Satine, wine, and our Christmas tree
Merry Christmas everyone! Can you believe how quickly time has flown?!
Before I head out to a Christmas dinner with friends, allow me to share a quick little tale about how I overcame my baking nemesis with these foolproof* cookies (they also make nice stocking fillers!)…
This week’s Christmas star cookies
A few years ago I attempted to bake shortbread – Paul’s favourite. They were so awful he renamed them ‘sh!tbread’.
I then attempted to bake basic butter cookies. They were also terrible.
And so cookies became my baking nemesis and I wanted nothing to do with them.
I was quite happy to avoid another attempt at baking cookies altogether, happy to stick to my one cookie/biscuit ability: Anzac biscuits (which always turn out chewy and delicious).
For whatever reason, earlier this year I decided to attempt Not Quite Nigella‘s cinnamon sugar cookie recipe. Not only were they a foolproof success, but they were delicious, and so versatile! You can use any shaped cookie cutter, you could cover them in fondant or royal icing, drizzle them with chocolate, or just eat them plain with a cup of tea! I’ve made them a few times already, and they always turn out great.
Notes for serious cookie noobs like me:
- I’m terrible at rolling out the dough evenly, but they still work! Just watch the timing in the oven. I’ve been going with 7-8 mins for thin cookies, 9 mins for thicker.
- I watched quite a few YouTube videos on how to pipe royal icing.
- I also had to watch videos showing how to drizzle chocolate… I melt chopped chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, pour into a ziplock bag, snip a small corner off, and then drizzle with even pressure!
- You can re-roll the remaining dough after cutting out shapes (to keep cutting out more shapes).
- Cookie cutters are easier to use when the dough is cold and hard. In our Sydney summer the dough has been getting too soft in between re-rolling, so I just pop it back into the fridge (or freezer…) until it hardens.
Do you have a cooking nemesis?
*Foolproof claim not guaranteed, but if I, the cookie baking destroyer, can do it, then you can too!
First attempt at royal icing, back in June…
Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
- 85 g/3ozs butter, softened
- 140g/5ozs white caster superfine sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 180g/6ozs all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Make cookies. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour and cinnamon. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough between greaseproof baking paper, 1/2 an inch thick. Cut into shapes with your cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on baking paper on a baking tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
- Decorate with fondant, royal icing, melted chocolate, or nothing at all!
More of Not Quite Nigella’s cookies: