it’s observer food monthly time again, hooray!
reading nigel slater’s article on christmas recipes, i was gratified to note that he reckons it’s ok to chuck in any kind of dried fruit – figs, cranberries and apricots – ie. exactly what i put into mine – into a fruit cake, not just currants, raisins and sultanas. even though i know my cake turned out yummy and good, it’s still nice to have ‘expert’ approval. i do like his inclusion of ground almonds and whole hazelnuts, though. that could be very good. in fact, i may just try out his recipe soon. y’know how i was ranting about all the excess christmas cake i had? well, after a few calculations and a careful think, i think i don’t have ENOUGH cake! arrgh. i know i don’t have to give out cake to all and sundry, but, well, i like to. and i’m tempted by nige’s recipe, i must admit. so i may be triple-lining, muscle-mixing and waiting up til midnight again sometime later this week. i really am a glutton for punishment (secretly, i just like to eat cake : ) ).
back to biscuits: here is the recipe for mailänderli (chräbeli to come tomorrow – too convoluted to write up now!). after i posted last night i flicked through The Book and found some more guetzle i’d like to make, namely zimtsterne (cinnamon stars). however, bruno has just walked past and told me that actually, zimtsterne are bloody hard to make and the only people who attempt to make them are non-swissies who don’t know better. hrrmph. well, ok. off to migros for some ready-made zimtsterne dough, then (yes, they do have ready-made dough, but only the most sacrilegious non-swissies would dare to use it). and btw, isn’t zimtsterne such a cool word? (and yes, i know it’s a snowboard clothing company as well).
pinch of salt
zest of a lemon, finely chopped (note: we also added the zest of an orange, plus a couple of capfuls of kirsch)
egg yolk for glazing
sprinkles, silver balls etc etc for decoration if you like
– cream butter, sugar, eggs, salt, zests (and kirsch, if using).
– sift in flour and beat until smooth and the mixture forms a ball of dough (you may need to add extra flour to reach the right consistency if you have used kirsch).
– set aside to cool for a while. if baking during a european winter, outside in the cold air is an ideal place!
– when ready to bake, heat oven to 200°C.
– roll dough out on a lightly floured bench. 3 – 4 mm is a good thickness for the biscuits, although if you like thicker/thinner biscuits adjust accordingly.
– cut out shapes as you like. brush with egg yolk, and decorate as you like (or not).
– bake for 10 mins. in the middle of the oven or until lightly golden brown.
– cool, then store in an air-tight container.