Friday, 14 December 2012

Cinnamon & Honey Christmas Stars - We Should Cocoa #28

To get us all in the festive spirit, assuming we needed encouragement of course, I chose cinnamon for this month's We Should Cocoa. I had a few ideas for this, but in the end I went for these Spicy Stars, adapted from the brilliant Polish Spice Biscuits that I made last year. This is a family recipe from Ren of Fabulicious Food and combines some wonderful ingredients which produce absolutely fabulicious biscuits. They are really quite different from the normal festive gingerbread type of fare as these use rye flour, honey and most importantly cocoa.

One of the sub groups of the Liskeard Portas Pilot (of which I'm a member) organised a Vintage Christmas Market, held last weekend. It was a great success, with many dressed in vintage clothing, fabulous stalls, live music, a cafe and a great turn out. I had the pleasure of being the acting stall-holder for The Gingham Chicken, a fine producer of delicious Liskeard Cornish fudge. It seemed like a good opportunity to make and sell a few festive treats myself. These stars were one of them.

This is how I made them:
  • Melted 110g unsalted butter in a small pan with 110g soft brown sugar and 8 tbsp runny honey.
  • Stirred until combined, then left to cool a little.
  • Sieved 225g rye flour and 225g white flour into a bowl with 2 tsp baking powder 2 tbsp cocoa, 2 heaped tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.
  • Made a well in the centre and poured in the butter mixture then broke in a large egg.
  • Stirred the mixture together starting from the middle until all incorporated.
  • Brought it all together with my hands to form a ball.
  • Cut this in two then rolled out (one at a time) to the thickness of about 1/4 cm.
  • Cut out about 81 stars by re-rolling the leftover bits several times.
  • Placed them on lined baking trays about a cm apart and baked the for 8 minutes at 180C.
  • Made 8 packs of ten biscuits and tied with ribbon and a name tag.
The biscuits turned out just as I hoped. They looked pretty, had a perfect texture and tasted of cinnamon and honey. They brought an added bonus too: the whole house smelt of sweet spicy cinnamon for days - who needs air freshener?

The biscuits could of course be iced, dipped in chocolate or decorated in any number of ways, but I think they are pretty much perfect just as they are. They could easily be used as Christmas tree decorations by poking a hole through one of the arms with a skewer before baking.

This is my entry for this month's We Should Cocoa.

As my alternative name for these biscuits is Spicy Stars, I'm also submitting them to Alpha Bakes where the letter is S this month. This challenge is jointly hosted by The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes.

These are, of course, made from scratch so they are also being sent to Javelin Warrior for his weekly Made with love Mondays.

16 comments:

  1. Lovely combination honey&cinnamon...very Christmassy

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  2. Hello! Very beautiful gift. And thank you for this recipe.

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  3. wow! I love these! They look so beautiful and perfectly made. Adding cinnamon makes them certainly very Christmassy!

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  4. so beautiful C... and a lovely recipe too... I love that top picture too, really makes you want to reach in a grab a handfull... here's hoping you bring a bunch on your visit eastwards xx

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  5. Goodness you made so many of them! Great alternative to gingerbread, I'd love to try them.

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  6. I love gingerbread (cookies specifically) but these are so unique with the rye and chocolate and cayenne pepper. In fact, they look a lot like gingerbread cookies here in the US, but the ingredient list is so different (no ginger even). I'm sure the chocolate with the cinnamon and pepper is very tasty and what a great surprise for holiday guests! Thanks so much for sharing, Choclette!

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  7. Look lovely and festive - great for Christmas with those spices! :)

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  8. They are picture perfect biscuits. And a fantastic way to use chocolate and cinnamon too. My compliments to the chef ;0)

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  9. Yay I'm so pleased they turned out so well for you. I'm just about to make my first batch of the season! Thank you for the lovely mention and for making them again. xx

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  10. Lovely festive & flavorful star biscuits! I hope I can come up with something on time for WSC ! I've missed out a couple of this awesome event!
    :)

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  11. I am keen to make some of these as extra little presents or rather my children to make them. I love the flavours and filling the house full of lovely cinnamon smells makes it all worthwhile . I am giving up on the cinnamon buns for WSC but have made 2 other possible entries. It just depends which one I decide to do before Christmas but I think I know , although I am going to be keeping words brief with so much else to do!

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  12. Love how crisp the shape has kept, even after baking. very sharp!

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  13. I love honey and cinnamon! The stars are the perfect festive touch - thanks for entering AlphaBakes.

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  14. I love the idea of these Choclette! They look very festive and I also love the idea of the free air freshening that comes with them :)

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  15. These look just lovely. Honey and cinnamon are such a good combo too.

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