Many years ago, while still in high school, I did a student exchange over Christmas to Germany. This included spending Christmas with a family. One of their traditions that I loved was that of baking Christmas cookies. In early winter when it was cold outside, it was such a lovely family thing to do.
These days I recreate this by baking cookies with my two boys (when I can get them away from their computer games). I also make extras for gifts. I choose my timing carefully. December is often hot, and not the best time for baking, but often there will be a cold throw-back to winter. While everyone else is complaining, I am baking.
These biscuits are just magical when made with blood oranges.
Outwardly, blood oranges look exactly the same as regular oranges. But inside, they are a lovely bright red colour. When you mix the juice with icing sugar to make the icing, it results in a spectacular pink colour. The best part is that it is all natural and does not require the use of any dodgy red food colours.
These biscuits look so pretty with their pink icing. You can jazz them up further by sprinkling on hundreds of thousands or chopped pistachio nuts, or just leave them as is. However you make them, I am sure they will fast become a staple part of your Christmas baking.
1 heaped teaspoon chai spices (cardamon, nutmeg and cloves)
1/2 teaspoon tea leaves (can use leftovers from your tea pot) – optional
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup self raising flour
Generous pinch bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons yoghurt
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon or more of blood orange juice
- Cream the butter and sugar. Add spices and tea, then stir in the egg yolk.
- Sift in the self raising flour and bicarbonate of soda. Add the yoghurt gradually, stirring to combine. The idea is to have a fairly thick batter.
- Roll into balls and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Flatten slightly. Bake at 160C for around 15 minutes.
- Combine the icing sugar with the blood orange juice. Allow the biscuits to cool, and then ice them.