In the Christmas sweets that I prepare every year, these crunchy, melt-in-the-mouth biscuits are among our favourites! Somewhere between biscotti, bredele and croquants de Provence, they combine the scent of roasted dried fruit with that of candied oranges and cinnamon and a light, deliciously meringue texture that makes them quite irresistible!
Without fat or dairy products, they keep very well and can be prepared a little in advance, which is very practical to schedule the preparations when the elves’ workshop is super busy 🙂
They can be made with different dried fruits, candied fruits and spices (hazelnut, pistachio, pine nuts, lemon, ginger, vanilla…) or even by replacing some of the flour with cocoa powder for a chocolate version. You can find the recipe for candied orange and lemon peels here.
They are perfect with a cup of Christmas tea or coffee and make a lovely light dessert with a spiced orange salad.
Cinnamon Christmas croquants
- 1 40 x 30 cm backing tray
- 1 pastry bag (optionnal)
- 225 g whole almonds
- 50 g walnut kernels
- 250 g flour
- 3 eggs
- 200 g light brown sugar
- 30 g finely chopped candide orange
- 5 to 10 g powdered cinnamon - (to be adjusted according to your preferences and the intensity of the cinnamon chosen)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp of icing sugar
- 3 tbsp of silvered almonds
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Spread the almonds and walnuts on the baking sheet and lightly toast them for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the whole eggs with the sugar at medium speed for 10 mins until the mixture triples in volume and is pale and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon and salt.
- Remove the almonds and walnuts from the oven and allow to cool.
- Coarsely chop the dried fruit and add to the dry ingredients. Add the chopped candied oranges and mix well.
- Add the dry mixture to the beaten eggs and mix gently until the mixture is smooth.If your baking tray is not non-stick, cover it with baking paper or oil it carefully.
- Using a pastry bag (without tip) or two large spoons, pipe the dough onto the baking sheet in three large strands of dough of 25/30 cm by 5/6 cm wide (the dough will swell during baking) as evenly as possible. Sprinkle them with flaked almonds and bake for 25 minutes.
- When golden, remove them from the oven and place them on a chopping board. Sprinkle the top generously with icing sugar. With a large knife, cut regular slices of 1.5 to 2 cm thick at a slight angle.
- If you want very crisp cookies, place them back on the baking sheet and bake for another 10 minutes.
- If you prefer slightly chewy biscuits, simply cool them on a wire rack. Once cooled, they will easily keep for a fortnight in a tin.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and that it will make those around you happy and I wish you a merry Christmas!