Belgian Biscuits


5 cups Monarch Cake and Pastry flour, unsifted
10 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 pound butter, at room temperature
1 cup fruit sugar
For the Almond Icing
1 tablespoon or so boiling water
To Assemble
glace cherries or silver candy "shot" for decoration


To Assemble:In a large bowl, combine the flour, butter and sugar and work together with your hands. In fact, sit down in front of your favourite Food Network Canada Christmas special because it will take about 15 minutes of work to bring the dough to an even consistency. Continue rubbing in the butter until it's perfectly homogenous. You'll know when it's right because the dough will suddenly change and become a bit satiny.
Divide the dough into 2 even pieces and form each into a log about 1 inch in diameter. Roll each log of dough in waxed paper until perfectly round. Refrigerate for 45 minutes (or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for up to a month).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove dough from fridge and, using a sharp knife (or cookie cutters if you're not up for a challenge), carefully slice even rounds from it about 1/8 inch thick. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool.
For the almond icing: in a measuring cup combine the icing sugar, the almond extract, and carefully add boiling water, a teaspoon at a time, until the mixture is a thick, barely flowing icing.
To assemble: place one cooled cookie bottom up on the work space, spread with 1/2 teaspoon raspberry jam, top with a second cookie, bottom down to form a sandwich. Continue until all cookies are sandwiched. Drip a little pool of almond icing on top of each and carefully decorate with either cherries or silver shot.
I am almost certain that there's absolutely nothing Flemish about these Christmas cookies - but that's what my grandmother called them.
If I had to guess about provenance, my money is on one of the oldtime cookbooks that the flour companies used to publish - crumbling 25 cent gems you sometimes find at church rummage sales. The handwritten recipe that I used to make them was absolutely adamant about using Monarch Cake and Pastry flour.
These are my favourites at Christmas so I recommend that you use it, too - for the sake of authenticity.




6.0 servings


Thursday, February 11, 2010 - 5:25am



Related Cooking Videos