Merry Christmas Eve everyone! I thought I would end my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies with how I started… Gingerbread! Gingerbread is so versatile, and you can be as creative as you like with different shapes and decorations. Today, I decided to make these cute gingerbread bears.
175g butter or margarine
175g light muscovado sugar
2 eggs- beaten
450g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbs ground ginger
2 tsp mixed spice
Your choice of nuts. I used a mixture of almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts. You need one for each bear that you make.
Add sugar into Margarine
Add egg and mix well
Flour, baking powder and spice mixture
Add flour mixture into liquid mix
Mix well until combined and dough forms
Pre-head oven to 180°c. Line a flat baking tray with grease-proof paper.
Combine the plain flour, baking powder and spices together. In a separate bowl, cream the butter/margarine and muscovado sugar together, then add in the beaten egg, mixing well. Finally, add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and stir until a soft smooth dough is formed. Wrap in cling film or grease-proof paper and refrigerate, or roll out on a floured surface straight away.
Cut out the bear shape from the dough and place them onto the lined baking tray. Place the nut in the middle of the bear, and wrap the arms of the bear around the nut.
Depending on the thickness of your gingerbread, bake for around 5 minutes, checking on the cookies.
Once they are baked, remove from the oven and let them cool before decorating.
I mixed up thick icing and piped eyes, ears and buttons onto the bears for a better effect.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Thank you for reading.
Lots of love,
This recipe is super versatile. The dough can be used for a variety of cookies. Today I made the dough into Christmas ornaments, fit for your tree!
1 1/2 cups softened butter
2 cups caster sugar
5 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Pre-heat oven to 200°c. Line a baking tray with grease0proof paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs to the mixture. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add in the flour mixture to the liquid mix.
Cover the dough and chill for at least an hour.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut your desired shapes.
Bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before decorating.
Mix up your desired icing and decorate as you like!
For day 9 I decided to do a little twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie. These chewy dark double chocolate cookies have a sprinkle of crushed candy cane on top to add a Christmas twist.
125g softened butter
150g light brown sugar
1 large egg
150g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
125g melted dark chocolate
250g chopped up dark chocolate chunks or chips
Crushed candy canes
Preheat oven to 180°c. Line a flat baking tray with grease proof paper.
Cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and light, then add in the egg until well combined. Mix the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda in a separate bowl, then melt the dark chocolate. Slowly add in the flour mixture and melted dark chocolate to the butter and sugar mix and blend together until a dough is formed. Add in the dark chocolate chips and mix in well.
Measure out 1/2 tbsp of the dough and roll into balls. Place evenly spaced out on the baking tray and bake until the edges are firmed for 10-12 minutes.
Once the cookies are baked, remove from the oven and sprinkle the crushed candy cane over the top of the cookies before they are cooled, this will ensure the candy cane adheres to the cookies.
Biscotti are hard Italian biscuits. They are traditionally made with hazelnut and aniseed but can be flavoured with a variety of other nuts and fruit. Today I made festive biscotti, with flecks of green pistachios and red cranberries, with a sprinkle of icing sugar for added sweetness!
Biscotti are hard and crunchy because they are twice-cooked (‘bis’ is Italian for twice and ‘cotti’ for cooked).
Give them a go and let me know what you think!
4 tbs olive oil
150g caster sugar
2 tsp maple syrup
225g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 150°c. Line flat baking tray with grease-proof paper.
Mix together the oil and sugar, then beat in the eggs and maple syrup. In a separate bowl mix together the plain flour, salt and baking powder, and then gradually stir into the liquid mixture.
Once the dough is formed, divide in half, and then wet your hands with cool water, as this will make handling the sticky dough a bit easier. Mould the dough into two log shapes and place onto the baking tray.
Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 140°c. Use a sharp knife and cut the log into thick diagonal slices, and lay them on their sides. Place back into the oven for about 8-10 minutes to allow them to dry and crisp up.
1/2 pound caster sugar
1 pound butter
1 1/2 pounds plain flour
Zest of 1/2 a large orange
Pre heat oven to 200°c.
Line a flat baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Cream the sugar and butter together and then slowly add the flour and mix until a soft dough forms. Add in the cranberries and orange zest and mix until well combined.
Roll out the dough onto a floured surface and cut out your desired shapes- I used Christmas themed stars, trees and ‘gingerbread men’!
Place the shapes onto the lined baking tray and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, checking frequently.
This was my first time baking these lovely spiced Austrian biscuits. I have put a slight twist on the recipe so apologies if it is not very traditional!
The Linzer Biscuit originates from Linz, an Austrian city. Linz is home of the Linzertorte, which is a rich tart filled with preserves. The Linzer Biscuit is a variation on the Linzertorte which differs as it is cut into cookie shapes and the top cookie has small cut out with exposes the sandwiched jam in between the biscuits.
Today I decided to go for a star shape with a heart cut out. But you can create any shape that you like.
1 pound butter (room temp)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbs maple syrup
3 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup good quality raspberry preserve
Icing sugar for dusting
Pre heat oven to 180°c, and line a flat baking tray with grease-proof paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together until well blended. Add in the maple syrup and the egg until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the cinnamon, salt and flour. Combine the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture and mix until a soft dough is formed.
Wrap the dough in cling-film and allow to chill for around 1/2 an hour.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out your desired shapes.
Place the cut outs onto the baking tray and bake for around 20 minutes until edges begin to brown.
Remove from the oven and once cool, place some raspberry preserve onto the base biscuit and top it off with the cut out biscuit. Finally, dust your Linzer Biscuits with a sprinkle of icing sugar.
Day 3 is a special family recipe that I’m going to share with you. I’m sure lots of families will have the same tradition of baking a batch of these at any time of year, but especially during Christmas time. My family call it whipped shortbread, but I also find they are quite like sugar cookies, so call them what you like!
3 cups softened butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar – sifted
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups corn starch
Coloured Sprinkles (I used red ones) and/or Candied Cherries for decoration
Pre heat oven to 180°c.
Line a flat baking tray with grease proof paper.
The key to getting this dough right is making sure all the ingredients are whipped for a long period of time, and ensuring all the icing sugar is mixed well from the bottom of the bowl.
Whip up the icing sugar and softened butter until very fluffy. Slowly add in the corn starch bit by bit while still mixing, followed by the flour until well blended.
Once the dough is formed, lightly dust your hands with corn starch and roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them evenly spread out on the baking sheet.
Dust a fork in flour a gently press onto the top of the dough. Either top with sprinkles or candied cherries.
Allow to bake for around 22 minutes- checking regularly.
Remove from the oven and allow the shortbread to cool before sharing!