How To Make Cracking Christmas Cookies
There's nothing quite like filling your home with the sweet and nostalgic aroma of baking cookies, and with Christmas right around the corner, there's never been a better time to get your Mary Berry on! At FabFinds, we believe nothing beats a classic gingerbread cookie with the warming spices of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. However, if you have a picky eater in your family, we are also going to run through a simple (but just as delicious!) vanilla Christmas cookie recipe that absolutely everyone is going to love.
With the majority of us spending more time at home during this festive season due to lock-down restrictions, baking is a great new hobby to not begrudgingly pass the time, but to truly enjoy the spare hours you now find. And what better way to start baking than creating simple but irresistible cookies to share with all your family and friends (even if you have to leave them on their doorstep!)
Baking Christmas cookies is a wonderfully festive activity you can do with the kids to get them both excited for Christmas, and also learning about the simple joys that baking can bring. The icing decorations at the end are a fabulous way to unleash the whole family's festive imagination!
The holly jolly tools that you will need:
- Festive cookie cutters! These are the most essential part of making a merry shaped biscuit. At FabFinds, we have our amazing Christmas Cookie Cutters Set which easily allows you to create the most magical shapes of gingerbread men, Christmas trees, candy canes, bells, and snowflakes.
- Rolling pin - for getting the batter smooth and even for cutting.
- Mixer (optional) - such as a hand mixer or kitchen aid (or even some good ol' fashioned elbow grease will do!)
- Plastic zip lock bag - for the icing at the end! Prepare by slightly snipping off a bottom corner with some scissors.
- Sieve - for a mixture as fluffy as the first snow fall.
- Grease proof baking paper
Ingredients for your festive treats:
- 225g / 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (110g)sugar, for the gingerbread cookies, this needs to be brown sugar - such as this Tate & Lyle Light Brown Cane Sugar. For the vanilla cookies, white caster sugar is perfect.
- 1 1/2 vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups(450g) flour plain or all purpose
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- For the gingerbread spice cookie variation, you will need a tablespoon of cinnamon and ginger. With 1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg to complete your flavoursome mix.
The merry method:
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 - so your oven can be ready to waft those delicious cookie smells around your kitchen.
- Whisk together your dry ingredients in a bowl. This includes: the flour, baking soda and salt. If you're making gingerbread cookies - here is where you add the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg!
- Batter the batter! In a separate big mixing bowl, beat together your sugar and butter until it is light and fluffy like a snowflake. This can be done with your own elbow grease and a mixing spoon (burn some calories for those cookies!), or even a hand mixer or kitchen aid if you have the easier option to hand. Here is also where you crack in the egg - with a good mix to finish!
- Complete the mix - the last step for the scrumptious mix is to gradually sieve in the mixture of dry ingredients. The process of combining of the dry and wet ingredients is always better when you do it gradually - sieve, mix, sieve, mix and repeat!
- Chill out the dough. After all that hard mixing, the batter needs to chill in order to make it easier to cut and shape. Pour out the mixture onto a flat surface and kneed it until smooth. Cover in cling film and cool in the fridge for at least two hours. PRO tip - to reduce the chilling time, divide the dough into smaller balls and place in the fridge for one hour.
- Roll merrily along like Santa's sleigh. After your batter has sufficiently chilled, it's time to whip out that rolling pin. Lightly flour your clean kitchen surface for less sticking, and begin spreading out the dough. We recommend keeping the batter around 1/8 inch thick. After rolling it out, grab your Christmas cookie cutters and get shaping out your festive shapes!
- Bang them in the oven! It's finally time to get those gorgeous home-baking smells drifting around your kitchen. Simply place your cookies onto baking trays lined with grease proof paper, and pop them into the oven for around 10 minutes. Keep your eye on them!
Get icing up your cookies - North Pole style!
After leaving your cookies to completely cool, its finally time for the most exciting part - decorating! Use colourful, store-brought icing to create any number of festive designs. Alternatively, a simple white icing recipe involves combining 2 cups of powdered sugar with 2-3 tablespoons of milk and a splash of vanilla extract.
The decorating part is a great way to get the whole family involved. The kids will love drawing out magical Santa hats, Rudolph's red nose, and intricate snowflake designs. We recommend popping on some gummy gems or mini marshmallows on your gingerbread men for extra deliciousness!
Enjoy your cracking Christmas cookies!
Relax, sit back, and enjoy! All your hard work is complete, so savour every sweet and crunchy bite of the festive treats you have just created. These tasty delights also make an inexpensive, but thoughtful Christmas present. Simply wrap up a handful of cookies in some festive tissue paper, place in a gorgeous gift bag, and spread the festive spirit without breaking the bank! This is a great personal gift for the kids to give to grandparents or other relatives who would appreciate an extra special gesture of love - rather than a flashy present.
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