Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Peanut butter and honey Christmas biscuits with a chocolate drizzle.

Peanut butter + honey + chocolate = yum. Simples.

Here in Germany, there are a lot of absolutely delicious Christmas cookies and biscuits (Plätzchen, if you fancy a German vocab lesson) flying around at this type of year, but you NEVER see any flavoured like this. Somewhat tragically, peanut butter isn’t very popular over here, and you all know how much of a PB fan I am!

I love using peanut butter in my baking (as well as in smoothies, savoury dishes and sandwiches, obvs), and I think it lends itself perfectly to these little biscuits. In my opinion, a slight salty touch to sweet shortbread-type cookies is delicious, and that’s exactly what you get with this peanut butter honey combo.

Throughout most of the year, I don’t tend to make biscuits that often, but there’s something about Christmastime that makes me long to bake Lebkuchen, gingerbread and other festive biscuits – preferably in cute Christmassy shapes and well-decorated. As with most things, it probably harks back to my childhood.

I personally went for a chocolate icing drizzle on these babies, but really, you can do whatever you want – you could make a simple white glacé icing using icing sugar and water, use melted chocolate, or perhaps just dust with icing sugar for a snowy effect. And if ya fancy getting a bit more creative, why not whack out the sprinkles, silver balls and sweeties to decorate?

To be perfectly honest with you, there’s enough sweet and salty honey and peanut butter flavour in the biscuits themselves that they don’t actually need any topping. But it’s always fun to decorate, n’est-ce pas?

I went for a lazy abstract approach myself by messily drizzling my chocolate icing over most of my cookies, before saving a few to half-cover with chocolatey goodness.

And of course, you can use whatever cookie cutters you like! I went for Christmas trees, as you can see, and tried to do a few with cut-out middles, although this can be a bit fiddly. You could even cut out little holes in the top, tie through some ribbon when your cookies are cooled, then hang them up as Christmas decorations. Wouldn't that be simply adorbs!?

Pop on your Christmas playlist, whack out your rolling pin and spend an afternoon dance-baking round your kitchen. I would say try not to eat too much of the dough as you go, but where’s the fun in that?

Even my non-peanut-butter-eating German housemates said they were totally lecker, hoorah!

This recipe makes, well, it depends on your cookie cutter size, but quite a lot of biscuits. Helpful, I know. Sorry. Oh and this is a super simple recipe too. 

Ingredients - Biscuits:

300g plain white flour
A pinch of baking powder (or Backin if you're in Germany)
125g butter, softened
50g caster sugar
100g honey
100g smooth peanut butter


125g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa


1. Preheat your oven to 180C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. 

Add the rest of the dough ingredients and mix briefly with a handheld electric whisk until the butter is evenly incorporated and you have a crumbly texture.

Shmoosh (that's the technical term) it all together with your hands and roll into a nice dough. It should be firm enough and not sticky.

2. Dust your worksurface and rolling pin with flour before rolling out your dough to about a 5mm thickness. Cut out your shapes and carefully lift them on to your baking tray - there's no need to space them miles apart as they won't really spread. You'll need to re-roll the dough a few times to use up the cut-off bits (if it gets too dry and crumbly, add the teensiest drop of water to stick everything back together) and may need to bake in a few batches.

3. Bake in the oven for about 7-8 minutes but do keep an eye on them as they can go from perfectly-baked to burnt in an instant (I learned the hard way... Apparently our oven is super powerful.) Once golden brown, remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes on the baking tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully.

4. Once totally cooled, you can decorate your cute little cookies. To make my icing, simply mix all the ingredients together until you have a relatively runny texture. Place all the cookies back on to the baking parchment (on the tray) as closely together as possible and simply use a teaspoon to drizzle with the chocolatey icing. Leave to cool (maybe) et voilà!



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