Christmas is just around the corner and after all the dazzling goodies and log cakes, I must say I still love cookies the best! Though I haven't really been to orchard road to soak myself in the Christmas atmosphere and pretty lights these cookies sure edged me into the Christmas mood. From the dough, to the aroma when they're baking away in the oven, till the time their out and finally with that icing that makes all the difference (appearance I mean)! I'm so lovin it! =p
I'm ashamed to say that after years of baking, its my very first making a gingerbread man (though not gingerbread flavoured) but hey! it's still a milestone isn't it. haha. And the thought of those few wiggly lines, dots and ribbons making the whole gingerbread come to life, I couldn't contain that excitement and I knew I had to make a few more batches to give away as gifts.
D was also really psyched when he saw those lying on the baking tray and immediately asked if I was free to bake some for his colleagues! Though it meant I had to spend more time baking extras (other than the order on hand), but it also meant some fun time together! Well, now I'm toying with the idea of making these for my friends. Packed nicely in a plastic pack, sealed and tied with a pretty ribbon, just how I love it!
Now, I hope I've spurred YOU (yes, you who is reading this post now) to get crackin and make some homemade goodies for your friends. Though "inexpensive", but sure packs a load of love and sincerity. No?
100g Salted butter, cubed and softened
80g Caster sugar
1 Egg Yolk
190g Plain Flour
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (or Vanilla bean paste if you have)
1. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until well combined.
*Mixture doesn't have to be light and fluffy as we do not want the cookies to expand too much
2. Stir in the egg yolk until well combined.
3. Add in the flour, 1/3 at a time until a dough is formed. If dough is too soft to handle, cling wrap the dough and place it in the refrigerator for about 15-30 min to allow it to firm up a little.
*I usually split the dough into 2 and refrigerate one portion while I start working on the other.
4. Roll out the dough on a piece of parchement paper in between 2 chopsticks (one pair) to ensure uniform thickness.
5. Get your favorite cookie cutter and stamp away! Gather the scraps and re-roll until the dough is used up.
6. Place the cut-out dough on the baking tray and bake at 180C for 10-15 min (longer baking time require for larger cookies) or until the edges are lightly browned.
*Use 20g cocoa powder + 170g Plain flour instead
*Use 1 tsp or orange/lemon oil + finely grated zest of 1 orange/lemon
Royal Icing recipe
2 tsp Meringue powder
2 tbsp Water
165 g Icing sugar
1. In a small mixing bowl, mix together meringue powder and water. Using an electric mixer, whip will soft peaks form.
2. Add icing sugar gradually and mix on high speed until medium peaks. *This consistency is good for piping
3. To colour (or flood the icing), add water, bit by bit until you get a consistency that resembles a syrup.