Its nearly Christmas – hurrah! Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? If you’re considering heading out to the shops today, take my advice….. don’t! Instead dig into your kitchen cupboards, borrow a cup of flour from your next door neighbour if you have to and make some homemade Christmas cookies. Unless you’re dealing with a particularly obnoxious 13 year old who had their heart set on a new xbox for Christmas, I can guarantee that your friends and family will be touched and delighted to receive homemade gifts.
You can decorate these Christmas cookies with whatever you want, silver or gold balls would be lovely, or hundreds and thousands too. I used red and green tree sprinkles and smarties (to represent baubles!) as well as some little gold stars that I had.
Here’s how to make them!
- 1-3/4 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 1 egg
- pinch salt
- 1 cup very soft butter
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the dough, sift your flour, corn flour and salt into a bowl and soften your butter in the microwave and then add the icing sugar and cream them together and beat it the egg. Add the dry ingredients and bring together to form a very soft dough (you may need to add a little more flour if its too sticky). Wrap in clingfilm or tin foil and refrigerate for an hour.
I hate it when recipes tell you to refrigerate things because it means more time until I can eat them but in this case its definitely the best thing to do. The dough is so much more easy to handle after that hour.
Check out my collection of cookie cutters! I have three hearts, a cat, a holly leaf, a teddy bear, a snowman, an angel, a star, some round ones, a christmas tree and one that I can’t for the life of me identify!
Once they’ve been in the fridge for an hour, preheat your oven to 160 degrees/gas mark 6 and sprinkle some flour on your work surface. Roll out your dough, making sure the surface and rolling pin are well floured, to about a 1cm thickness and start cutting out your shapes!
I went for a variety of shapes – Christmas trees, stars and holly leaves. Let them cook for about 12-15 minutes, keeping a close eye on them and whipping them out as soon as you say a hint of colour around the edges.
Time to decorate! To make the royal icing, take 300g of confectioners/icing sugar and add water, a teaspoon at a time, until you get to a thick dripping consistency. To make the decorating clean up easier, I put some clingfilm underneath the cooling rack that I was decorating the biscuits on so that the excess icing could drip onto that.
Holding the biscuits over the icing bowl, drop a teaspoon of icing on top and use it to guide the icing into the corners of the biscuit. Add your sprinkles or smarties straight away so that they stick and pop the biscuit back onto the cooling rack to dry.
Since I had some leftover green and red fondant in my cupboard from making my festive velvet cake so I decided to use the same holly cutter to cut out some green fondant to cover the cookies. I added some icing to the top to act as glue and then patted the fondant down.
What do you think of my Christmas cookies?
These icing on these biscuits isn’t perfect. But they are delicious. Package up in a presentation bag (mine are from Lakeland) or you could use a small cardboard box (cut off the whole of the top of the box, wrap the remaining box with Christmas wrapping paper (newspaper would be lovely too), put the biscuits inside and then cover the top with a layer of clingfilm and a bow!