These spicy orange tree cookies will give your Christmas tree a bit of extra flair – they’re the perfect little bites to nibble on. These spiced orange cookies have a real festive taste to them – made with orange, ginger and boiled sweets, they’re really unusual but such a simple recipe you’ll find yourself making them time and time again! If you want to hang them on your tree, make a little hole in them and use pretty ribbon to tie them to your tree. You won’t see anyone else with such a lovely tree!
- 175g (6oz) plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 level tsp ground ginger
- Zest of 1 orange
- 100g (3½oz) butter (straight from the fridge)
- 60g (2oz) caster sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- About 10 fruit-flavoured boiled sweets
- To decorate:
- 125g (4oz) royal icing sugar
- A few mini silver balls, optional
- You will also need:
- Cookie cutters
- Baking tray, lined with Teflon
- Piping bag and No. 2 small icing nozzle
- Thin ribbon
To make this cookie recipe, put the flour, salt, ground ginger, orange zest and butter, cut into slivers, into a food processor. Whizz to make crumbs. Add the sugar and milk and whizz to mix. Turn out and knead until smooth. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 mins.
Set the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Halve the dough and roll out one piece to a thickness about 3mm (1/8in). Stamp out a few shapes using the large cookie cutters. Use the small cutters to create your own design. Make a hole in the top for the ribbon to thread through. Re-roll the dough trimmings, add them to the other half of the dough and cut out more cookies.
Put the shapes on the tray. Put the sweets in a strong polybag and bash them with a hammer, or old rolling pin, to crush them a bit. Put crushed sweets into the decorative holes in the cookies. Bake the cookies for 15-20 mins until golden. Cool for 5 mins. Put the baking tray on a cooling rack and loosen cookies on the Teflon. Leave to cool.
To decorate: Add 1 tablespoon water to the icing sugar in a bowl and whisk for 4 mins using an electric whisk. Add another teaspoon of water to make it runny enough to pipe. Pipe icing on cooled biscuits, and add silver balls, if you like. Thread ribbon through the hole for hanging cookies on the tree.
Top tip for making Spicy orange tree cookies
Look at the tray of cookies after 5 mins of baking to check that there is enough crushed sweet in the holes. If not, add more — it will melt in.