Family Tradition

My Grandma Rose

Before Christmas I used to bake honey biscuits. My honey biscuit recipe used about two pounds of honey. They used to keep a long time. When other biscuits ran a bit short, I’d say, ‘Oh well, there’s still some honey biscuits in here’.

I’ll name the boys, you name the girls – the story of Rose Heinrich

One of my most fond memories of Christmas is my grandmother, my mum and I making honey biscuits. My grandmother use to make them on the farm in huge batches for her big family and the many visitors that came by. Everyone knew that when they popped in to see Rose there would be a cup of tea and a couple of honey biscuits ready for them.


Grandma Rose and her big family  – photo from the book “I’ll name the boys, you name the girls – the story of Rose Heinrich”

My mum also always made huge batches of biscuits sending tubs of biscuits to various friends and neighbours. She would also have stashes of biscuits hidden in various cupboards around the house so that my dad couldn’t find them!

 One of the most special ‘photo’ memories I have is of my mum, my daughter (around two years old) and I all making honey biscuits together. Three generations in the kitchen cooking and sampling! So this tradition will continue here in Jakarta. My daughter, now 15, is in the kitchen with me this week cooking Grandma Roses honey biscuits. We will be using her traditional recipe with only one change, we’ll swap rice malt syrup for honey. Grandma Rose’s recipe makes a huge amount of biscuits so I’ll put in brackets the amounts I use for making a much smaller batch.

Honey Biscuits- from Rose’s old black recipe book

2 lbs honey (350g malt syrup)

2 lbs white sugar (none)

6 eggs (2 eggs)

2 teaspoons mixed spice (1 1/2 teaspoon)

1 teaspoon ground cloves (1/2 teaspoon)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (3/4 teaspoon)

1 teaspoon ginger (3/4 teaspoon)

4 teaspoons bi carb soda (2 teaspoons)

a little salt

flour – enough to make a stiff dough, about 4 lbs  (580grams)

Oven set at 180 degrees


Put honey in a dish and warm it in oven, then add sugar, eggs, flour and spices.

(I mix the rice malt and eggs in a blender then add it to the flour and spices)

Work well together.

My mum always set the dough aside in a bowl covered with glad wrap for a couple of hours, so that is what I do also.

Roll out small quantities, cut into shapes.

Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes at 180 degrees.

We like to use Christmas shapes. You can put an almond, 100’s and 1,000’s or  coloured balls  on top.

Roll out your dough
Cut out your shapes
Place them on a lined tray
Bake in the oven 180 degrees

When cooled you can ice them if you like – my kids used to love to help doing this.

Enjoy –