There is one thing about Christmas for me, and it is the memories of family and friends, those who are with us, and those no longer here…
As I was deciding on the recipes for the biscuits (cookies) to be baked for this year's Christmas gifts, I recalled a Latvian friend, a lecturer and colleague who I worked with at Deakin University almost 30 years ago! (She was an academic, I was in admin). The department we worked for was a very sociable group, and we celebrated Christmas twice a year! Brigita always prepared the mulled wine, and she also introduced me to a very special sweet treat, a biscuit that she called pumpernikel. It was not the dark, dense, savoury pumpernikel that I was familiar with, rather a crisp, light sweet, fruity biscuit. I was so privileged to have received this recipe from her, and it is through this recipe that Brigita will be forever remembered.
- 200 g butter
- 400 g sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 3 drops of almond extract
- 500 g plain flour
- 300 g ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 125 g candied citrus peel
- 100 g glace fruit diced
- 75 g currants
- 60 g glace ginger diced
Preheat oven to 175˚C (fan).
Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add fruit and dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
Roll into 2 cm thick sticks and lay across the lined baking tray, leaving space for spreading.
Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.
Cut on the diagonal while still warm.
Lay out on baking trays and dry in a tepid oven.
- I heat the oven to 150˚C (fan), turn it off and then put the biscuits in overnight.
- For gluten free sweet pumpernikel replace flour with Gluten Free Flour Blend, add an additional tsp of GF baking powder and 1 tsp xanthan gum.