Updated: Feb 4, 2019
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The countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun. Our lovely Penguin Village is up and running with several orders for the guys coming in - not least of all school teachers! We spent a rare day out in the big smoke last weekend to see our not so little elf perform for the first time on the London Stage - very proud of him. On our wanderings came across the most tempting cake shop I’ve ever seen.
Obviously we had to stop, but having just had a fabulous supper a simple coffee was all we could manage. If the coffee was anything to go by can't wait to return and try the cakes.
So we're now almost there with the final Christmas pressies on their way and Santa getting ready to come down all the chimneys. Thought we'd make some Santa cookies this year, so armed with my trusty Elf helper we set to work!! Why not have a go there's plenty of time.
I based our cookies on Nigella's Edible Christmas tree decoration recipe. We found our first batch a tad dull so upped the flavour with a huge hit of ginger. Ginger is one of those spices that looses it's intensity with cooking so it may seem a lot of ginger, but trust me it's worth it for that wonderful christmassy warmth.
Santa's Christmas Cookies
300 grms plain flour
Pinch of Salt
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1/4 Teaspoon ground cloves
1 - 2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
100 grms soft unsalted butter
100 grms soft dark brown sugar
2 large eggs beaten with 3 tablespoons clear honey and juice of thumb sized piece of grated fresh Ginger.
* Line 2 baking sheets with grease proof paper and preheat the oven to 170 c (fan) /Gas mark 3
* Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, ginger, cloves, pepper in a food processor.
* Add the butter and sugar and combine until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. I found that pulsing the processor to begin with helped then ran it on the highest setting until all butter was combined.
* With the motor on, slowly add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients until it comes together. You won't necessarily need all the egg mixture, and indeed I found that a good tablespoon was left over. If the dough becomes too wet it's very difficult to roll out so make sure you add it slowly.
* Once the dough has come together tip onto a floured surface and bring to a ball. The mixture is supposed to be soft, but if you've mistakenly added too much of the egg mixture, cover the dough with cling film and place in the fridge to firm up for 15 mins or so,
Now comes the fun bit - choose your Christmas cutters and depending on the size you should find this mixture will make anywhere between 30 and 40 cookies.
* Roll your dough out to approx 1/2 cm thick (you can go as thick as you like, but I would suggest no less than 1/2 cm to stop the cookies becoming too crisp)
* Once you have cut out all your shapes and placed them on your pre-prepared baking sheets place in the oven for 13 mins. Again I found that this timing made for perfectly cooked biscuits. Any more and they became like hard lumps of ginger rocks!!
* Once the cookies have had their time in the oven, remove and place onto a cooling rack until completely cold.
* Mix together 200gms Icing Sugar and about 5 teaspoons of water and form a paste. Gradually add more water to the icing to form the correct consistency for piping onto the cookies. Fill a disposable piping bag with your icing and snip of the very end to create the nozzle. Pipe the cookies however you like and sprinkle with edible glitter or any Christmas sprinkles you like. Enjoy with a warming cup of Hot Chocolate or leave out for the Bearded one on Christmas Eve - he'll be back year after year to for these lovelies.
Well that's it from Sugar and Spiced for this year. To all you cakey fans have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year. Look out for our annual January competition to win a bespoke cake for either your special celebration or your most special day - YOUR WEDDING!!