Spiced Christmas Biscuits Recipe
Moreish melt-in-your-mouth Christmas biscuits with cinnamon, cloves and ground nuts to add a touch of festive spice.
These biscuits are a staple in our house. With icing sugar giving them a distinctive lightness, ground nuts and delicious seasonal spice flavour, having just one is hard. Thankfully they’re super simple to make. You just have to incorporate a few key ingredients to form the biscuit dough, roll, cut into festive shapes of your choice and bake.
I would love to be able to take credit for this recipe but I can't because it belonged to my grandmother. This is a recipe for traditional Czech Christmas biscuits which has become a long-standing family favourite. These biscuits make a brilliant gift for family and friends if you can resist scoffing the lot by yourself. If you're someone who likes to get organised and plan ahead for the festive season these biscuits are perfect for you. They keep for up to one month in a sealed tin and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
✅ 4 reasons why you'll love this recipe:
- Delicious nutty seasonal biscuits with your favourite festive spice flavours.
- Easy to make with less than 30 minutes of prep time.
- Make-ahead friendly - store the dough in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Perfect for gifting.
🛒 Ingredients and variations:
- Icing sugar - is a key component of the dough and gives the biscuits their distinctive melt-in-the-mouth texture. Make sure you have some extra set aside for dusting. I strongly advise sieving all icing sugar first to ensure any clumps are removed.
- Unsalted butter - take it out of the fridge an hour or so before you make the biscuits. It's easier to incorporate the butter when it's at room temperature.
- Spices and seasonings - ground cinnamon and cloves give the biscuits a subtle seasonal spiciness. Grated lemon zest brings a freshness and cocoa powder adds a hint of chocolate. Make sure you sieve the cocoa powder first to remove any lumps.
- Ground mixed nuts - hazelnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios all work well. You can use a mixture of all or some of these. Ground mixed nuts can be tricky to get hold of, so it's likely you will need to grind them yourself using a nut grinder or food processor.
Spiced Christmas Biscuits in 5 easy steps:
1. Butter and icing sugar
Cream together the butter and icing sugar. Then Add the lemon zest, ground mixed nuts, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and cocoa powder.
Add the flour and mix until the biscuit dough is formed.
3. Roll out and cut into shapes
Roll out the biscuit dough on a lightly floured surface until it's approximately 7mm / ⅓ inch thick. Cut into festive shapes and place onto a baking sheet.
Bake the biscuits in the middle of your oven for 20 minutes until slightly golden. Check to see if they're ready by gently touching one with your finger. If there is no indent they are done. If this leaves a mark they need a little longer. Remove the biscuits from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack when they are done.
Add the icing sugar and vanilla sugar to a bowl and mix. When the biscuits are cool, dip each one into the bowl until covered with icing sugar, gently shake off the excess, and set aside.
What tools are needed?
- Nut grinder or food processor - ground nuts can be tricky to find, so it's likely you'll need to grind your own using a nut grinder or food processor.
- Electric whisk or a stand mixer - to cream together the ingredients. This can be done by hand if you don't have an electric mixer.
- Rolling pin - this is necessary for flattening the dough before cutting into shapes.
- Wire rack - to bring the biscuits to room temperature quickly after they bake. Avoid leaving the biscuits on the tray where they will continue to cook.
- Slotted turner - not strictly necessary but I find this very useful for removing biscuits from the countertop and placing them on the baking sheet.
- Cutters - choose any shape that takes your fancy.
👍 Top Tips
- Cool the biscuits on a wire rack before dusting - When the biscuits are ready, transfer them to a wire rack immediately. If you leave them on the tray they will continue to cook and there's a risk of them being overdone.
- Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder - to avoid clumps and ensure a light texture throughout.
- Use a flat slotted turner - to transfer the biscuits from your work surface to the baking tray. It makes things easy, ensures the biscuits stay in shape, and is especially useful if the biscuits have become stuck to the surface a little.
