Saturday, 5 November 2011


all photos by me

Here is the recipe for some traditional portuguese (from Madeira island) Christmas biscuits. They are called areias which means sands, because of their sandy texture in your mouth.
Basic, simple easy and delicious...

300g  flour (without yeast)
250g butter
100g powdered sugar
(a bit more of powdered sugar to sprinkle on top)

Mix all the ingredients and let it rest for 1h. 
Make small balls with the dough (1,5 cm diameter). 
Put the balls on a tray to go to the oven, pre greased and floured or with anti adherent paper. Remember to leave some space between them. 
With your finger make a little "dimple" on every ball. 
Go to the oven at 180ยบ C until they get slightly brown. 
Let them cool down a bit and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

keep them in a closed jar or a box and, like most of our Christmas treats, they will last the entire season... that is if you don´t eat them to fast. In Madeira we have this lovely tradition of making Christmas biscuits and then distribute little boxes of them between the family and friends. Every house has their own variation of the recipe, adapted over generations, and there is a funny and healthy (most of the times) competition to see which one is better. My grandmother used to do them every Christmas. My mother does them now. But this year I may just try it myself even because I want a picture to post here.

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