Welcome to Eat Well Every Day

Welcome to Eat Well Every Day!

I've spent years researching nutritional information, food ideas and recipes, because cooking and eating - especially with family & friends - are some of life's great pleasures. And guess what- healthy food doesn't have to be boring! It can be exciting and delicious!


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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gluten-free Christmas Goodies

I was all fired up for a session of baking Christmas biscuits – not cookies, because these spicy delights are crisp and slightly chewy, not soft and cakey. But I ran into a problem, or rather two:

1: I couldn’t decide between making the Finnish ginger snaps (Piparkakut), which recipe I pulled from someone else’s cooking blog a few years ago, or my daughter’s variation on burnt butter crisps.
2: I didn’t have all the ingredients needed for the Piparkakut, nor enough gluten-free flour and sugar for both. Drat!

So, instead, I’ll give you the recipes for both, and after I’ve been to the supermarket and bought supplies, I’ll post a photo of whichever Christmas biscuit I decide to bake. They are very easy to make, and both recipes work well with gluten-free flour.

These spicy biscuits are perfect as little gifts, or just another sweet nibbly on the Christmas table. I’m not sure if they’re suitable for Hannukah, but if they are, that’s great. They’re also lovely at other festive occasions, or just for when you want something sweet and spicy.

V’s Burnt Butter Crisps

½ cup (100 gram) unsalted butter
1 cup castor sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped into sugar, or 1 teasp vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
¼ teasp cinnamon
½ teasp cardamom
½ teasp nutmeg (optional)
2 or 3 grinds fresh black pepper
pinch of salt

I’ve been calling these ‘burnt’ butter crisps, but actually, the trick is to brown the butter without burning it. Put the butter in a small, heavy saucepan, let it melt and continue to cook, watching the whole time, until it browns. Leave to cool slightly.

In a large bowl put the sugar and vanilla. In another, sift the flour and spices together. Pour the browned butter over the sugar and mix well, then stir in the egg. Add the sifted flour and spices, and mix until blended thoroughly.

Drop by teaspoonfuls on biscuit trays (cookie sheets) lined with baking paper. Put them about 2 inches apart to allow room to spread. Bake at 180C (350F) for about 12 minutes, or until edges are turning golden and the tops have begun to crinkle. Let cool on the trays for a few seconds, then remove and cool completely.

You can serve them plain like this, or go for the chocolate option. Alternatively, make one batch plain, one batch chocolate-topped and offer them together.

The Chocolate OptionMelt a handful of good dark, semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler, or a heavy based saucepan over another pan of boiling water. Take off heat, stir in an extra ¼ handful of chocolate chips, stirring until they melt. Drop a dollop of chocolate on top of each biscuit and allow to set.

Finnish Ginger Snaps (Piparkakut)

These take a bit of planning ahead, as the dough has to rest in the fridge or somewhere cool for at least 12 hours (and up to 2 days) before baking.

125 gram (4 oz) golden syrup or light molasses
2 teasp cinnamon
2 teasp ground ginger
1 teasp ground cloves
Rind of 1 orange, finely chopped
150 gram (5 oz) salted butter
150 gram (5 oz) sugar
1 egg
1 teasp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
500g (1lb, 2 cups) plain (all purpose) flour

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, then beat in the egg.

In a small pan, combine the syrup and spices and bring to the boil. Allow to cool slightly, then add to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and stir well.

Sift the flour and bicarb in to mixture and mix into a dough. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to very hot –250C (480F). Divide the dough into quarters and roll out very thinly (approx. 2mm or ¾inch). Cut with a biscuit (cookie) cutter into rounds, or stars, trees and other Christmas shapes, and place on a baking tray. Bake for 5-6 minutes until golden brown. Leave on tray for 5-10 minutes to cool before moving them to a cooling rack.

Nutritional value

These festive biscuits are not super healthy or brilliantly nutritious. There may well be microtherapeutic benefits from the spices. But they don’t claim to be super foods. Just cheery, spicy, seasonal treats from the Northern European midwinter to this year’s chilly Australian summer.

Buon appetito!


  1. I love this blog! I'm copying all of these cookie recipes, because I love cookies, but don't eat them very often because they are not kind to me. Love you, lady!

  2. Thanks Deb! I really should post to it more often - I let paid work get in the way!! Feel free to copy any recipe - very few are from scratch original. Most of them are ones I've used over the years & made my own variations of. If I know whose recipe it originally was, I try to acknowledge that.

    I love cooking, & it's a shame I'm only cooking for one now, so I guess blogging is a way of sharing my food with others. (I'm not supposed to eat many cookies either. Gluten-free means they are not TOO bad for me.)

    Do you have any special recipes you'd like to share? Maybe you could do a guest post some time?