I have been away from the blogosphere for a while now.
I gave my SAT exam in early December and then got lost in the flurry of Christmas celebrations (!)
How was your Christmas?
To compensate for last year's disaster of a Christmas, where we had to make do with leftover carrot cake because the whole family got ill with the flu, this year I went all out and baked everything from gingerbread cake to cranberry cookies.
One of the things I baked were these totally Christmas-y cookies that were a hit with everyone, especially all my cousins!
This Christmas was hands down the best Christmas ever (though Christmas of '12, complete with a barbeque dinner and a terrace party, is a strong contender). We celebrated it at my Grandmother's place with the whole family. The Christmas dinner was a total feast, complete with roast chicken, spicy grilled fish, cross-hatched potatoes and the showstopper of the dinner table- duck. For dessert we had the traditional Christmas cake, obviously. Foodie's heaven!
For now, let us move onto these cookies which are as good to eat as they are to look at. (do they look good? This is my first attempt at cookies decorating, so please be forgiving).
These are not gingerbread cookies, though using molasses instead of golden syrup and adding more ginger powder to the recipe solves that problem.
But oh!, are they delicious.
Slightly crisp and sweet with that punch you get from the mixed spice, these cookies are way festive. And divine.
Coupled with decorative royal icing and silver dragees, they are a perfect gift this festive season, or if you are feeling selfish, to devour them yourself!
300 g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
100 g light soft brown sugar
100 g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 medium eggs
3 tbsp golden syrup
1 egg white
120 g icing sugar
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- In a food processor combine the flour, spices and salt.
- Add the sugar and mix thoroughly.
- One cube at a time, add the butter.
- Whiz everything up until the mixture starts to crumb up.
- Slowly, add the egg mix. DO NOT add the whole egg-syrup mixture. Just add enough so that the mix starts clumping up and resembles a dough.
- Divide the dough into two parts and tightly wrap in cling wrap. Refrigerate the dough for about an hour.
- Roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thick then using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and transfer to a cookie sheet or baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 170 C for about 20 minutes.
- Leave on a rack to cool.
- For the icing, whip the egg white until frothy.
- Sift in the icing sugar and whip till stiff peaks form.
- Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly to incorporate.
- Transfer immediately to a piping bag with a small round nozzle.
- When the cookies have completely cooled, decorate them with patterns of your choice.
- You can use your choice of sprinkles.
- Some people are skeptical to consume raw egg whites but I can vouch for the fact that I have had my share of cake batter and chocolate mousse and have never fallen ill. My 6-year old brother himself munched down a few cookies without any repurcussions. If still in doubt you can use egg white powder, also called meringue powder.
Happy New Year!