Cookies for Christmas ! All those picture perfect families on American TV shows are constantly baking cookies for birthdays, parties and Christmas. When I was a kid my mother never made cookies, or gingerbread men or anything resembling them. Cookies or biscuits for us were custard creams or Marietta with a bit of butter on them. Her baking skills went as far as butterfly buttons, which in fairness were bloody amazing and I remember licking the bowl while I was helping. Out of five kids, two older brothers, an older sister and one younger sister, I was the only one clinging to my mother’s apron strings on baking day. That would explain quite a lot about me later in life.
So for all the parents out there who want to try their hand at some baking, while including the kids at the same time, here is a simple recipe for cookies for Christmas. I suggest you let them run wild with the icing pens at the end. Mine of course are all neat and orderly with right angles instead of wrong angles just like my mother taught me (we both have a touch of OCD).
Christmas Tree Spiced Cookies
(Recipe serves 10-12)
- 350g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- 100g butter, diced
- 175g soft light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons of golden syrup
- Preheat the oven to 170C or 150 for a fan assisted oven.
- Sieve the flour, ginger and baking soda into a bowl.
- Rub in the butter until the mixture has a started to feel like breadcrumbs.
- Fold in the sugar.
- Add the egg and golden syrup and mix it together to form a dough.
- Knead the dough and roll out to about 1cm thick.
- Using a cookie cutter (any shape you like) cut out your cookies and place them on a greased baking sheet. Put them in the fridge for about an hour.
- Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until they are a golden colour.
- Allow them to cool before you decorate them.
Tip: If you want to make them into decorations to hang on your tree, when you cut out the shapes, use a toothpick to score a small circular hole towards the top of the biscuit prior to baking. Afterwards you can thread some string through and you are all set to hang them.
For the icing I chose a set of pre prepared icing pens in varying colours. They are perfect for allowing kids to decorate themselves and can be picked up in Tesco or stores such as Deco Bake.