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Spelt & Rye Spiced Biscuits

The smell of baked mixed spice wafting through the house is what truly defines Christmas for me, it takes me back to the years I lived in Frankfurt , the shops where full of the best every Christmas confections, biscuits and cakes. If I could transport myself there for a few days over Christmas I would visit the Weihnachtsmarkt with my good friend Petra, drink Gluewein by the Christmas tree and subject her to English carols with my cat warbles. We would eat sausages & sauerkraut and fill our bags with Lebkucken and marzipan treats, well I would anyway, Petra wouldn’t need to as she can pop them in her shopping bag anytime. Viel spass meine liebe freundin und trink eins fuer mich auf dem Markt!

But it is another friend who inspired me to bake spiced cookies in November, I had been chatting to Arfi of Homemades on Twitter about baking ammonium (hirschhornsaltz) used in Swedish spiced biscuits and where to buy the ingredient which doesn’t seem to be available here. All the talk of Christmas biscuits and spices had me longing for some goodies all day so I rushed home and put these together. I have used a combination of Spelt and Rye Flour, the Rye leaves little kernels in the mouth after the biscuit is gone which I love, a bit nutty. If you don’t like that texture then stick to all Spelt flour.

If anyone knows where we can buy Ammonium Carbonate, Bakers Ammonia in NZ  please let me know.

This is also my entry to our monthly blogging event Sweet NZ which is being hosted this month by Lucy over at The Kitchenmaid. Do pop over to her blog and see what she is up to as well as our Kiwi round up of sweet treats at teh end of the month.


150g butter

100g brown sugar

200g spelt

100 rye

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 ground cardamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 Tbsp water

slivered almonds to garnish


Pre heat oven to 180C. You will need 3 baking trays.

Beat together the butter and brown with an electric mixer until creamy.

Add flour & spices to the butter mixture and mix until just combined (maybe a little crumbly).

To form the dough add the 2 tablespoons of water and knead dough together slightly

Flatten the dough and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

To roll the dough out lay the dough between two sheets of greeseproof paper and roll dough to approximately ‘cheese cracker’ thickness.

Refrigerate in sheet form for 10 minutes, it’s easier to cut chilled dough.

Cut out biscuits with your preferred cookie shape. I used mini circles which made about 45 and place the biscuit shapes onto a non stick baking tray.

Decorate with slivered almonds if you wish.

Bake biscuits for 10 minutes. The biscuits will be dark brown due to the spelt and rye flour.

Allow to cool.

The biscuits will keep for a week in an airtight container.

23 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jueseppi B. #

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    This recipe sounds YummY. Thank you Pease Pudding.

    November 17, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      My goodness you gave me a fright, the PC pinged when you commented so quickly :o) Thanks for liking my cookies

      November 17, 2012
  2. my mother-in-law brought some bakers ammonia back from Iceland. mine is in a yellow container with (I think) a deer on the label. I searched I hope you are able to find the bakers ammonia that you want.

    November 17, 2012
  3. my mother-in-law brought some bakers ammonia back from Iceland. I searched and that website has a few different brands. I hope you find what you are looking for.

    November 17, 2012
  4. So pretty! I’m studying German just now, so I’m keen to learn more about the food! Thanks for sharing.

    November 17, 2012
  5. No idea where you can find that. I imagine you have tried Googling it? Christmas is all about smells and flavours for me because they are the same every year. I don’t understand people having a BBQ at the beach on Christmas day because that eliminate so much that is traditional. But each to their own.

    November 18, 2012
  6. My they look lovely and perfect for the approaching Holidays with all those sweet smelling spices! Maybe you should enter them in this month Sweet New Zealand over at the Kitchen Maid!

    November 18, 2012
  7. What pretty and delicious looking biscuits! The flavors are wonderful.



    November 18, 2012
  8. I can almost smell them. I bet these would warm up the house, while they lasted.

    November 18, 2012
  9. These are adorable, and sound fantastic! Would love to try these! (So I’m pinning.)

    November 18, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Thanks for the pin :o)

      November 18, 2012
  10. Food Stories #

    Mmmm … These look so good 🙂

    November 18, 2012
  11. Beautiful biscuits! I’ve never heard of baker’s ammonia before so I had to look it up. What an Interesting ingredient. I wonder if I can find locally in Southern Oregon…

    November 18, 2012
  12. Lebkucken are my favourite cookies. My husband used to bring them back from his business trips to Neurenberg. I’ve tried making my own but they just aren’t the same as I remember. These cookies sound delicious and since I’m going to treat ourselves to some spelt at Christmas these will be perfect as a treat.

    November 18, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Lebkucken are my favourites too, I have good recipe that is close to the original but it’s really hard to get the rice wafers to bake them on here. If I find some I will post the recipe.

      November 18, 2012
  13. Thanks Alison, they look gorgeous. I am sure my German man would enjoy these to remind him of home. I will see what I can rustle up for the texture of rye in a gluten-free version. And beautiful photo as always, love the props 🙂

    November 18, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Thanks Nicola, maybe Buckwheat which is often courser?

      November 18, 2012
  14. New Yorker Chic #

    These look delicious!! Awesome recipe.

    If you want to read about some fun New York City restaurants, feel free to check out my blog at !! xx

    November 18, 2012
  15. I have no idea where you would get that from, or even what you would use it for. That aside, I’m loving your biscuits, Alli – I definitely love those spicy smells wafting through the house and yes it definitely makes me think of Christmas.

    November 19, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Thanks Sue, might have to get some from Amazon.

      November 19, 2012
  16. that list of spices is making my nose twitch (in a really good way) – your house must have smelt amazing.
    dont you you wish europe was closer?

    November 19, 2012
  17. My mum makes lebkuchen for Christmas every year, faithfully to my (Austrian) Grandmother’s recipe. It wouldn’t be Christmas for me without them! I prefer them a bit chewy – Grandma’s trick was to put them in a tin with 1 slice of plain white bread. By some wonderful Christmas magic the white bread ends up all dried up and the biscuits end up perfectly chewy after a couple of days, having absorbed the moisture from the bread. Perfect 🙂
    I don’t know that they have ever lasted as long as a week, though… we’ve always eaten them all up before then!

    November 21, 2012

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