Christmas Star Cookies (or Biscuits for us Brits!)

They’re biscuits really aren’t they?! I do quite like that we have adopted the American ‘cookie’. It’s makes our decorated biscuits sound a tad cuter no?

I knocked these up fondant iced vanilla cookies for a Christmas Fayre I had a stall at a couple of weeks back.  The kids loved them and they are so simple to make.

You will need:

140g icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extrect

1 large egg

250g butter

375g plain flour

250g of red sugar paste & 250g white sugarpaste

white royal icing or writing icing to decorate

Makes about 24

Pre heat the oven to 180c or gas mark 4 and grease  or line 2 large baking sheets

mix together the icing sugar, egg, butter and vanilla extract in a bowl. Add the flour and combine into a firm dough. Place to dough ih the fridge for at least 30 mins.  This will make it easier to handle and you cookie will hold their shape well when baked.

Roll out the dough to approx 1/2 inch thick and cut out your stars.  Try not to re roll the dough more than once or it will become tough.

Bake for approx 12 mins or until golden.

Once the cookies are fully cooled, roll out your sugar paste to approx 1/4 inch thick and cut out your icing stars using the same cutter as the cookies so they fit perfectly. Stick them to your cookies with a smear of royal icing. Now just add some detail to your cookies with the rest of your royal icing or writing icing.

 

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Fool Proof Gingerbread

I recently made gingerbread men with my two children and while we were icing them with funny faces, the impish child in me decided to ice one to go with my (future) husband’s lunch the next day. He was moaning about the football or something at the time so I made the gingerbread face a little grumpy – childish I know but I found it amusing.

The recipe: (for my lovely friend Esther x)

Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 or 190c

This makes about 18 – 20. Grease or line 2 or 3 large baking sheets.

120z (350g) plain flour

3 teaspoons of ground ginger

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of bicarb of soda

4oz (100g) marg or butter

4 tablespoons of golden syrup

1 large egg

some white royal icing to pipe for decoration

 

Put all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and rub in the butter. Lots if gingerbread recipes do not have the cinnamon in.  I think its essential in bringing out the best in the ginger flavour (and if you ever made gingerbread that didn’t taste ‘gingery’ enough you will know what I mean) . In a jug, beat the egg and mix in the syrup with a fork.  Add this, a little at a time into the flour with a wooden spoon until it is combined to a fairly firm, smooth dough. If you have time, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour.  This will make the dough easier to handle as it can be a little soft.

Roll the dough to about 5mm thick and cut out in your chosen shape. Use a fish slice to transfer them to the baking tray and make sure they are well spaced out. Bake for 12-15 until golden brown and leave to cool on a wire rack before icing – be kinder than me if your icing family members!