In my handwritten book from 1991 where I kept my best baking and dessert recipes, I have written down my mother’s recipe for cinnamon biscuits.
In Norway they are called Berits brune pinner (Berits’ brown sticks). Their delicious flavour is due to brown sugar, dark syrup and a generous amount of cinnamon. What would baking be without cinnamon? What is an American pie without cinnamon? What would a cinnamon roll taste like without cinnamon? What would Norwegian rice porridge be without cinnamon?
Cinnamon is probably the most cherished of all spices. Cinnamon biscuits are one of the easiest Norwegian Christmas biscuits. There is no rolling-pin or cookie cutters involved. So make the biscuits and sit down with a little glass of mulled wine or do something quaint like writing a letter to someone you love or take them with you and visit someone who is lonely at Christmas.
Christmas cinnamon biscuits (makes 2 trays):
This recipe is also suitable gluten-free. Just substitute the flour. Also, I substitute 25 % of the brown sugar with palm sugar because it is low glycemic and has a nice caramel flavour.
200 g / 7 oz softened butter
150 g / 5 oz dark brown sugar
50 g / 1,7 oz organic palm sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 egg and 1 egg yolk (free-range)
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
about 300 g / 10 oz flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg white
1 big handful of finely chopped almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the syrup and stir.
3. Add the egg and the egg yolk and stir well.
4. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon and blend. Knead until it comes together as a dough.
5. Divide the dough into four parts. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into sausages thick as a woman’s finger. Lift each finger onto the baking tray and press it down with a knife.
6. Glaze the dough with generous amounts of egg white. This will also ensure that the almonds stick to the dough. Scatter the almonds on top.
7. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until golden-brown. While still hot, cut them into sticks. Traditionally they should be cut diagonally.