Saturday, 24 December 2016

Old-fashioned Xmas treats with an Italian Twist

Hazelnut Macaroons


Iced gingerbreads

More iced biscuits
We are at home and with a young child, it's fun to make festive biscuits and decorate them too... Here are the recipes...

Gingerbread biscuits

75g brown sugar
3tbsp maple syrup
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ginger
1tsp nutmeg
1-2tbsp water
100g unsalted butter, softened
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
220g plain flour

Preheat oven at gas mark 4 or 180 degrees. Place sugar, syrup, spices and water into a non-stick pan. Heat the mixture and stir until it's bubbling. Take pan off heat and add butter, bicarbonate and flour until you get a slightly sticky dough. If it does not stay together, add a bit of water. If you add too much water, then add flour to make a dough ball. Wrap dough in clear film or put in plastic bag and leave in fridge for 20 minutes. Line a flat tray with clear film, place the dough ball on it, cover with another sheet of clear film and roll to thickness of 3-4cm. Bake for 20-30 mins until firm. If you like them really dry and crunchy, wait until they are a nice brown colour rather than golden. Cool the biscuits and then decorate with icing sugar and sugar shapes.

Hazelnut macaroons

2 egg whites
1/2tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
150g icing sugar
120g ground hazelnuts

Preheat oven to gas mark 2 or 150 degrees. Whisk the whites like you are making a meringue. Fold in lemon juice, salt, icing sugar and hazelnuts gradually trying to keep it smooth and fluffy. Spoon mixture on tray covered with strong baking paper (thin ones will get stuck to the bottom of macaroons and will be difficult to remove). Cook for 30 mins.


icing sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, your choice (or mix them)
very little amount of water
nuts of choice

Cook the sugar with the water until it gets pale gold, keep stirring. Place nuts on greaseproof paper and pour the burnt sugar on top. Let it cool and enjoy. You need good teeth for this.

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