Mrs Simkins’ Christmas Cookies
These scrumptious Christmas cookies are great fun to make and decorate. You can make the mixture by hand but a food processor is quick and easy. The dough is a rich one and therefore quite soft and delicate to roll. You may like to chill it, wrapped in cling film, for half an hour beforehand.
Make sure you don’t roll the dough too thinly and do space the cookies out on the baking tray as they spread slightly. It is also prudent to avoid placing the cookies too close to the edges of the tray as they can catch and burn.
Don’t forget to make yourself a well-earned pot of your favourite Clipper tea at the end of the baking session: put your feet up and test a cookie – you deserve it!
- 150g (5oz) butter, softened
- 110g (4oz) caster sugar
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 200g (7oz) plain flour
- 2 level teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
You will need a large greased baking tray
Preheat oven to 180C (fan ovens) or equivalent
Whiz the butter and sugar together in the food processor until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla to the egg.
Add the baking powder to the weighed flour and sprinkle half of it over the mixture. Add the egg and vanilla and the rest of the flour and baking powder.
Whiz until the mixture starts to clump together, then stop the machine. You may have to this in stages as the mixture is quite dense, removing the lid and scraping the mixture down from the sides several times with a flexible spatula.
Transfer the mixture to a lightly floured board and knead into a ball. It’s easier to manage if you divide it into two pieces and make the cookies in two batches. Roll the first piece out to a thickness of about half a centimetre.
Cut out your shapes and transfer to the prepared baking sheet: use a palette knife to help you if necessary.
Bake for 5-7 minutes until pale golden.
Transfer fairly swiftly to a cooling rack, using a palette knife.
Repeat for the second batch.
Finishing the Cookies
You can decorate the cookies in a variety of ways:
Sprinkle with coloured sugar (look in the baking section of most stores) before they go into the oven.
Press a chocolate button into the cookies when they come out of the oven and are still warm. This works with Smarties and mini-Smarties too.
Pipe with lines of glace icing when completely cold. Sprinkle with coloured sugar or press Smarties lightly into the icing.
The cookies will keep for several days in an airtight tin.
Food Processor Lemon Glace Icing
This is a really quick method of making icing.
- 50g (2oz) icing sugar
- Approximately 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon glycerine (in the baking section of most stores)
Tip the icing sugar into the bowl of your food processor and give it a few turns to eliminate any lumps. Add 2 tablespoons of juice and whiz until smooth. Add a drop more juice if necessary. Add the glycerine and whiz again.