out to about 1 cm deep 8cm wide circles. You can leave the edges rough or use a biscuit cutter to trim them. Any excess dough you can re-form into more discs.
4/ Place your biscuits on the lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. You may need to do these in batches. Once the biscuits start to turn a light brown take them out of the oven to cool for a couple of minutes so the biscuits harden up before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
5/ Melt the dark chocolate then spread half the biscuit generously with the chocolate and sprinkle over some of the remaining orange zest or, if you’re using them, crystallised ginger and chopped nuts. Store in an airtight container – these can be kept for up to a week.