Every year, one of the best things about the Christmas season, is baking these cookies. When we were little, my mum would help my sisters and I to roll out the dough, cut out the shapes, then pipe them with red and green icing. Of course, when it came to icing, we were far more interested in quantity than quality, so completely covered our cookies with as much icing as they would hold.
Now, I am old enough to understand that more isn’t necessarily better, but making and icing these cookies is still just what I need to get me into the Christmas spirit.
They are ridiculously simple to make, but it is quite a long process, from mixing to rolling to cutting to baking to icing to finally eating, so give yourself a whole day, put on some Christmas music, have some mulled wine and really get into it!
Christmas Sugar Cookies
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
100g caster sugar
3 tablespoons icing sugar
255g plain flour
Begin by beating the egg and vanilla together, then set to the side.
Then, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg mixture and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
Sift in the flour, then mix until just combined. Refrigerate the dough until it is firm, then you are ready to roll (literally).
On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Use Christmassy cookie cutters, or a knife and a stencil if you don’t have any cutters, to cut out shapes.
Place the cookies on a greased baking tray and bake at 180 degrees for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them because you don’t want them to be overdone! You may need to turn the tray if some are browning faster than others. You will also probably need to bake them in several batches- unless you have a huge oven! Be patient, it takes a while but it’s very easy!
For the icing:
450g icing sugar
2 egg whites
few drops of lemon juice
food colouring of your choice
Mix the sugar and egg white together until you are left with a glossy, perfectly white icing. Then add the lemon juice and food colouring.
Using piping bags, pipe beautiful designs onto your cookies. Leave them to set, which should only take about half an hour. Then- devour them and feel Christmassy.