Mince Pie Alternative – Mincemeat Biscuits with Clementine Icing
Time for the third post in my Mince Pie Alternative series. If you missed them, we’ve already had Cranberry and Sponge Pies and Mincemeat Muffins. This week we’re still using mincemeat, but in biscuits, for those of you who don’t like pastry or simply want a change from the usual Christmas snack. This one is also great to just use up any leftover mincemeat you have in the jar, perhaps in the lead up to New Year.
These are pretty simple to make and I’m sure children would love to help, especially stamping out little shapes and mixing the icing up. If they aren’t too fussy about fruit in their biscuits then they should love to scoff some up too!
You Will Need:
100g Unsalted Butter
100g Caster Sugar
200g Plain Flour
1/4 Teaspoon mixed Spice
1 Small egg
3 Heaped Tablespoons Mincemeat
50ml Double Cream
Around 200g Icing Sugar
Beat the butter until soft and then add the sugar and cream the two together until you have a nice creamy mixture.
Beat the egg and then mix that in too. (A note here on the egg – I’ve said use a small one but you can also use half a big one if that’s all you’ve got…you really don’t need than much egg.)
Mix the mincemeat and mixed spice into the flour until all of the mincemeat is coated in flour – this will help it spread throughout the mixture more easily.
When the egg is blended in, then add the flour and mincemeat and beat this in until you have a nice smooth dough. This dough may be a bit softer and stickier than a biscuit dough you might be used to because we’ve added moisture with the mincemeat. This means you’re going to have to chill it well. Wrap the dough in cling film and pop it in the fridge for around an hour.
Whilst the dough is chilling you might as well make the icing so it’s ready for assembly once the biscuits are done. Zest the clementines into a bowl and then squeeze the juice into it as well. Add the cream and icing sugar and whisk this all together well. Now, I have given an approximate amount of icing sugar as the amount you need will depend on the size of your Clementines and the quantity of juice you get from them. So don’t add it all at once, start with about two thirds of that amount and be prepared that you might need a bit more. Keep adding and mixing until you have a fairly thick icing that you will be able to stick the biscuits together with. It will leave a trail on itself when you pull the spoon/whisk out that will take a few seconds to disappear.
Once the dough has finished chilling, preheat your oven to 180°C. Sprinkle some flour onto the surface and roll out the dough until it is just a bit thinner than a pound coin.
Use a cutter to stamp out shapes for the dough. I used small stars as I think they’re festive and I think sandwiched biscuits should be small. You can use any cutter you like and/or mix them but just remember you need pairs for the sandwiching!
Once you have them all cut out then lay them on a baking tray that has been lined with baking parchment and bake them in the oven for around 7 minutes (this time was for my rather small stars – if you go for bigger biscuits then bake them longer and keep an eye on them) or until golden with slightly darker edges. You might have to do the baking in a few batches.
Let the baked biscuits cool on the tray for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to get completely cool.
Once the biscuits are cold (not before as the icing won’t set) you can start sticking them together. Use a teaspoon to spread icing on the underside of one biscuit and then pop another one on top.Be careful not to load with too much icing as you may get into a rather sticky mess as it all spills down the sides (trust me, I learnt that lesson the hard way!)
And that’s it! Leave the biscuits on a wire rack for a while so that the icing can set before putting them on a pretty Christmas plate to share with friends and family. These will be great to make with and give to children and the whole family should enjoy this new twist on classic festive ingredients.
If you’re having a drinks evening around this time of year or a festive afternoon tea then these are great for the side of a drink and you can also easily whip up my mincemeat muffins alongside these with minimum effort.
I’m hoping you’re all enjoying the festive season – let me know if you try these as a little treat and tell me how you like them.