So, last Friday was the 1st of the month and as it was December, it HAD to be our Christmas Cookalong. The weather outside was very frightful and the fire was indeed delightful, so I stuck on my apron, fired up my new object of lust, the Kenwood Chef and got into the Christmas spirit. Not literally, I am a sober cook, y'know, unless I'm making Risotto so it's a glass for me, a glass for the pot...
The first recipe was a doddle thanks to the super duper dough hook on the Chef... last year I had to knead the dough until my poor arm nearly dropped off, so I was delighted with the easiness of it all. I have a set of absolutely gorgeous Snowflake cookie cutters, which I know Like Mam Used To Bake has as well, so there was an array of very relevant cookies cut out of the dough. They disappeared much quicker than the foot of snow outside too! I used two types of icing for these cookies - a ready rolled Dr. Oetker Regal Ice icing and some liquid Royal Icing which I piped onto the cookies. I also had a box of edible paper snowflakes which I found in Avoca the other week & was itching to use (because I'm a big child with no patience...). Oh, and to make the coloured dots, I used Dr. Oetker Easy Writer Pens, just in case you're interested.
Spiced Snowflake Cookies
100g Golden Caster Sugar
100g Runny Honey
225g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon (or 2 tsp Allspice if that's all you have)
1/2 of a beaten egg
In a pot, heat the butter, sugar & honey together, stirring until melted & smooth. Remove from the heat.
In a mixer with a dough hook, put all the dry ingredients into the bowl, add the melted butter, honey & sugar & mix for a minute.
Add in the half (yes, just half) egg & let the dough hook work its magic for 4-5 minutes until the mixture has turned into a smooth & shiny dough.
Now wrap the mixture in clingfilm & chill in the fridge for at least a few hours until cold.
When you're ready to use the dough, heat your oven to 160c/Gas Mark 4 and line two large cookie sheets with baking parchment.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it's about 2mm thin and cut out shapes with your cookie cutters. Make sure to dust the dough well with flour otherwise it's going to stick to everything... trust me, I've done it.
Place the shapes about 2cm apart & bake for 8-10 minutes until golden. I'd suggest you check the cookies after 8 minutes & keep an eye on them as they change from golden to mahogany very quickly.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a cooling rack - let them go completely cold before attempting to ice them or they'll go soggy.
This quantity made about 40 cookies of various sizes which I then decorated to make them even more appealing!. Un-iced, they will keep for a month in an airtight container for those with lots of willpower. This also means you can bake them in advance and decorate them just before you need them.
These will form part of my Christmas Present Parcel for my very lucky friends & relatives (you know who you are xxx)