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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Sunday, December 18, 2005

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.


  • I LOVE your wise men!!!! Do you have a full nativity?

    I have spent years searching for a set just like my grandparents', but no luck.

    She's promised it to me, but c'mon...that's kind of morbid.

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 12/19/2005 03:40:00 pm  

  • I can speak from personal experience how wonderful those biscuits are!

    Imagine if someone typed in 'nativity scene' and was referred to your blog to find your wise men oggling your cooking!
    Have an awesome Christmas, and I hope you can get some sleep in between the noise of people staring at your house :)

    Love Hayley.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/19/2005 08:12:00 pm  

  • I tried this out last night, and they are indeed fabulous. After reading about you troubles with crumbling I decided to make sure the butter was really soft (in the microwave on defrost for 30 seconds) then gave it a thorough beating with the sugar in the electric mixer (I usually skip this type of thing with biscuits if I can get away with it). And no problems with crumbling with only the specified amount of liquid included. Though they could taste a little more of brandy!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/22/2005 03:33:00 pm  

  • Stephanie - yes, we have a full nativity. 14 pieces all painted with the same degree of precision and love. Just incredible, and bound to become a family heirloom.

    Hayley - You'll get to have a few in about 20 mintues when you turn up to check out the mass crowds outside our house!

    Din - Ahh...interesting. Thank you for the tip bc the crumbling thing was starting to put me off ever making them again. I'm really glad you tried them and enjoy them too. The taste is just fantastic.

    By Blogger Niki, at 12/22/2005 09:31:00 pm  

  • That's a tasty treat for Christmas. Have a good time. (Your concert got wiped out by BBC Radio 3's effort to work their way through Bach over Christmas)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/24/2005 02:39:00 am  

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