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by Justin Gellatly, Louise Gellatly, Matthew Jones from Baking School: The Bread Ahead Cookbook

This traditional Finnish recipe makes brilliant spiced biscuits perfect for the festive season.

From the book

Justin Gellatly, Matthew Jones, Louise Gellatly


These Finnish spiced biscuits have a lovely sharp and warming flavour, and are normally baked for a Christmas treat. This recipe makes enough dough to fill your biscuit tin to overflowing, perfect for presents over the festive holidays.

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100g pure honey
120g black treacle
270g unsalted butter
180g soft dark brown sugar
680g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
20g ground cinnamon
10g ground cloves
10g ground cardamom
24g ground ginger
6g ground mace
6g ground allspice
2 eggs
zest of 2 oranges


Put the honey, black treacle, butter and sugar into a saucepan, then place on a low heat and melt all the ingredients together. Once melted, leave to cool for 20 minutes (make sure the butter is completely cool – don’t use it warm).

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and all the spices into a large mixing bowl and give them a mix.

Pour the treacle mix into the flour mix. Crack in the eggs and add the orange zest, then, with a heavy hand (as this mix is fairly stiff), stir all the ingredients together and mix well until all is evenly combined and a smooth dark paste is formed. Shape the dough into a ball and pop it back into the bowl, then cover and pop it into the fridge for 3–4 hours to rest and firm up.

Take out of the fridge and leave to soften for about 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3 and line a baking tray with baking paper.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll your dough out nice and thin, to just a couple of millimetres thick. Cut your biscuits out to any shape you like, then place them on the lined baking tray and bake for 14 minutes.

Once baked, let them cool on the tray.

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From the book: Baking School: The Bread Ahead Cookbook

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