Brandy & Orange biscuits
Well, I've made these once before, for my friends hen's party and they just tasted so darn Christmassy that I decided then that they'd get a repeat performance. The taste of these is just fabulous; orange, spices, brown sugar and lashing of brandy. Oh yes, the great Christmas tradition of alcohol! To me they taste a little like the fantastic brandy sauce I made to pour over our Christmas pudding, crossed with the thin German lebkuchen biscuits....and with an orange flavour. Seriously, they are a must-make.
I had crumbling issues again with this dough, like last time and if it weren't for the fact they taste so bloody good, I probably would strike them from my list. I had to keep adding more and more brandy to make the dough pliable enough to roll out. I mean, more brandy is not a BAD thing, but really the recipe should indicate that this could be a problem. In the end, after cutting and lifting and baking about 3 million of the fingers, I was hot and sweaty and the kitchen bench, taps, oven door and floor was covered in flour. I really don't like roll-out/cut-out biscuits and all the faffing about they require. I'd much rather dollop a spoon of mixture straight onto a baking tray, so with the rest of the mixture I did just that. Add some more brandy (wheeee!) and a little milk to make a wetter mixture and made free-form roundish cookies that tastes just as good, but didn't have the same high-stress factor. I recommend this approach for your pre-Christmas mental health.
I used up my free-form discs in my cookie packages I gave to my friends, so I photographed a few of the several million fingers I baked. Placing them next to the ceramic nativity scene our family friend painted herself (isn't it incredible?) I thought it'd be amusing to place the plate near the camels, who seemed to be eyeing off the contents speculatively. I had a real laugh at this shot when I realised it would only take a slight adjustment to the three kings to turn their attentions away from baby Jesus and hungrily toward the plate of biscuits. Yes, the biscuits are that good - go on boys, give them your gold, frankinscence and myrrh!! ;-)
The recipe for these can be found in this post.