Mindful cooking

I woke this morning with a desire to bake that made leave my cosy cocoon of a bed and get to work in the kitchen. Except it’s not work at all, quite the opposite, all fun fun fun. Well maybe I exaggerate but it certainly had me smiling and feeling warm at heart.

The kitchen is warm and smells heavenly and my Radio 2 is on the background – yes more Christmas jingles. I am quite aware this is all part of my bubble living, slight detachment from the realities of life. However sometimes it is nice to just live in the here and now, instead of obsessing about the past and worrying about the future. Maybe it’s called mindful cooking.

This recipe for speculaas biscuits is taken from the Hairy Bikers via the BBC food website. These biscuits pretty simple to make. I want to take some with me as I am due to see my younger sister this evening and I think it would nice to share (and eat along the way).

100g/3½oz plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
50g/2oz soft brown muscovado sugar
1 tbsp whole milk
75g/2½oz butter
2 tbsp candied peel, finely chopped
flaked almonds, to garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, muscavado sugar, milk, butter and candied peel until well combined.
Using your hands, bring the mixture together as a dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness.
Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes or circles from the dough and place them onto the lined baking tray. Decorate the tops of the biscuits with flaked almonds, if using.
Transfer the biscuits to the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack, then serve.

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