Monday, 15 December 2008

Flying biscuits

Munchkin Gramps was a fan of Biggles books in his youth. He had a big collection of them and now regrets getting rid of them. In fact he's started collecting them again and he and Junior Bro read them together for a while - I'd be jealous if I hadn't been such a girly little girl myself. Since he was in between Biggles collections when we were young, all the name meant to Kiwi Sis, Eco Sis and I was a silly impression we would all do where we turned our hands upside down to make flying goggles over our eyes and pretended to zoom around with our elbows as the plane's wings (try it - you have to go 'zoooom' at the same time). That was the closest any of us got to wanting to fly a plane for real.

Not so my friend Sam's other half, who is an actual pilot with the RAF. I don't know if he ever ran around the house with finger goggles going zoooom, but he now actually zooms around in Harrier planes in Afghanistan. He'll be away over Christmas which is sad both for him and for Sam, and so she and I hatched a little plot to send him some extra little edible presents. I've never met Flight Lieutenant Sam's Other Half so am once again 'the mad baking lady'. I threw myself into research for this challenge so as to live up to my moniker, as the edible goods had to survive up to two weeks in transit and arrive a) edible, b) recognizable as something one might want to eat and c) festive. Eventually I found a recipe which looked sturdy, Christmassy, kept well - and most importantly, allowed me to make the most appropriate use ever of one my cookie cutters:

It's a Christmas flying biscuit! The original recipe (from cookie recipes online) describes the biscuits as lebkuchen, which name seems to cover any crisp German-style biscuit flavoured with Christmassy-type spices. These ones promised much from their ingredients list - warmed honey, spices, dried fruits, orange zest - and they delivered. They smelt *so* festive and I like the bits of cherry in particular. Apparently they are at their best two weeks after baking, so hopefully they will reach F. L. Sam's Other Half in their prime. Well, in taste at least - we have yet to see whether my packaging style will deliver them in the same number of bits I sent them in.

I'm sending these cookies to Susan from Food Blogga for her 'Eat Christmas Cookies #2' event. She's collecting recipes up to December 21st, and she's posting the entries as they arrive, so go and take a look!

Christmas Flying Lebkuchen: recipe here


Johanna said...

An impressive piece of research - these biscuits look great and I would love to smell them too (and taste them) - and a generous gesture to someone you have never met!

E's dad is really into biggles and amused guests at a party to celebrate our wedding by reading out from Biggles in Australia. But when young we made your flying gesture with the goggles when watching sport and yelling out 'get some glasses umpy' when we didn't like the umpires decision.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

So that's why they're shaped like airplanes. What a thoughtful gift, Lysy. I'm sure he will love these cookies.

Kiwi Sis said...

Munchkin has now been taught the flying goggles, Gramps is no longer as supple as he once was so Junior sis and I did the honours!