Why do my biscuits crumble and fall apart?Too much flour is the most likely cause of crumbly biscuits. If you are using cups to measure your ingredients, ensure they are flat and not heaped. It’s also easy to add excess flour when rolling out and cutting the biscuits. Spread a thin layer of flour on the surface or lightly flour your hands before working with the dough.
How soon before Christmas can I make cookies?This depends on the type of cookie. My spiced Christmas biscuits can be made up to 1 month before and stored in a tin to keep them fresh.
Can I make the biscuit dough the night before?You can store biscuit dough in the fridge for 3-5 days. Just make sure it is wrapped in cling film to keep it airtight. It’s also possible to freeze most types of biscuit dough if you want to make it further in advance.
How do you keep cookies/biscuits fresh for Christmas?An airtight container is key for keeping biscuits fresh as it prevents moisture from coming in and making the biscuits stale. A tin or plastic airtight container is ideal. Ceramic cookie jars can look pretty, but they are often not a good option for longer-term storage because they are usually not airtight.
Spiced Christmas Star Biscuits can be stored in an airtight tin for up to one month. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
More sweet treats & desserts:
If you enjoyed these spiced Christmas biscuits you should check out my other sweet treats. My Bakewell flapjacks, Raspberry and White Chocolate Cookies and Pistachio Date Balls are delicious and packable. I recommend my No Bake Mini Biscoff Cheesecake if you are after another dessert you can prepare ahead of time.
Raspberry And White Chocolate Cookies
Pistachio Date Balls
Cherry Bakewell Flapjack (with yoghurt white chocolate topping)
Mini Biscoff Cheesecake (no-bake)
Spiced Christmas Biscuits Recipe
For the biscuit dough:
- 100g (or 3.5 oz or 1/2 cups) unsalted butter - at room temperature
- 75g icing sugar (or 2.5 oz or 1/2 cups) - sieved
- 100g (or 3.5 oz or 3/4 cup) ground mixed nuts (note 1)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp cocoa powder - sieved
- 1/2 unwaxed lemon - finely grated rind only
- 2 small drops of vanilla essence (optional)
- 150g (or 5oz or 1 1/4 cups) plain flour + a little more for dusting your countertop and rolling pin
- 30g (or 1/4 cup) icing sugar - sieved
- 1/4 tsp of vanilla sugar (note 2)
- Preheat your oven to 160°C or 320°F.
- Cream together the butter and icing sugar using an electric whisk or stand mixer (note 3)
- Incorporate the ground nuts, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa powder and lemon zest into the mixture and add vanilla essence if using it.
- Add the flour to the bowl and mix until a dough is formed.
- Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and roll out the biscuit dough until approx 7mm thick
- Cut the dough into festive shapes (stars, Christmas trees or snowflakes) and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. (note 4)
- Roll the remaining scraps of dough into a ball, roll out and cut into shapes. Repeat this process until all dough has been cut into biscuits.
- Bake the biscuits in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes until slightly golden. (note 5)
- Remove the biscuits from the oven when they are ready and gently place on a wire rack to cool
- Prepare the dusting mixture by combining icing sugar and vanilla sugar.
- When the biscuits are cool, place each one into the bowl of vanilla icing sugar until covered and gently dust off the excess.
- Store the biscuits in an airtight tin if you are not eating them straight away.
- A ground mixture of any of the following nuts is fine. (almonds, pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts)
- Leave a vanilla pod in a jar of icing sugar for a few days as an alternative to using vanilla sugar. This is ideal if you are making a large batch.
- Ingredients can be mixed by hand if you do not have an electric mixer.
- I recommend using a slotted turner to gently remove the biscuits from the surface, especially if they have become slightly stuck under the weight of the rolling pin.
- If in doubt, gently touch a biscuit with your finger. If this leaves a mark you need to bake the biscuits for a little longer. If it doesn't leave a mark your biscuits are done.