FINALLY FRIDAY RECIPE: Christmas Karringmelk Beskuit
South Africa is home to people of many faiths, and even those who celebrate Christmas – about 80% – differ significantly in their forms of celebration. Those whose worship encompasses native African traditions may light special fires in their homes, as fires are meant as signs to welcome strangers. Other churches may organize community carol singing or covered-dish suppers. Some South African children expect gifts on Saint Nicholas Day (December 6), Christmas Day, or Epiphany (Correction: January 6).
Traditionally, families leave out karingmelkbeskuits (buttermilk biscuits) for Santa. These biscotti-like biscuits are also served along with coffee or hot chocolate when neighbors visit each other for celebrations. They are handy to have around for guests who come by during the holiday season.
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a cookie sheet; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours with the sugar and baking powder. Add the butter, and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until it feels gritty. Gradually add the beaten egg and buttermilk, stirring with a fork. The dough should be just moist enough to hold together when pinched.
3. Roll the dough into golf ball-size pieces. Place the balls about 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until the balls have turned golden brown
4. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, and reduce the heat to 200°F. Then return the karingmelkbeskuits to the oven for 4 hours. When they are done, serve them right away, or store them in an airtight bag. They will keep for several days.
Adapted from Santa’s North Pole Cookbook by Jeff Guinn