Hot Cross Cookies with orange icing
I’m not trying to take over from hot cross buns here – I mean, there are few things better in life than one of those toasted and dripping with butter. But let’s face it, sometimes you don’t have the time or energy to deal with the yeasty-kneading-proving paraphernalia. These cookies have the same warming spices and a hint of orange in the icing – and they’re very easy to whip up. Not a fan of raisins? Use dried apricots or chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate chunks) instead. Gluten-free – use a gluten-free flour mix with no raising agent in the place of flour.
Prep time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 15 minutes
Makes about 14 cookies
1 ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
125g butter, cubed (not too soft)
¾ cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 tsp pure vanilla essence
1 large free-range egg
¾ cup raisins (or currants, sultanas, chopped dried apricots, chocolate chips)
1 cup icing sugar
25g softened butter
Zest of 1 orange
Squeeze of orange juice
Preheat oven to 190c conventional bake and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Sift flour, baking soda, spices and salt together in a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.
In another bowl (or a food processor) beat together butter, brown sugar and vanilla with a hand mixer until well combined. Add the egg and beat until well mixed. Add flour mixture and mix to combine. Stir in the fruit.
Spoon or roll the mixture in 1 tablespoon portions about 6cm apart on the baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 8 – 10 minutes. The edges of the biscuits should just be browned.
If using two trays at the same time, switch the trays around half-way through to ensure even cooking.
Cool the biscuits on the tray for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
To make the icing, beat together all the ingredients until smooth. If you think it needs to be thicker, add more icing sugar, or thin with more orange juice. Use a piping bag (or a snaplock bag with a hole cut in the corner) to pipe crosses on the biscuits.
- If you have a food processor, use that to combine everything then stir the raisins through at the end.