Homemade Christmas Muscovado Biscuits

Ho Ho Ho Everyone ! Well, not Ho Ho Ho yet but it's time to start getting ready for Christmas ! Many people are walking around wondering what to buy for their loved ones and find it very difficult. Well, let me make it easier for you. Christmas is about love and spending time with your family and what would ever be a better gift than spending time and energy and putting in all your love in making delicious homemade Christmassy biscuits. Yes ? Great ! Let's start baking ! 

Ingredients :  

- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger 
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup baking margarine at room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup muscovado sugar (buy 2x500g - the rest will go for making a sugar syrup)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup of sugar syrup 
- dry demerara sugar for sprinkling the biscuits before baking
- baking sheets

Sugar syrup will take a while to make and to cool down. Prepare it before hand. What you need to do is to pour a little bit more  than 1/2 cup of water into a pot and bring it to boil. Then turn the heat to small and start adding sugar bit by bit. Keep stirring ! Your syrup is ready when no more sugar is able to dissolve.

Start of by combining dry ingredients : baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, salt, cayenne pepper and flour together in one bowl. 

In another bowl put butter, margarine and muscovado sugar. 
A tip : don't put massive chunks of butter and margarine in a bowl. Cut them in smaller pieces. If the sugar has bigger chunks in it use a hand potato masher to smash it and mix it with butter before using a mixer. 
Mix the mixture with a mixer until fluffy. It should take around 3-4 minutes. Add an egg and the sugar syrup. To avoid making a mess add the flour mixture bit by bit each time mixing it in with a fork. This way ,when you finally use a mixer on a low speed to combine the ingredients properly together, the flour dust won't go everywhere. 

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Take a small amount of dough in your wet hands and roll it until round and smooth. Put it on an ungreased baking sheet (place the sheet on a baking tray). Place the dough balls around 4-5cm (aprox. 2 inches) apart from each other. Sprinkle some dry demerara sugar on top of the dough balls. 

Now here comes a tricky part. When I was making my biscuits I had to "feel" my oven. Some of my biscuits burned a little bit when on a certain tray. I had to figure out if they come out better when baked 8, 10 or 12 minutes. Also an important role plays the position you place them in the oven. For me the biscuits came out the best when baked on a teflon baking tray on a top rack  for 8 minutes. I suggest you make sample biscuits and 'feel' the oven. 

After the baking time take the biscuits out and cool them down. They may feel a bit soft 

when straight out of the oven but do not worry they get crunchy when they cool down. 

Now the only thing left to do is figuring out how you want to wrap them up and putting them under a Christmas tree !

I hope you and your loved ones will enjoy this recipe. 

With Love, 

Butterfingered Chef

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