Today is Latvian Independence Day. We did not know this when we decided to bake our Latvian Christmas Cookies. This is a pure coincidence, which makes us think that mystic, spooky forces are at work here (Cue “The Twilight Zone” theme tune). Thank-you Latvia for your contribution to society- namely creating this wonderful golden biscuity goodness.
These yummy cookies are a wonderful nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon Christmas treat; a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea after some hectic holiday non-sense (shopping, cooking, wrapping presents). I heard about Latvian Christmas cookies from a German colleague who I am pretty sure had no connection to Latvia at all. When I made these for the second time four years ago, I completely messed up the proportions and ended up with literally one hundred cookies! I am ashamed to say it had scared me off baking them ever since. Poor Keith had to consume them all (as well as my family). Just as well they were deliciously soft, gingery and spicy.
- 400g Plain flour
- 180g Brown Sugar
- 190g Low Fat Butter
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 3 tsp Ginger powder
- 2 tbsp Ginger Syrup (optional)
- 1 Black clove, crushed
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 1 ½ Baking powder
- 1 tbsp Treacle
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 2 Serving spoons of Honey
- Sift the flour, cinnamon, ginger, crushed clove, nutmeg, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cayenne pepper into a mixing bowl.
- Heat in a medium pan the treacle, sugar, butter and honey until melted. Do not let it burn.
- Add 2 cups of the dry mix to the treacle mix. Allow to cool slightly.
- Gradually stir in a further cup of the flour and then the beaten eggs a bit at a time.
- Transfer back to the mixing bowl. Add extra flour gradually if the mixture is too gloopy.
- Knead in the bowl until smooth, silky but thick.
- Transfer onto a floured surface and knead slightly.
- Roll out to a medium thickness and use a cookie cutter to create your desired shape (be it Christmas or not).
- Bake for about 8 minutes at 180C (Gas mark 4) until golden brown.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
Ice if desired. We have opted for a lemon glaze.
Happy Independence Day Latvia, we laud the freedom of this cookie!