Christmas Bake Off Biscuits

Christmas Wreath Biscuits

Wotchers!

In response to a couple of requests, I decided to publish the two biscuit recipes from the Christmas Bake Off. Obviously, no cameras were allowed on set, and regular listeners will know of my current lack-of-oven status preventing me from baking a set at home, so my husband kindly grabbed a couple of screen shots of them from the program – and, of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a picture with my name on screen and the BBC logo in the corner 😀

I won’t go into all the ‘guidelines’ for these bakes, because they were many and restrictive, and also they concerned baking a particular irritation of mine, namely ‘stuff that looks like something else, usually not food-like’. I also firmly resisted suggestions to make things ‘sparkly’ and shunned all forms of edible glitter because, to my mind, if you need to label something ‘edible’, it probably shouldn’t be.

ANYHOO…

I settled on these recipes because they tasted great, were simple to prepare and decorate in a time limit, and looked attractive in a completely edible way.

Don’t wait until Christmas to give them a try, they’re delicious!

In a Mary Berry/Paul Hollywood double-handshake kinda way *resists urge to post screenshot of THAT too*. 😉

Christmas Wreath Biscuits

Makes at least 12

I must apologise for the silly ‘½ a large egg’ ingredient – if you have no pastry to glaze to use it up, make a teeny-tiny omelette or a double batch of biscuits!

115g unsalted butter – softened
100g caster sugar
zest of 2 oranges
½ a large egg – whisked
150g plain flour
50g cornflour
200g white chocolate couverture
2g Mycryo powdered cocoa butter
candied cranberries
slivered pistachios*
dried barberries*

  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add orange zest and egg, and mix thoroughly.
  • Add flours and mix to combine.
  • Tip out of the bowl, knead smooth and roll out to 8mm thick.
  • Cut out into 5cm rings.
  • Freeze for 15 minutes.
  • Place on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 200°C/180°C Fan for 6-8 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • To decorate:
    • Melt the white chocolate over hot water. Allow to cool to 33°C.
    • Stir in the Mycryo until melted. This is a fast way of tempering chocolate. For a softer ‘bite’, skip this step.
    • Pipe the white chocolate to cover, or carefully dip, the biscuits.
    • Press half a candied cranberry onto the bottom of the biscuit, then scatter over slivered pistachios and barberres.
    • Set aside to cool.
    • Thread thin ribbon through the middle to hang.

 

xmaspuddings

Pecan Praline Christmas Pudding Biscuits

Makes at least 12

70g toasted pecans – chopped
112g unsalted butter
65g light muscovado sugar
60g praline paste
½ tsp vanilla extract
1tbs dark rum
pinch of salt
125g plain flour
35g feuilletine
200g white chocolate couverture
2g Mycryo powdered cocoa butter
50g milk chocolate chips
candied angelica
dried barberries

  • Beat butter and sugar until well blended.
  • Add vanilla, praline paste and rum and mix thoroughly.
  • Combine flour and salt and add to the butter and sugar mixture until it’s just beginning to blend.
  • Add pecans and feuilletine and mix.
  • Roll out to a thickness of 5-8mm. Scatter with chocolate chips and press lightly into the dough.
  • Cut out with 5cm plain round cutter.
  • Poke a hole in each biscuit for the ribbon. A bubble tea straw is ideal.
  • Freeze for 15 minutes.
  • Place on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 170°C/150°C Fan for 8-10 minutes.
  • Cool on the tin for 10 minutes then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To decorate:
    • Melt the white chocolate over hot water. Allow to cool to 33°C.
    • Stir in the Mycryo until melted. This is a fast way of tempering chocolate. For a softer ‘bite’, skip this step.
    • Drizzle over the top half of the biscuits to resemble cream. Make sure the hole doesn’t become blocked.
    • Decorate with angelica holly leaves and barberries.
    • Set aside for the chocolate to firm up.
    • When set, thread ribbon through the hole and hang.

 

* Available online from Sally at the fabulous Persepolis, 28-30 Peckham High Street, http://foratasteofpersia.co.uk/


7 Comments on “Christmas Bake Off Biscuits”

  1. stephvr says:

    Thank you! for sharing these recipes, I was so hoping you would. They looked so scrumptious and that double handshake confirmed it, so absolutely dying to give them a go. Also I love(!) that they are festive in a sort of natural/rustic way, since I have a particular hatred of boring biscuits whose main attraction is their meticulously piped and flooded icing – really don’t care how well someone can colour within the lines, we just want lots of punchy flavour! Anyways thanks again – and well done on the Christmas Bakeoff obvs!

  2. carrietxxxxx says:

    These looked so delicious in, as you say,a completely edible way! So pleased youve put these on. I had serious’ pistachio’ envy over these at Christmastime & I could only find pale dusty yellowy ones but I see you have given us your source of the ones you buy. Thanks!

  3. viktoryarch says:

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. loranemar says:

    Hi Mary-Ann… thank you again for your inspiration!
    As someone who has just been diagnosed with a dairy intollerance (bummer), I’m wondering if one could use cocobutter as a substitute for butter in cooking? I’m really anti margarine. Any suggestions?
    Thanks xxx

    • MAB says:

      Wotchers loranemar!
      I’m anti-margarine too!
      To answer your question, yes……BUT! I have a better suggestion: clarified butter!
      When you melt butter slowly, it will eventually separate into 3 layers: some grainy casein floating on the top, a whole lot of clear butter fat in the middle, and all the white milk solids in the bottom.
      You can skim off the casein and then pour the pure butter fat into a box, making sure none of the milk solids go in, then leave it to solidify and voila! Pure buttery goodness without the milk solids.
      You could also buy ghee, which is used a lot in Indian cookery, which is clarified from buffalo milk. It has a wonderful perfumed aroma, but it might not suit all cooking situations. Personally, I love it and use it regularly.
      So to sum up, I’d say yes, you could use it, but maybe give clarified butter/ghee a try also?
      Hope this helps!
      M-A 😀

      • loranemar says:

        OMG… that’s AMAZING… I hadn’t even thought of that! Brilliant… thank you so very much… butter (clarified) is back on the menu! Bless you… from one VERY HAPPY tummy 🙂

  5. They look absolutely delightful! Also, I couldn’t agree more with your comment about “edible” food!


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