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Makes: 30-40 cookies
115g clear honey
115g dark brown sugar
115g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
115g rye flour
75g ground almonds
1 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Egg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8-¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground cardamom seeds (from about 5 pods)
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g mixed peel, finely chopped
Pinch fine sea salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten
About 5 glacé cherries, quartered
About 15 blanched almonds
1. Put the honey, sugar and butter in a small saucepan and heat over a gentle heat until melted. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking. Put the rest of the ingredients (other than the decoration) in a large mixing bowl and pour over the honey mixture. Stir together with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Chill for 1 hour (this makes it less sticky and easier to work with).
2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4, and line two large baking trays with parchment. Lightly dust the work surface with flour and tip the dough out onto it, then roll out to a thickness of about 0.5cm.
3. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter (I use one around 5cm high and 4.5cm wide at the top), stamp out the biscuits and place them 2cm apart (to allow for spreading) on the prepared trays. (You can use any shape cutter, but hearts are traditional.)
4. Brush the top of each one with egg white and place either a cherry quarter or some almonds in the centre of each biscuit. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and just firm to the touch. Allow to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Once cool, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Typical values per serving:
(for 30) vegetarian
This recipe was first published in November 2020.