Food is so important to the nostalgia of Christmas. Those tastes and smells instantly get you feeling festive. I was challenged by Expedia to recreate a recipe from around the world as part of their Christmas on A Plate Challenge. I remembered these tasty Italian Christmas biscuits made by a friend’s mum when I was little. My friend would serve them as part of the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. The rest of the meal was lots of different types of fish which at the time I was a bit wary of. The highlight was always the little biscuits she would give to guests to take away.
I hadn’t eaten these for years but was surprised how much I remembered the mix of sweetness combined with the unusual aniseed flavour. When I tried them again, I was instantly transported to and that excitement of Christmas just about to arrive. After studying Roman history at University, Italy is top of our places to visit. We nearly went before we had children, the trip was all booked – Rome, Florence and Pisa. But we discovered our passports were lost the day before flying and it was too late to get new ones.
To make Italian Christmas Biscuits
- 4 eggs
- 128g (4.5 oz) of sugar
- 1 tsp of Anise
- 448g (16 oz) of plain flour
- 1tsp of baking powder
- 120ml cup of milk
- icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, 350 degrees F, Gas Mark 4
Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the anise flavouring. Slowly sift in the flour and baking powder a little at a time until fully combined. Knead into a dough. Roll flat and cut into shapes using a cutter. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until golden. Once cooled cover with icing and sprinkles.
These make lovely gifts and a good change from the usual gingerbread and mince pies. Making these biscuits has definitely put me in the mood for visiting Italy. I’m going to spend some time over the holidays browsing Italian holidays. Maybe 2016 will finally be the year. Now where did I put those passports…
Disclaimer: We were sent a lovely food hamper for taking part in this challenge and some vouchers to buy the ingredients.