Biscuits with ginger and spice are much loved in European cuisine and are a typical biscuit to have over the Christmas period. Whether they are decorated with piped icing and hung from your Christmas tree or piled on a plate and devoured, they are a perfect crisp and spicy biscuit. In some countries, they are called lebkuchen and in others are they are speculaas. In my home country of Croatia, they are called licitar. These are very elaborate and are made by dipping the biscuits into red dye them icing them. It’s a lengthy and laborious process and best left to the pros.
The shapes you can cut out are entirely up to you. You can make gingerbread men/ladies or Christmas shapes. Even a simple round cutter will do the trick. You could also prick four small holes with a skewer into the round biscuit and then you’ll have a button. Fun!!!
If you want to encourage children to bake, this is the perfect starter recipe as kids love to cut out shapes and ice biscuits. I’d use royal icing as it dries hard. Make sure you only use pure icing sugar and take care to read the label of any colouring you may be using, to ensure its gluten free.
The recipe below I’ve baked many times but I can’t remember the source. After Googling many different pages to find the origin, I’ve given up in despair. If you happen to have a similar recipe with the same ratios let me know. You won’t find the recipe using sorghum flour as that was an adaptation I made when I first started using sorghum. I find this flour lends itself well to the spiciness and treacliness of the ingredients.
So get out your food processor and away we go……
You will need:
225g sorghum flour
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch each ground cloves and nutmeg
160g butter cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons treacle
It’s quick in a food processor but if you don’t have one just use your mixer.
Blitz the dry ingredients first then the butter and treacle until it comes together. Place the dough onto baking paper or your bench.
Pin out to 5mm thick with a rolling pin and cut out desired shapes. The dough is very soft so leave them on the paper and fridge them for a few minutes while the oven is preheating.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Remove shapes carefully using a knife and place on to a sheet of baking paper on a tray and bake for 8 minutes max. Allow to cool before you ice them if you wish to.