I think we all have little traditions that we like to carry out in early December to get us in the Christmas spirit, in our house…it is baking Christmas cookies. I always liked the idea of making and decorating cookies but I just never seem to get around to actually doing it. A few years ago we got an advent calendar which we needed to fill ourselves and I just knew what would look perfect in it…Christmas cookies! 🙂
Of course even though the idea seemed lovely, the reality can be sometime, well… a little bit messy especially when you involve the kids. It might require you taking a few deep breaths and reminding yourself that it is just FLOUR and that you can clean it up.
This year, to make the process enjoyable for the whole family, I decided to do the following: I prepared the dough by myself and left it overnight in the fridge. The kids were then involved in rolling out the dough, cutting out shapes and decorating the cookies, which I have to say is the nicest part. (not half as messy, but you need to watch that your icing does not disappear in unexplained circumstances…)
It’s easy and the results look really pretty, overall definitely worth it!
So what you will need is:
175g butter, 275g caster sugar, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, grated rind of 1 lemon, 2 tsps of mixed spice, 1/4 tsp salt, 275g flour,
1. Preheat the oven to 180C
2. Cream the butter until soft (with electric mixer) then gradually add the sugar. Continue mixing until the mixture us light and fluffy.
3. Using the wooden spoon, gradually beat the whole egg and the egg yolk. And the spices, lemon rind and salt. Gradually add the flour, mixing the whole time.
4. Gather the mixture into the ball (it’s gonna be a little sticky, but resist the temptation to add more flower). Wrap in baking parchment and put in the fridge for at least 30mins. You can also make double of the pastry and freeze some for later.
5. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until about its about 3mm thick and cut out Christmas shapes with festive pastry cutters. Bake the cookies for about 8mins in the oven and when finish leave to cool.
You can then decorate as you wish with icing or ready writing icing available in most shops. Also as those cookies are quite hard, they are great as edible Christmas tree decorations. Just make little holes in them before putting in the oven and then tread with some ribbon after cooking.
That’s it, enjoy 🙂