My mum has often mentioned over the years, her memories of tasting Dutch biscuits as a little girl... the smell of the spices and delicious taste.
So when I saw this recipe in Alison Holst's "Best Baking" I decided to give it a go, and I made sure my mum had a taste too.
They really are yum... the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea (or coffee).
Ingredients (for about 100 biscuits)
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
tsp of each: ground cloves, coriander, nutmeg and cardamom
225g butter, softened
1¼ cups brown sugar
¼ cup milk
Turn the oven to 180°C, or 170°C if using a fan oven.
Sift the flour, baking powder and spices through a sieve into a large bowl.
Rub the softened, but not completely melted, butter through the dry ingredients, then add the sugar and milk. Mix, first with a stirrer, then with your hands until mixture forms a ball, then transfer to a plastic bag and refrigerate until cool and firm.
Roll out about a quarter of the dough at a time (keeping the remaining dough cool) on a well floured surface, and cut into shapes with cutters.
To make this easier for little helpers, use plenty of dusting flour and dip the cutters into extra flour before using them. Lifting the cut shapes carefully using a fish slice helps prevent distortion.
Bake for about 8-15 minutes or until lightly browned, remembering that cooking time depends on biscuit thickness. Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container.
The full flavour does not develop until a few hours after baking. These crisp little biscuits are good just as they are and do not need decorating.
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