Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Piparkakut- Finnish Christmas Gingerbread Biscuits

Its a cliche, I know, but this really is the most wonderful time of the year. No other season can possibly compare to Christmas for the sheer indulgence, tradition and glory of festive food. In which other month does your daily fluid intake consist mostly of fizz and cocktails? Your breakfast involve advent chocolates? Turkey seem quite such a triumphant dinner?

Well, Expedia got in touch recently to ask if I'd take part in their Christmas on A Plate Challenge. This has been running throughout 2015 and challenges bloggers to create a meal or recipe based on an Expedia holiday destination. With Christmas but a length of tinsel away, I've chosen to bake a Finnish recipe. Now if you google 'Finland', 'Christmas' and 'recipes', you'll soon discover the Fins traditionally enjoy fish roe, liver and an awful lot of beetroot. Not necessarily on one plate, and all delightful I'm sure, but not for this sweet-toothed baking blogger. Then I read about these glorious Piparkakut biscuits. Crunchy, warmly spiced with ginger, clove and cinnamon, with a touch of orange zest, these make perfect presents at this time of year. These first appear around Finnish Independence Day on 6th December, giving plenty of time to perfect the biscuits before The Big Day itself.

I've been munching on these as we begin to wrap our presents, warbling along to classic Christmas tunes; all I need is an an extra large glass of glogg to truly enter the Finnish Cheistmas spirit!

Piparkakut- Finnish Christmas Gingerbread Biscuits

Makes 10-12 biscuits

75g unsalted butter
50g dark muscovado sugar
50g golden syrup
160g plain flour
0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground clove

50g icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas Mark 3. Grease and line 2-3 baking trays with baking parchment.
2. Over a gentle heat, melt the butter, sugar and syrup, stirring occasionally until completely melted
3. Remove from the heat and mix in the flour, bicarb and spices to form a stiff dough. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
4. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll to a thickness of around 5mm. Use a selection of festive biscuit cutters to cut out your biscuit shapes and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Bake in batched for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown
5. When completely cool decorate with the icing: sift the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add a little water to form a thick paste. Pipe or spoon the icing over the biscuits

Baker's notes...

  • If you wish to hand these on your Christmas Tree, use a skewer to insert a hole into each biscuit while they are still warm. 
  • These make a great Christmas present and can be stored in an airtight tin for up to two weeks
With thanks to Expedia who gifted a voucher and hamper for writing this post.


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