Baking biscuits is in order.
For the past few days I have been baking Christmas biscuits. Usually, I make up to 15 different kinds of biscuits for Christmas. About half of them are truffles and rolls made of fine ingredients that need no baking. And, of course, there are all that cookies traditionally made in Croatia in this particular time of year.
I know that many people living in the big cities simply buy all the biscuits they need. It is certainly practical but nothing tastes so good as home made food. And, nothing beats that flavors and smells of cinnamon, rum, almonds, coconut and roasted hazelnuts spreading round the kitchen.
Why am I making such a lot of biscuits? Firstly, I enjoy baking them. Traditionally, my brother's family is at my home for Christmas and I just love to serve a wide range of biscuits. Secondly, I need them as a gift. After all, when we step into New year and are all fed up with all that food we make, I put them into deep freezer. They may be kept so for several months.
One of the traditional Croatian Christmas biscuits are:
A wooden mold with carved motives is used to make prints on the rolled dough. If you don't have one, simply cut the biscuits with biscuits tin cutters. As for the ingredients, you will need: 500 g flour, 250 g ground walnuts, 200 g sugar, 2 eggs, 2 - 3 tablespoons of honey, 15 dag lard, 1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of mixed spices (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg etc.). Make a dough using all the ingredients. Let it cool into fridge for half an hour. Roll the dough thinly and press the mold to make the 'prints'. Cut the biscuits and bake on 200°C until golden. If you wish, coat the biscuits in powdered sugar.
If you need something easy and quick to make, you can make these
You will need: 250 g dried figs, 1 orange - juice and zest, 120 g ground walnuts or hazelnuts, 100 g sugar. I pass the figs through meat grinder, but you can use any kitchen machine to chop them up. Add orange zest, walnuts and sugar and mix it all well adding the orange juice until you get an even, pretty thick mixture. Remember, you need to be able to make a firm balls out of it. Roll every ball into sugar and let them dry for a day or two. Keep them into a tin box. I usually serve them into paper cups.