Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Belgian Spiced Cookie Bars (Janhagels)

I made these as a quick bite to go with a cup of tea round at a friends house & they were very moreish.  We thought they were a bit like mince pies but without the mincemeat!! This  is due to the spices that are in the mix, that nice cinnamon, nutmeg etc blend.  You could leave the flaked almonds off the top if you wished but do sprinkle the sugar over the top as it gives a nice crunch.

It is a spice shortbread and the recipe comes from the Hairy Bikers.  They are a traditional Christmas treat in Holland but I see no reason why you can't have them at any time of the year.

Do try them as they are very quick to whip up and taste yum!!

From The Hairy Bikers Big Book of Baking

300g plain flour
200g soft light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
200g cold butter cut into cubes
1 medium egg, beaten

50g rough cut demerara or white sugar cubes (or just sugar)
50g flaked almonds

Oven - 180°C or 170°C fan, Gas 4

You can do this by hand or in a mixer....I chose my mixer because its easier!

Pre-heat the oven to one of the temperatures above & grease a rectangular brownie tin.

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon & spice in a large bowl and add the cubes of cold butter and rub with your fingers until it resembles wet sand. (I just put everything in the mixer & set it going).

Stir in the beaten egg and bring together with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough.  Mix / knead until you have a smooth ball of dough.

Break into 6 or so pieces and put in the tin. Flatten together so they all join up with either the back of a spoon or your hand.

Pound the sugar cubes (if using) in a pestle & mortar and mix with the almonds and then spread all over the base & press it firmly into the dough.

Bake in the oven on the middle shelf for around 30 minutes or until firm and light golden in colour.  Leave in the tin for 2 - 3 minutes when you take it out and then cut into squares or rectangles and transfer to a wire rack.

Nice eaten slightly warm or cold

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