Sunday, December 04, 2011
Holiday baking: Sliced Almond Christmas Cookies
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
Makes a lot - about 4 large sheets
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.
Jõulud kodus ("Christmas at Home"), published in Estonian in November 2011.