So, we are now back in the UK and merrily entering into the fray of the festive season. A christmas cake is baked, menus planned for the various family and friend celebrations and excess is being happily anticipated.
My little girl frequently likes to help me out in the kitchen, what she lacks in technical ability, she makes up for in abundance with enthusiasm.
A lot of friends and neighbours have given her some great gifts, so we thought we would return the favour with something crisp and festive that goes well with the seasonal fare, whether that be a schooner of sherry, cup of coffee or pitcher of egg-nog.
These Christmas Cookies are easy to make and great fun for kids to get involved with – a very useful way to use up half a day or so if you are faced with bored kids and wet weather over the holiday season.
They taste buttery, sweet and crisp and can be decorated in an understated way with a dusting of icing sugar, but I’m sure the kids will be able to create some altogether more dazzling creations with access to food colourings, icing and edible decorations.
300g White Sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract (or 3 tsp ground giner)
500g dairy free margarine (butter is ok for those that are not baking dairy free!)
750g plain flour
2 egg yolks
1 cup of icing sugar
3 Tbsp water
1. Place sugar, vanilla/ginger, egg yolks and margarine/butter in a large bowl and mix until pale and creamy – you may want to use an electric mixer (or if you need to use up time, get the kids to mix using a whisk or fork!).
3. Using your hands as sparingly as possible, combine into a slightly dry dough and divide into two or three large discs of dough.
4. Wrap discs in clingfilm and place in fridge for 30-40 minutes
5. Take discs out of fridge and roll to the thickness of a pound (or euro) coin.
6. Turn on oven to 170C.
7. Cut out shapes using a small cutter and place on a lightly floured baking tray (or 3!).
8. Bake for around 8 minutes until just golden – all ovens are different so adjust if necessary.
9. Leave cookies to cool on wire rack.
10. Mix together icing sugar and water until you have a thickish paste.
11. Divide icing into several small pots and colour as apopropriate.
12. With a teaspoon, place small amount on each cookie and spread around until thinly dispersed.
13. Place sprinkles and edible decorations on the icing whilst it is still tacky so they will stick.
14. leave cookies to dry for an hour or so.
15. Divide up into small batches, wrap in cellophane sealed with a bow and make your friends and neighbours smile.