zoom John Whaite's mincemeat-stuffed gingerbread biscuits

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    John Whaite's mincemeat-stuffed gingerbread biscuits

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    John Whaite's mincemeat-stuffed gingerbread biscuits

    • Preparation time: 1 hour, plus chilling
    • Cooking time: 25 minutes

    Makes: about 20

    Ingredients

    6 cardamom pods, seeds only
    1 small star anise
    8 black peppercorns
    3 cloves
    275g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    1 tsp baking powder
    ½ tsp fine salt
    1 tsp ground ginger
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    ½ tsp ground nutmeg
    60g black treacle
    60g clear honey
    75g caster sugar
    50g golden syrup
    30g unsalted butter
    1 egg, beaten
    About ½ x 410g jar Waitrose Christmas Mincemeat

    GLAZE
    100g icing sugar
    60g unsalted butter
    ½ tsp golden syrup
    1½ tbsp whole milk

    Method

    1 For the gingerbread, grind the whole spices with a pestle and mortar (or in a spice grinder). Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and all of the ground spices into a large mixing bowl. Put the treacle, honey, sugar, golden syrup and butter in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Heat the mixture, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 1 minute, then pour onto the dry ingredients along with the egg. Stir with a wooden spoon to form smooth, thick but damp dough; wrap up tightly and chill for at least 1 hour.

    2. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment. Dust the worktop generously with flour and roll out the dough to 0.3cm thick. Use a 7cm plain cookie cutter to cut out about 40 discs of dough (you'll need to re-roll the scraps). Put 20 discs on the lined baking trays, leaving at least 2cm between each. Spoon 1tsp mincemeat in the centre of each, leaving a 1cm border.

    3. Lightly dampen the exposed dough with a pastry brush dipped in water, then put the remaining 20 discs on top, cupping gently around the mincemeat to expel any air; press down around the edges to seal. Using a 6cm fluted cookie cutter, trim the edges from each biscuit. Bake for 16-20 minutes, swapping the trays halfway, or until the gingerbread is slightly swollen and looks drier with a fairly matt finish.

    4. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Put the butter in a medium pan over a medium-high heat; allow it to melt, then increase the heat slightly to bring to the boil. Once the bubbling sound stops and a fine, cappucino-like foam forms, remove from the heat and carefully stir in the golden syrup (it may splutter); pour onto the icing sugar along with the milk. Whisk to form a fairly loose glaze; drizzle over the biscuits while they are still warm. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

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