A friend, Sue Plant, made something similar for Christmas and, since I think they’re great in winter, I asked her for the recipe. She adapted hers from a recipe she found on the web, and I’ve adapted it again. They’re almost like pfeffernüsse (German spicy nut biscuits).
- 150 g unsalted butter, softened
- 190 g dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 270 g plain flour
- 50 g almond meal
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- icing sugar, to dust
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time allow to cool completely
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour, almond meal, baking powder, all the spices and ¼ tsp salt, then continue stirring until the dough just comes together.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Roll 3 tsp dough into 32 balls, about the diameter of a 20 cent piece, and place, about 4 cm apart, on oven trays lined with baking paper. Bake in the centre of the oven, swapping trays halfway, for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Transfer biscuits to a wire rack to cool slightly, then roll in icing sugar. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Photography Alan Benson