Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday baking: Sliced Almond Christmas Cookies

French gingerbread / Christmas cookies / Piparkoogid / Viilupiparkoogid
From the recipe archives!

It's the time to bake various Christmas cookies again. While I'll certainly be making and baking and decorating a batch of these favourite Estonian piparkoogid ("pepper cakes"), then this year I have another recipe in mind as well. These sliced Christmas cookies with almonds found their way into my heart in the midst of the summer heatwave, as I was choosing and testing recipes for my Christmas cookbook. I had seen a recipe for "French gingebread cookies" in a Swedish food magazine that I liked, and that reminded me of Jules Destrooper's wonderful almond thins that I used to love. After some tweaking here and there (less sugar and less cloves, more almonds), I ended up with this great recipe.

I usually divide the dough into four equal portions and roll and wrap them individually. Then I bake one and place three in the freezer - I can then bake fresh and aromatic Christmas cookies whenever I feel like :)

Almond Gingerbread Cookies
(Viilupiparkoogid)
Makes a lot - about 4 large sheets

viilupiparkoogidNAMI

250 g butter
200 g caster sugar
140 g light baking syrup (about 100 ml)
420 g plain flour (700 ml)
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
0.5 Tbsp ground cloves
0.5 Tbsp baking soda
100 g sliced almonds

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add sugar and syrup, stir until combined. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
Combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and almonds in a bowl, then fold into the cool butter-sugar-syrup mixture. Stir until combined.
Divide the cookie dough into four equal parts, then form each one into a cylinder/sausage, about 4 cm in diameter. Wrap in clingfilm or baking paper and place into the fridge to rest. (Ideally for 24 hours).

To bake the cookies, cut each "sausage" into 3-4 mm (1/8th inch) slices, and place onto a parchment covered cookie sheet.
Bake in the middle of a preheated 200 C oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven, let rest for a few minutes, then transfer onto a metal rack to cool completely.

French gingerbread / Christmas cookies / Piparkoogid / Viilupiparkoogid

This recipe was also included in my second cookbook, Jõulud kodus ("Christmas at Home"), published in Estonian in November 2011.

9 comments:

Alanna Kellogg said...

This looks just like a recipe that called to me yesterday! : - ) What is "light syrup" - do you know if it's what we have in the States, clear corn syrup? (Clear in color, vs dark syrup, dark in color there is a "light" version too but it has Splenda or something.)

Pille said...

Alanna, it's a simple caramelized sugar syrup (you'd need about 250 g sugar and 200 ml water), but you could use Lyle's Golden Syrup or corn syrup. Here in Estonia I use DanSukker's light syrup (they've also got dark syrup - same thing, stronger caramelisation). You can actually buy it in the US as well: http://www.swedensbest.com/ljussirap.html (light one) or http://www.swedensbest.com/dabasy.html (dark one).
Both can be used for making both of my gingerbread recipes, just I prefer the lighter one.

Hovkonditorn said...

Delicious cookies and the flavors are great!

Rebecca Mackay said...

I'm starting on Tuesday. Cookies, puddings, plenty treats; treacly things and marzipan sweets :D enjoy!

Jackie at mulledwinerecipe said...

I wonder if this would work with gluten-free flour.

Gitte said...

Your cookies look and sound wonderful. Nothing better than Christmas cookies with traditional seasonal spices.

juliemarg said...

All of the above you posted are all delicious.Thanks for sharing this to us!

tanita♥davis said...

I like a thin almond cookie, and adding ginger this time of year seems a good plan. I'm going to try these with almond flour to see how it goes...

Jeff @ Cheese-burger.net said...

This cookies goes to my list for Christmas and New Year.