Baking is one of the things that I love most in this world, and baking at Christmas is my absolute favourite! Instead of buying gifts for friends, family and work colleagues, I like to give everyone special to me handmade baked treats. I know! Normally the idea of handmade is not a super exciting thought; you’re probably thinking about knitted beanies and socks. But handmade edible goodies are in a league of their own; not only do they taste delicious but they look absolutely amazing. Too good to eat, you might say.
Depending on how much time I have, I either make rum balls or Christmas cookies. The Christmas cookies are my personal favourite but they really are very time consuming. Totally worth it though! This year I was lucky enough to have time to make some Christmas cookies, so I thought I would share the recipe with you.
Decorative Sugar Cookies
250g plain flour
110g icing sugar
110g unsalted butter
1tsp vanilla essence
Fondant and or royal icing
Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees celcius.
Prepare the cookie dough by mixing the flour and sugar together. Add butter and mix together with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add vanilla essence and the egg and mix until dough forms. You may need to place the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes, as it can be too soft to work with.
Once it is ready, roll out on a lightly floured surface or on a sheet of baking paper, to about 5mm thick. Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out the dough and place on a lined baking tray.
Bake in the oven for approx. 20 minutes or until golden. Take out and allow to completely cool.
You can decorate as you see fit. I love using fondant to decorate. It’s easy to use, it looks perfect and it’s not messy.
First, I make a fondant base for my cookie design. Roll out the fondant until quite thin, maybe 2mm thick. Use the cookie cutter you used to make the cookies to cut out the same shape.
Using a paint brush, brush a little water onto the back of the fondant and stick down to the cookie. Once all your cookies have a fondant base you can begin to decorate.
I have chosen snow flakes and Christmas trees this year. Choose the coloured fondant you would like to use and again role out quite thin. Using your fondant/cookie cutters, cut out the desired shape. Stick down onto the fondant base with a little water and then decorate with edible pearls and glitter as appropriate.
There are so many variations of designs to try and so many edible decorations to use, it’s really up to you! I love making cookies so much that I accidentally accumulated all of these cookie cutters!
Wrap your cookies in cellophane and present to your guests. I guarantee that they will love them!